If you have heard people claiming about (or of the lack of!) good ethics and of value systems, then what they harp on is moral value. Morality defines an action to be good or bad. It is a term that has been used for differentiating between good qualities and bad qualities. This understanding of good and bad makes the individual or the society realize the necessity of the good actions to be followed to sustain oneself and the community. Therefore every individual and society come with their set of ethics and values. Ethics are an accepted set of moral principles followed by a society or an individual whereas; values depict personal behavioral standard of what is valuable or important.
The Significance of Moral Values
Discourses on moral values and ethics have held an important position in many classical canonical writings of theorists. In the running of a state or even in personal life a strong value system brings in peace and joy. Without any moral value many theorists have suggested that the nation will lead itself to an anarchical state, where lawlessness and chaos will reign supreme. How is that possible? Let’s look into an example.
In a society where a moral value exists, we understand and realize the importance of private property and breaching, trespassing or taking another’s property is a crime. Stealing is a morally reprehensible act, and we in a society teach that regularly to our kids. The children, therefore, grows up with the moral value that stealing is a bad action and will therefore not take, trespass or snatch an item that belongs to somebody else. You may argue that a strict law in place will only prevent the action of stealing. But that is not always the case. A strict law probably will make us refrain from stealing but a moral indoctrination will teach us stealing, lying or taking another’s property is a wrong action.
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Let’s emphasize this point further. Say, you find a purse lying on the road, and you instantly know for a fact somebody has lost it. A real moral individual will try to locate the name and number of the purse owner to return it whereas an adverse action will be to pocket it. Now imagine a state where morality does not exists and whoever finds an item lying around claims it to be his and hence you end up in a state of anarchy where your property is not safe. The moral value thus is necessary to give the law a social presence rather than only a legal form.
Moreover, moral values not only make us law abiding citizen but a good human being. Good Samaritan helps his neighbors- this lesson holds great moral significance. We as a part of the society must help each other and then only we can ask for help in our own time of distress. A moral value teaches us the values of being a good citizenship and a god human being.
How moral education works?
The moral value system works on the basis of implying that not following good actions is reprehensible and puts the individual to shame for being morally incorrect. Guilt therefore is an important aspect of moral education as it is the feeling of guilt only that keeps a check on a person’s actions.
What are these moral values?
The moral groundings of a society and an individual are always based on these values or virtues of truthfulness, compassion, courage, modesty and forgiveness. These values are perennial in any society only their meaning and application can change in somewhat measure from one society to another or from one individual to another.
For one society, polygamy can be accepted as a part of life whereas another society will find it morally deplorable. With the modern society changing fast the morality of old value system and the understanding of new value system often does not see eye to eye, this leads to a clash between the two. The sanctity of marriage is of great significance to the old value system whereas the new modern society has created new forms of relationship like ‘live in’ relationship.
The moral value that was defined as a knowledge base to differentiate between good action and bad action therefore must now be taken with a pinch of salt. Over arching moral principles that has no place for adaptation must give way to new ideas. It is not necessary for every individual to practice these ideas but to accept them is necessary as acceptance of the different is also an important moral value for the present world.