In life people strive consistently to choose between what is right and wrong. Most never take time to critically evaluate what factors drive their moral compass. Most have never taken the time to understand the conflicts that arise within their moral decisions. Analysis of the philosophical quiz “Are you a moral realist? ” results gave me the opportunity to scrutinize my own moral compass. To follow I will discuss my opinion on the results of the quiz and the impact it had on my foundation of morality. I agree completely with the analysis.
Upon completion of the quiz I learned that I was a moral objectivist and a moral relativist. Questions number two and eight provided me with the most glaring obvious evidence of my moral inconsistency. I felt very strongly that what is right or wrong depends on individual viewpoints and society supports this statement. When the Supreme Court is hearing case a group of justices vote on what is right. They don’t always the same opinion but the perception of what is being told is what makes a law and dictates what is right.
Question number eight is in direct conflict because in no uncertain terms I believe it is wrong no matter whom you are, where you are, to torture innocent babies just for fun. My strong feelings in that regards completely nullifies right and wrong being based on individual viewpoints. The quiz result stating my position is inconsistent is correct. I was surprised by the results of the quiz; it opened my eyes to the truth of my ethical principles. I understand now that morality is something that I have failed to evaluate.
The truth that I have discovered of my morality is that it is in conflict. This conflict exists because I have been guided by outside factors in my views of what is ethical. For example, politics tells me that freedom of religion is a right protected in the constitution so in my mind it became wrong to challenge someone’s religious views no matter what their views made them do. Being that I rationalized it is not justifiable to challenge someone religious views then a woman put to death in another country in the name of religion is not wrong due to the religions moral authority.
I can say I have indeed fell victim to the distinguishing between descriptive ethics and normative ethics. Individuals have a diverse array of moral beliefs, which vary from person to person and culture to culture. To say this is to simply describe what is the case (Chaffe pg. 225). I have come to realize a person being killed in the name of religion is something that happens but it doesn’t mean that it is something that should happen. One could say my moral compass pointed north on some occasions and south on others.
I see clearly that in every circumstance when a question was asked I thought how it applied to me. In truth my ethical judgment comes from a selfish place. In each scenario my determination was made by looking at what is appropriate for me and secondly society as a whole. I think the inconsistency in my morally can be attributed to two facts. The first is what is good for me always comes first and that I am torn between allowing descriptive and normative ethics govern my decisions. With morality there is what is and what should be, and with my own personal morality the same applies.
My personal conflicts ethically stem from failure to consciously asses my moral compass. Morality is much more than someone’s beliefs governing their actions, it’s about an acceptance of what is right and wrong universally no matter a person’s culture, religion, or background. By assessment of my moral compass I have uncovered that I must take a closer look at what should be and stop being guided by what is. Bibliography Chaffee, J. (2011). The philosopher’s way: thinking critically about profound ideas (4th ed. ). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
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