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niks1112's avatar

What is your personal moral system? ( code of ethics)

Asked by niks1112 (410points) August 19th, 2010

I for my ethics class have to write a paper on the above question, but, im simply not getting it… I dont understand, if what she means that my personal moral system, is stuff, as drinking age of 21 should be lowered, and abortion shouldnt be allowed… Is it that kind of stuff, or what do you believe she means by this questions. Im confused as to what im exactly supposed to be talking about.

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15 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Well, a good place to start would be to answer where you think your morals derive from. For instance, do you feel that your morals/values are derived mostly from within yourself? Your family? Your religion? Once you have a foundation, the question should be a little more simple to answer. For example, if someone says, “I believe that abortion is wrong” that perspective might be a little easier to understand if one derives that belief from their religion or faith.

To me, it sounds like she’s asking “Where do your beliefs come from” rather than “What are your beliefs?”. To be on the safe side, is there any way that you can call or email her to find out what she means for sure? I’m sure she won’t mind if you have to ask her a couple of questions.

niks1112's avatar

@DrasticDreamer thank you for responding, the thing is im also very confused with what she means exactly but after answearing the question I posted we have a million other question to answear that follow up on the first (above question) such as:
On what principles is it based?
Justify those principles in detail.
Test your system by applying it to an ethical topic e.g. abortion, euthanasia, pornography, animal rights, etc.
and so on…

Mephistopheles's avatar

I agree with @DrasticDreamer. I think that your moral system is the prism through which you view right and wrong.

For instance, if you have a Christian moral system, then you could say that your morality is based on the word of God as revealed through Jesus Christ and his other prophets. You might define Christian morality as having a strong emphasis on the sanctity of life, human dignity and puritanism, eg no abortion, no gambling and so on.

Alternatively, if you have a utilitarian moral system, then the ‘good’ decision to make is the one which maximises human happiness, because ultimately human happiness is all that matters.

augustlan's avatar

Some examples of personal moral systems would be:
Do nothing that harms another.
Live and let live.
Do only what my conscience will let me live with.
Me first, everyone else later, if at all.

My personal system is “Do the right thing. Period”.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@niks1112 Ah, okay. So it seems like she does want to know where your morals come from. And from there, she wants you to justify them. So I’ll use the same example that I used above.

Say that someone says “I derive my morals from my religion”. What she would then want you to answer is – “On what principles is it based?” So, according to whatever religion this example person believes in, they would then say something like “My religion is based on the following principles” (love, compassion, the word of god, etc.) Then from there, the example person would have to justify their beliefs based solely on the principles of their religion – since it was established that their religion is where their morals derive from.

I hope this isn’t too confusing, I’m a little sleepy. Hope it makes sense, and good luck. :)

Seek's avatar

I am an atheist.

My personal moral/ethical stand is to live in such a way as to cause no harm to another, nor to allow harm to be done if I can help it.

I believe the rights of that which exists supersede the rights of the potential for existence.

I believe the convictions of one group of people should have no effect on those that do not share their beliefs.

I believe training a child in the way of a religious system before they are of an age to choose it of their own will is a form of abuse.

I am fully prepared to justify any of the above statements with examples and explanations.

Coloma's avatar

I adhere to the ‘do no harm’ mantra.

I value authenticity, honesty, always looking at our intentions, non-violence if at all possible, congruence of thought, word and deed, and believe our most important work is in knowing ourselves and questioning false belief systems that keep one stuck in rote reaction and inertia.

critter1982's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: Why do you believe raising a child to be religious is a form of abuse?

Seek's avatar


It is a method of indoctrinating a child into beliefs they might not choose of their own volition, and enforcing that belief through psychologically abusive threats.

In Christianity, for example, a child is taught from day one that they are naughty sinners, who must beg their deity for forgiveness, or they will be gravely punished. They are taught that some people (other Christians) are “better” than others (non-Christians). They are raised with prejudices based on their holy texts – homosexuality is evil (leading homosexual Christian children to repress their feelings and cause psychological distress), it is an abomination to disobey your parents (even if those parents abuse you – the Bible says they have the right to), individual thought and self-expression are discouraged in all the Abrahamic religions.

mammal's avatar

currently i subscribe to the Kantian ideal….people are not a means to your ends, but an ends in themselves, simple but efficacious. Despite the subsequent philosophical doubt with regards to the rest of Kant’s metaphysics.

critter1982's avatar


Would you also consider forcing your child into a vegetarian lifestyle to also be child abuse, as it falls in line with indoctrinating a child into beliefs they might not choose of their own volition.

edit: How about not allowing your children to take specific medicines. For example using a natural/herbal supplement rather than something non herbal. My sister-in-law has a daughter with serious allergies and for like 2 years and wouldn’t giver her claritin and chose to use a natural supplement instead. This supplement didn’t work very well and finally last year decided to give her Claritin and her allergies improved significantly. Would this be a form of child abuse in your opinion?

Not trying to start an argument, just tring to understand?

Zag_grad2010's avatar

You should look into Aristotle if you haven’t already. I remember my ethics teacher telling me that Aristotle came to to the conclusion that there are certain absolute laws that are logical and humanity should adhere by them. I don’t remember the specifics of what they are but you could easily google them. Also, Socrates came up with a society where certain people are above everyone else and can make moral laws. This would contradict the belief people should have their own moral compass. Plato refuted it by saying, “Who watches the watchmen?”. I also recall from my human nature class that Descarte came up with 6 original pieces of thought through his meditations that could also help you. I don’t remember the details though.

Regarding @critter1982: your comments above were so radical and take religion far out of context. Religion should be seen as a vehicle to push people to better citizens. No reasonable religion is going to tell/ condone people to be belligerent, abuse kids, harm others, etc. Religion should only help people get on the right path and make society better. Some people take it too far, but that is their fault, and they don’t represent the majority. You can argue that it is abusive for parents to put kids through sports, study hard in school, etc. Because with your logic they aren’t old enough to choose for themselves and the parents are telling them what to do. I don’t want to be mean, but you clearly wanted people to react to your explosive comment on this page.

Seek's avatar

@critter1982 Choosing a vegetarian lifestyle harms no one, provided it is done correctly (living on PB&J sammiches instead of tofu and broccoli would be _incorrect). Trying a harmless natural remedy before turning to chemical medications isn’t abuse. Ignoring the child’s pains entirely would be neglectful.

Encouraging a middle-school agedboy to wear a T-shirt that says “Abortion is not healthcare”, and then suing the school for discriminating against the “child’s” religious conviction – thrusting him into the news (He’s referred to only as “E.B. Boyer”, but the school’s name and location is in the article)—when they asked him to turn it inside out, THAT is abuse. A child cannot choose a religion any more than they can choose a political party or economic theory.

Here is a blog devoted to listing the examples of religious child abuse in the news.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please take the side debate (which is fascinating!) to a new thread. Thanks!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I believe the life I have is the only mortal one I’ll get and I don’t believe in a form of afterlife so… my motto is to do the best for myself while causing the least of harm to others as I make my way.

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