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Morals values ethics note

Morals, Values & Ethics
Moral Values:
Those things that we care about; those things that matter to us; those
goals or ideals that we aspire and by which we measure ourselves and
others in society.
Scientific – knowledge, truth, experimentation
Aesthetic – beauty, art, attractiveness
Economic – production and efficiency
Those values that give voice to the needs and legitimate
expectations of others as well as ourselves
moral = equality, respect, responsibility, honesty,
• Capable of knowing right from wrong. A baby is not a moral being…they are
incapable of knowing right from wrong
A person’s morality consists of a set of values and principles that
guide his or her choices and guide determines what kind of person
he/she is becoming. Everyone has a morality. Moralities differ
between individuals, and each individual’s morality changes as he
or she grows from one stage of life to the next.
• Cultures too have their own moralities. We need to be critical of the moral values
we find in the society around us.
Becoming morally mature
Development in moral maturity involves learning from the mistakes we make and the
problems we encounter. Healthy self-esteem is crucial to moral development, because it
frees people to make moral decisions based on their own values and the needs of a
situation, not on their fears and insecurities.
Christian Morality
• What is the difference between Christian morality and moral philosophy?
• Moral philosophy can reflect well on the nature of the moral life and what constitutes
right and wrong without any reference whatsoever to God and Christian beliefs;
• Christian morality includes God and Christian beliefs;
• Christian morality wants to know what difference being a Christian believer makes
for the way we live our lives;
• Much of what we discuss in this course will come from a Christian perspective;
• Though not everyone in the class is a part of the Christian faith, many of the topics
discussed is applicable to everyone;
*“The sort of person one is depends to a great extent upon the sorts of decisions and actions one
has taken...the sorts of decisions and actions which one has taken depend in part upon the
sort of person one is”. What does this mean??
Ethics of Being
• Morality is often associated exclusively with behaviour guided by rules;
• Actions are always expressions of a person;
• Moral goodness is a quality of the person, constituted not by rule-keeping behaviour
alone, but by cultivating certain values, attitudes and outlooks;
• Morality has a great interest in a person’s character;
• Who we are matters morally;
• Ethics of being focuses on the vision we have of life, the values and convictions or
beliefs we live by, and the intentions we have;
• What sort of person am I/should I become because I believe in Christ?
• Is my life different from someone else because I believe in Christ?
• With more discussion on virtues, morality and spirituality is emerging more and
Ethics of Doing
• Ethics of being doesn’t cover all the territory (good intentions and sensitive
• We learn good behaviour from good people;
• An “ethics of doing” focuses on right actions;
• Through an ethics of doing, the interest lies in making a decision to resolve conflicts
of moral values so that the right action is performed;
The standards or framework for answering
questions of morals: “What should be done?,
What is the good?”
Made of 3 elements:
1. Nature of the Good;
2. Nature of the person;
3. Criteria for judgment
Gives direction to human behaviour with regards to
what one believes to be right or good;
Answers questions: “What should I do?”
4 points affect morals:
1. One’s deep convictions;
2. The character of the person;
3. The situation;
4. The norms of the community
*Reason Informed by Faith: Foundations of Catholic Morality
By Richard M. Gula, 1989