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Moral Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Law and Morality

Sir John Salmond described the law as ‘the body of principles recognised and applied by the state in the administration of justice’. They are a set of rules and boundaries that are established by authorities which must be obeyed, otherwise, a sanction may be given. Morals are beliefs, values and principles that are set by society or part of a society, determining what is right and wrong. Phil Harris stated that they are “standards of behaviour”. Unlike legal rules, compliance with moral rules is voluntary, that are often informally enforced through social or domestic pressure. Law and morals are both normative; they specify what should ideally be done and mark the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable conduct. However, the ways…

Morality in war

Is war ever moral? I feel that War is a necessary part of life. Sometimes force is the only way to defend yourself or others. We are all equals, and It is immoral to take the life of anyone, but it is also immoral to let the life of anyone be taken. We have a responsibility to help each other because cooperation is the only way the human race can survive; we also have a right to defend ourselves. This means that if someone else is threatening you or anothers life, and you are capable of helping, you have an obligation to protect yourself or them. Lethal force will never be moral, but what if it’s the only way to…

Personal Morality

Introduction I would not have believed you two years ago if you told me an individual’s single decision could have such a profound effect on not only their lives but that of their family, their employer, the economy and even the world. The life we lead and the choices we make affect more than ourselves, as evident with the current economic turmoil we are in today. If a consumer would not have exaggerated their income to qualify for a mortgage they knew they would not be able to afford. If the mortgage lender would have verified the information on the application and if they found inaccuracy they would have rejected the loan instead of looking the other way; would our…

Moral development perspective

Moral development theories are also known as age theories or stage theories. They are also called eclectic theories to imply that ‘everything’ is capable of causing delinquency and therefore tightly linked to ‘evil causes evil fallacy’. According to Siegel (2004), theories of moral development may be divided into; latent trait theories and life course theories. According to the latent trait theory, delinquent behaviors are preset by a master trait present in an individual at birth. Such a behavior is expected to remain unchanged in the individual’s life time. According to the life course theory, deviance is a process that is dynamic and shaped by personal characteristics and his/her experiences within the society. Since human beings are social in nature, their…

Moral Challenges

Morality is a highly contested topic in every day life. It can be defined as a thought process of making decisions based on one’s beliefs or desires shaped by one’s culture. A right or wrong moral decision can therefore be said to be a product of culture and law stipulated in a constitution and applied in a certain jurisdiction. In everyday life, we are faced with challenges and situations that require our judgment and actions (Kermerling, 2002). In this paper, I will explore two moral situations in which I believe I made the right and wrong decisions respectively, the parties that were involved, the reasons behind my actions and the consequences that followed my decisions and actions. Lastly, I will…

Moral achievements during adolescents

The adolescent period is marked by a number of physical and emotional changes for individuals. During this period, an individual strives to move from the identity that is dependent on parental and societal influence in to one that is determined by the individual. The purpose of this paper is to review the moral developments during this period of identity formation, and whether it is an entirely free process. To do this, the paper will rely on selected literature to study the various dimensions related to the issue. Introduction One of the hallmarks of adolescence is the search for identity. At this stage of human development, the individual attempts to cultivate a personal identity that will act as the basis for…

Moral Naturalists

The moral naturalists believed that moral responses are a result of a long history of relationship. The naturalists argue that we observe people as they live thus one do not have to rely on metaphysics or exposure. The moral naturalists were not able to elaborate the reasons as to why morality is very important. The fact that if at all morality is natural, why are we struggling to maintain moral standards, yet it’s in the process of evolution. Moreover, the naturalist relied on science given that they related man’s morality with primates and that due to evolution, morals do change (Wikipedia. org, 2010). They argued that moral judgment is a result of intuition which makes us to come up with…

Moral Reasoning across Cultures

Moral reasoning involves an active critical thinking process that evaluates reasons for ethical beliefs (Sunar, 2002). Sometimes individuals may be skeptic about issues related to morality. However, these same people seek to relate their moral opinions with tangible reasons. By doing this, they try to prove the issues that encompass ethics but often end up making common fallacies in moral reasoning. The universal acceptance of moral reasoning or arguments becomes rather problematic as culture seems to play a critical role in the way individuals make moral judgments (Sunar, 2002). To fully appreciate the difference in moral reasoning across cultures, it is important to examine some of the moral questions that have drawn serious debates in history. These moral questions such…

Vegetarian in order to be a truly Moral Person?

