e-book Ethics and the Sociology of Morals (Great Minds)

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She doesn't break her word; she doesn't lie. Her morals go on to build a story filled with bravery and courage. Perhaps the moral of the story is to always be brave and do the right thing, but that stems from Iona's sound morals. The most prolific source of moral lessons in literature is Aesop's Fables. Let's see some of the teachings that lie within these popular tales:. Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease. He is not to be trusted as a friend who mistreats his own family. He who once begins to tell falsehoods is obliged to tell others to make them appear true, and, sooner or later, they will get him into trouble.

It shows an evil disposition to take advantage of a friend in distress. There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth. Those who assume a character which does not belong to them, only make themselves ridiculous. These examples of morals and moral lessons demonstrate that, although there are certain morals followed by society as a whole, morals are also highly personal.

They're based on a personal belief system. In literature, often the moral of the story stems from a central character's set of morals, but it's interesting to see how someone's morals move the story along. If you're looking to create an interesting story with relatable morals, take a look at these character trait examples. From them, you might be able to develop the central character's morals, thus creating a fanciful tale. By continuing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Please set a username for yourself. People will see it as Author Name with your public flash cards. Morals in Society Is there really a standard moral code in society these days? While morals tend to be driven by personal beliefs and values, there are certainly some common morals that most people agree on, such as: Always tell the truth Do not destroy property Have courage Keep your promises Do not cheat Treat others as you want to be treated Do not judge Be dependable Be forgiving Have integrity Take responsibility for your actions Have patience Be loyal Have respect for yourself and others Be tolerant of differences Seek justice Have humility Be generous For a deeper dive into the difference between values and morals, read What's the Difference Between Ethics, Morals, and Values?

Do not have any gods before me Do not make for yourself a graven image Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy Honor your father and mother Do not kill Do not commit adultery Do not steal Do not bear false witness against your neighbor Do not covet your neighbor's wife or possessions Examples of Morals in Literature Keep in mind that examples of morals in a story are different from the moral of a story. Luckily, she was able to break the trance before she entered the forest but, when she returned home, she said this to her cousin: I should tell you something first.

Aesop's Fables The most prolific source of moral lessons in literature is Aesop's Fables. Let's see some of the teachings that lie within these popular tales: Appearances can be deceiving. What's Your Moral Code? What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or, perhaps, the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old.

But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? In an extract that is often left out, understandably so, Bentham explains that animals may be killed to be eaten, as long as we do not hurt them in the process. This is legitimated by the fact that they have no sense of the future:. If the being eaten were all, there is very good reason why we should be suffered to eat such of them as we like to eat: we are the better for it, and they are never the worse. They have none of those long-protracted anticipations of future misery which we have.

But is there any reason why we should be suffered to torment them? Not any that I can see. Are there any why we should not be suffered to torment them? Yes, several. Given that animals are sentient, we must not hurt them, though it may be admissible to kill them; which is not the same in moral terms. The principle of equal consideration of interests makes any sentient being the equivalent of other such beings. However this principle does not apply if a being is incapable of suffering or of feeling either pain or happiness.

In that case there is no compelling interest to take it into account. A stone has no interest in not being kicked along the road, contrary to a mouse, which makes sentience, in other words the capacity to feel pleasure and pain, the only objective criterion from a moral point of view. Plants do not react to pain in the way that humans and animals do, nor do they possess a nervous system.

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This however, should be qualified, according to Singer. Questions consequently arise about the degree of sentience, if any, as regards some animals such as insects, molluscs, crustaceans, in fact, most invertebrates or as regards plants, in which case the question has not been absolutely settled.

For Singer, the debate about taking animal lives is peripheral 15 because in the state of things, considerations of pain and suffering are paramount. Though he suggests that it is not necessary to refer to specific scientific discoveries showing precisely which animals suffer and to what extent, Singer admits that it is difficult to draw a definite boundary between the animals that may be killed and those whose interests must be taken into account. In a particular passage of Animal Liberation on the practical consequences of the movement against speciesism the prejudice based on species membership and on vegetarianism more specifically, he takes a stand against eating mammals, birds, fish or molluscs.

He draws a potential line of demarcation between shrimps and oysters, based on the nature and capacities of these animals. We demand the extension of the community of equals to include all great apes: human beings, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans. Among these principles or rights are the following:. At present, only members of the species Homo sapiens are regarded as members of the community of equals. The inclusion, for the first time, of nonhuman animals into this community is an ambitious project.

