Morality describes the ideas that we hold, to help us differentiate between what's right and wrong.
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Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA
Understanding morality can help you with making decisions, and in each of these sections, you’ll learn different aspects of morality. We’ll talk about morality both in a sense of how it applies to media that we consume, but also how it can help us grow as people, which is a vital aspect of understanding our lives.
Morality is a part of our own decision making process. You should understand your own moral compass, and these articles will help you get a feel for it, so you can get the help you need.
Types of Morality: Orange and Blue Morality
Some people’s morality is so confusing, we don’t know how to peg it. Orange and Blue morality is commonly seen in media, but we may know someone in real life who has it. Orange and Blue morality is seen in characters that we can’t identify as good or evil. It’s hard to place them into a binary category. It’s definitely worth it to read some examples of it and see what we’re talking about.
Heteronomous and Autonomous Morality
Heteronomous morality is morality that is taught. As children, we may be taught that certain concepts are good and bad, such as religious beliefs or learning what they teach in school. As we grow up, one starts to form their own conclusions about morality. They may still stick to what they were taught, or have their unique opinion. This is known as autonomous morality. Some people are more autonomous than others are. It all depends on how the person was raised and what they value as an adult.
Slave morality is a response to master morality. It sees overt power as bad and wants to fight against oppression. It’s a morality type that many people may see today in some aspects. Many feel like those in power are oppressing those who have no power, and their moral system is set to dismantle those who are in power.
Many want to know just how good of a person they are. Yes, “goodness” is subjective depending on one’s religion or political beliefs, but still, many people want to know if they are a good person. They may take a morality test as a result. Some may want to take a test that is objective as possible, while others may take a test focused on a religious or political moral compass.
Master morality is a subject presented by Friedrich Nietzsche. It involves people who are strong-willed and noble. They see what is good as good, and vice versa. Master morality is associated with the powerful, but you don’t necessarily need to be rich or powerful to have master morality traits.
As a response, slave morality is what counters master morality. Some people may hold aspects of both, too.
Chances are your moral compass is different from when you were a child. Pre-conventional morality is found in children, and it involves the fact that a child’s moral compass is limited. Sometimes, it can be found in teenagers, but many will outgrow it by then.
A child’s actions aren’t due to what they believe in, but instead the fear of punishment. They may avoid hitting another kid not because they believe it’s wrong, but because they don’t want punishment. As a child grows, their morality is based on personal beliefs.
Morality in children does advance to a second stage, where reward is implemented as well.
Morality has evolved over the years. The morality of the Victorian era, for example, has morals that can be viewed as positive or negative in today’s modern times. Victorian morality tried to help those who were less fortunate, but there was still great inequality between men and women.
It’s always interesting to see the moral compass of people in our past. Many feel like morality has always been the same, but over time, you can definitely notice the moral differences that people have.
Morality and Ethics
These two words are used the same, but they do mean something different. Morality is what one person believes personally. Meanwhile, ethics are rules laid by an organization or society. There are some who believe that following the rules of society is the way to go, while others may believe that following what’s in your gut is how you go about life.
There has been a debate as to whether or not objective morality exists, or if it’s subjective. Some believe that our moral compass comes from God or another divine power. A more science-based approach to objective morality may say that people evolved with similar morals.
This is often argued by the fact that many people across the world share common morals. However, subjective morality is another form of morality that has been debated.
Because morals can vary from person to person and from culture to culture, some people think morality is subjective. There are a few morals, such as not murdering people, that most follow, but there are many things one person may be okay with, while another person may find morally reprehensible.
Definitions of Morality
Morality has quite a few definitions. For example, one person may view morality as a set of principles given by God. Someone else may view morality as a code they follow. There is a definition in the dictionary. In the dictionary, it says that morality are principles that determine if behavior is good or bad. However, many people may have their own definition on what morality is and what it entails.
These are all important parts of morality, so you can work on your own moral habits. Right and wrong, good and bad, a lot of is subjective yes, but a lot of it is as well, a part of life. Understanding each of these different parts will help you grow, and you’ll be able to better understand what is good for you.