Morality is and will always be a major philosophical issue as it touches on several aspects of ethical discussions. This makes it very important for one to have a good understanding of this term so that any reasoned argument revolving around the topic can exhibit sense and logic. Morality has generally been used to refer to a measure of behavior against the standards of right and wrong as set by the society. This simply means that each and every human society has set of presumed codes against which any action of its member is evaluated and judged as either right or wrong. This is irrespective of the fact that not everything that is considered as right or wrong will be…

Moral Mutation and the apocalyptic future

The two texts, the film and the book, were set in a post-Hiroshima world where arsenals were being further improved to generate a more efficient way to participate in warfare and be the leader in these developments. By lumping two stories together in an analysis, it is inevitable for traits to be observed in the chosen texts. Dewey in his analysis of Cat’s Cradle described Dr. Hoenikker as a “man-child curiously unfamiliar with concepts such as sin and God” (57). He then identified in the doctor a “moral mutation who believes with Faustian pride that humanity can manipulate, dominate, even annihilate nature” (57). When the Russians and the Americans in Dr. Strangelove developed their own military hardware in order to…

Jem and Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Lawrence Kohlberg developed six culturally universal levels of moral development that can be applied to To Kill a Mockingbird. This book tells a story of the children growing up and their lives changing so we can observe the ascension of them through morality levels and the events that cause or show this. The main characters of this book were Jem and Scout who we first meet with morality levels 0 to 1. It is their experiences which cause them to ultimately arrive at a high level of morality and exhibiting characteristics of level 6. Early in the story Jem and Scout act with a level of 0 and 1 in my opinion for many reasons. The first indicator is their…

Relativism versus Objectivism

The moral debate of relativism versus objectivism is one that confronts a moral question that philosophers have been debating for many years. The ultimate question brought about in the debate is whether morality is based solely on individual choice and cultural approval, or are there universally valid moral principles. With this essay I will present the arguments for each view and I will also argue for the position I favor: moral objectivism. Relativism is the view that states that moral principles vary by culture (conventionalism) or by individuals (subjectivism). Conventionalists like Ruth Benedict argue that since different cultures hold different principles, one culture has no basis to judge another culture’s morals. She uses the argument of normality: each culture defines…

“I’m Still Here” by Veronica Ross

Courageous and full of determination, Jake Garson in one of the short stories I’m Still Here, written by Veronica Ross, shows the set of characteristics that many Canadians regard as expressing their unique place and role in the world. He tried to fight and stand up for his own rights against the government through his act of bravery. By doing this, he had influenced many people in his hometown that faced the same situation as Jake; however, they did not show the same kind of courage that Jake showed. Readers who like to reevaluate and rethink what they are reading are recommended to read short stories such as I’m Still Here. It is one of the stories that teach us…

End of Life Issues

Euthanasia means “good death” but today the term is deemed as a merciful action to rid someone of suffering. In many cases we have seen terminally ill patients euthanized active or passive, yet for the sake of my essay I will discuss active euthanasia. End of life issues is a topic many families are faced with everyday more than one likes to imagine; however, imagine that you were a significant other who has a loved one in the hospital suffering from a terminal illness and their pain is unbearable that your loved one has decided to end his life and the subject of euthanasia comes up. What would you do? The first thought that would come to mind is that…

Witch hunts then and now

Witch-Hunts, Then and Now is basically comparing how witch-hunts were handled in the year 1692, in comparison to the McCarthy era prosecutions of suspected communists. I chose this topic because I have always been interested in learning what exactly happened at the Salem witch-hunts. I have always only heard stories of the hangings and they left me curious to find out more. I also have never heard of McCarthyism and how it would relate to witch-hunts. However, after reading and doing research on the two topics I can now compare the similarities. In the sixth century people believed in gods and goddess who were seen as the enforcers of morality, punishing wickedness and rewarding goodness. For these people who believed…

To what extent it is appropriate for law to enforce moral standards?

Essay Question: To what extent it is appropriate for law to enforce moral standards? Law and morality are related concepts but are arguably distinct. The natural language definition of morality is “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour”1, whereas law, which can escape definition, is commonly understood to be “the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties”2. These definitions are not to be treated as exhaustive, especially the latter which tends towards the positivist understanding of law, but are offered merely as a starting point for discussion and to allow the terms’ contrast. Historically…

How far is it true that the play ‘The Duchess of Malfi’, presents a moral world of Webster’s that is different from the conventional mores?

The Machiavellian qualities seen in the villain’s, along with the pragmatic of even existentialist attitude to life displayed by the good as well as bad characters may give a first impression that the world Webster presents in The Duchess of Malfi, is a chaotic world, but for a closer and deeper look at the play will show that the world is influenced by a moral order though this order cannot be universally enforced. Though the moral presence exists, this world remains mysterious, incomprehensible and the future of worldly creatures is unpredictable. The growing immortality and sensuousness, which the court displayed, made the citizens sympathise with the Puritans. People began to criticize the court and religion more vocally. This critical temper…