What have we learned? We are aware of different descriptions of what it means to be moral. All of us have to make choices. Choices that involve right.
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Presentation on theme: "What have we learned? We are aware of different descriptions of what it means to be moral. All of us have to make choices. Choices that involve right."— Presentation transcript:
What have we learned? We are aware of different descriptions of what it means to be moral. All of us have to make choices. Choices that involve right or wrong and good or bad are called moral choices. The basis for making moral choices is called morality. We have an understanding of the consequences of actions and decisions at personal and communal levels.
The consequences of our actions extend out from our interpersonal relationships to our communal relationships and even to our global relationships. Example 1. The Niall Mellon Township Trust is an example of how one person’s actions can have amazing consequences of a positive nature on relationships at an interpersonal, communal and global level. Example 2.It is clear that combining alcohol and driving can have very negative consequences, which can be experienced in relationships at interpersonal, communal and global levels. (See page 407)
We are able to identify the variety of influences on human behaviour. What influences our moral choices? An influence is something that has an effect on the way we might think about a person, a place or a thing. Our opinions and choices are all influenced by many different factors. For example, our morality, what we believe to be good or bad, right or wrong, is influenced by our upbringing, the opinions of our family and friends, the place where we live, our religion and so on. (See chart on page 413)
What have we learned? We are able to identify sources of morality, especially sources of morality in our own lives.
Sources of Morality Our morality (i.e. our sense of what is right and what is wrong) comes from our set of values. We get our values from the people and the traditions that surround us from the very beginning of our lives – our family, our friends, our school, our community, our religion and our State. Sources of Morality Our morality (i.e. our sense of what is right and what is wrong) comes from our set of values. We get our values from the people and the traditions that surround us from the very beginning of our lives – our family, our friends, our school, our community, our religion and our State. Family Our family is the first source of our morality, as it is here that we first learn to differentiate between good and bad, right and wrong. Friends Our friends and peers are another source of morality for us. Our friends can have a positive or a negative influence on our moral values. School Our school community is a very important source of morality. The ethos and mission statement of our school describes the kind of place it tries to be. This influences how people within the school behave and how they treat others. Religion The followers of a religion are greatly influenced in their moral choices by the teachings of their faith. We call the values that come from religion religious values. The State State representatives make decisions based on the ‘common good’, i.e. what they consider to be for the overall benefit of those who live in the country. This concern for the common good is a core belief or value of the State.
We understand the meaning and implications of a moral vision. Religious Moral Vision A religious moral vision is based on the set of beliefs, the sacred text and the life and teachings of the founder of each faith tradition. The moral choices of a believer give expression to that believer’s religious moral vision. The Christian moral vision is based on the example of Jesus’ life. In section B, we learned that Jesus expressed his moral vision through his words and his actions. He expressed that moral vision in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12).
We are able to describe the vision articulated in different sets of rules and moral codes. The Law – Rooted in the Past Ever since the first communities of people gathered together, they saw the need to formalise laws in the interest of the common good. The purpose of these laws or codes was to help people to live in community with one another. The laws upheld the values that the community lived by, such as respect, freedom, peace and so on. Each new generation interpreted the codes of the past in line with their own moral vision, instead of starting the process from scratch.
What is different about a religious moral vision? A person can have a moral vision without necessarily being a person of faith. Many good people throughout history have been motivated or driven to act justly out of concern for other human beings, rather than out of a religious moral vision. A religious moral vision has an ‘extra’dimension or element. For example, a Christian is motivated to do good and to live a moral life out of the belief that: Human life is a God-given gift; God is creator and Father of all people; Every person is created in the image and likeness of God and, therefore, has unique value, worth and dignity; Each person must take full responsibility for their actions in order to maintain a right relationship with God and with others; The world is God’s creation and we have been given responsibility to respect, protect and develop it.
We understand the meaning of conscience and its importance in moral maturity. Our conscience helps us to respond to moral situations. It is a guidance system working within us. We can think of it as our ‘SIM card’, without which we would not operate properly. Our CONSCIENCE (our SIM!) guides us in three ways: S It sees the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, and lets us know when we have made a choice that is good and when we have made a choice that is bad. I It gives us an inner sense of what is right and wrong, even if we cannot fully explain why this is so. M It makes us want to choose what we think is for the best. It acts like a magnet and draws us towards what we feel is right and good.
An Informed Conscience When we are making a moral decision, it is really important to have as much information as possible. This means that we must inform our conscience with the necessary information to make good moral decisions. An informed conscience will be up to date with the moral teachings from all the sources of morality, i.e. family, school, friends, community, religion and State.
What have we learned? We have an understanding of the process of decision-making.
We know how religious moral visions can influence the moral decisions of believers. For example, in relation to euthanasia: The Christian moral vision goes against euthanasia. This is because Christians believe that each person is created by God and that human life is sacred (holy). The Islamic moral vision goes against euthanasia. Islam teaches that men and women are sacred beings because God has created them, and all that God has created is dependent on God.
We are able to describe the religious visions of moral failure and the understanding of forgiveness. The Christian Vision of Moral Failure For Christians, sin refers to anything that goes against God. This includes bad moral decisions, through which people hurt themselves or others or damage the environment. Selfish choices usually lead to sin.
What have we learned? We have a basic understanding of the relationship between State law and personal morality. Personal Morality v. State Law Our personal morality is guided by our conscience and our sources of morality. Personal morality and State law cannot be totally separate because it is individuals who shape and enforce the law in the first place. What binds a community together is the sharing of core values. For example, Irish society believes that stealing is wrong, and Irish State law reflects this value. The conviction that it is wrong to steal comes from each person’s conscience, so personal morality is also a foundation for State law.
We have a basic understanding of the relationship between State law and religious morality. State Law and Religious Morality Different people have different views or theories about the relationship that exists between State law and religious morality.
Religious Fundamentalists stick rigidly to their sacred text or teachings. Attempts to modernise or update beliefs are strongly resisted, and those who seek to do this are excluded from the group. So, for example, a Christian fundamentalist may take the Creation story from the Bible as the literal truth. Any truths based on scientific discovery that appear to conflict with their religious text or teaching are likely to be dismissed as lies. A religious fundamentalist would like if the laws of their religion were implemented as the laws of the State in which they live. Libertarianism is the belief that each person has the right to control their own body, actions, speech and property. Libertarians believe that they are free to do what they choose once they do not interfere with the right of another person to do as they choose. Libertarianism rejects laws that restrict the freedom of the individual. It believes that moral issues should be left to the individual’s conscience. From a libertarian point of view, the Government’s role is only to protect the individual from harm, violence or fraud.