The chimpanzee, the gorilla, Gorilla gorilla , and the orang-utan, Pongo pygmaeus , are the closest relatives of our species. Because of this, Singer advocates a levelling up rather than a levelling down process, which means that animals should be treated like humans and not that infants and the severely handicapped should be treated like animals.

This idea is expressed in plain words in the passage quoted below, with the purpose of silencing his many critics who claim otherwise:. I do not wish to suggest that intellectually disabled humans should be force-fed with food colourings until half of them die […]. I would like our conviction that it would be wrong to treat intellectually disabled humans in this way to be transferred to nonhuman animals at similar levels of self-consciousness and with similar capacities for suffering.

He takes it even further. Within that framework, the relevant ontological distinction is not one that opposes animals and humans, but rather one that differentiates a person from a non person. Persons are defined as beings that possess self-awareness, autonomy, and a capacity to feel pleasure and pain, to which is added a sense of the future. Not all human beings are persons in that sense. Comatose patients, or newborn children, for example, are not. Animals such as apes, dolphins and other superior mammals though can be persons in the sense defined above.

Their lives consequently have more value than the lives of non persons. Calling certain animals persons while excluding some humans from that category is severely criticized. As he puts it, it is hard to overcome the feeling of the permanent otherness within which animals have tended to be confined, in spite of the ethical and scientific arguments:.

It sounds odd to call an animal a person.

Nicholas Christakis on the Evolutionary Origins of Ethics, Morality, and a Good Society

This oddness may be no more than a symptom of our habit of keeping our own species sharply separated from others. We need to be aware both of the fact that animal lives have a value, since animals are sentient, and that human lives are not sacrosanct simply because they are human. Singer, like Bentham, rejects all absolute moral obligations in that respect. The last part will deal with the challenges such positions pose for the majority of people. In the manuscripts, indeed, Bentham legitimates certain cases of infanticide or torture. None of the two acts should be absolutely prohibited.

Torture may be admissible if it aims at wresting capital information out of someone, in view of the general interest. In addition, for Bentham, murder is a serious misdeed neither because it takes a human life, nor because it causes suffering to the person killed, but because the idea of such an act arouses terror among other people. In a carefully phrased passage, he explains why torture should not be absolutely proscribed:.

It may come as a surprise that the philosopher who had been advocating animal liberation for forty years should not be adamantly opposed to animal experiments.

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From Jeremy Bentham to Peter Singer

The answer is probably that he defends that position for the same reasons that led Bentham to defend torture. As suggested above he considers it to be legitimate in some rare cases, because one cannot say, from a utilitarian point of view, that an act is intrinsically wrong. Nietzsche permeates all modern thinking, and he is credited as being one of the key figures in the challenge to a religious-based approach to morality. Orwell was the author of among many other things Animal Farm and Amongst these, were his ideas on language, and the extent to which is governs the way we think.

History of Ethics: A Sociological Methodology

But he also wrote on the power of the state when it comes to representing history. Also helps us to explore Language , reason , history , HS. Owen was a First World War poet who wrote bitterly about his experiences as a soldier, attacking the ruling classes and the generals who in his opinion had no idea of what they were doing. This amounted to a revolutionary view of the world, and helped to change society utterly after the conflict ended. Also helps us to explore Language , arts. Picasso was a Spanish painter and sculptor, who completely altered the way in which we view reality.

He was one of the co-founders of the Cubism artistic movement, and is regarded as one of the most important artistic thinkers ever to have lived. Also helps us to explore Imagination , arts. Plato , a pupil of Socrates, was one of the most influential philosophers in history, helping to lay down the framework for the way we think. His metaphor of the cave is of particular interest on the nature of existence.

Popper , an Austro-British academic, wrote on just about every subject there is. His philosophy of science is particularly relevant, and one of his central ideas is that our knowledge of reality is severely limited, and for a theory to be truly scientific, it should be possible to empirically falsify it.

Richards is a sociologist, and teacher of race relations. He specializes in addressing and exploring difficult, controversial subjects; a process that he believes involves viewing the world through multiple perspectives, and drawing on kills of empathy.


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Also helps us to explore Emotion , intuition , HS. Rousseau was a writer and philosopher whose thoughts on politics are amongst the most influential that have ever been developed. His idea that there should be a social contract between government and governed outlined in the publication of the same title helped to inspire the American and later, French revolution. Russell is one of the towering figures of 20 th century thought, and wrote on subjects as diverse as mathematics and the morality of nuclear weapons.

His thoughts scatter the TOK course, beginning with the nature of knowledge, and the definition of truth. Sassoon was a poet who wrote scathingly of the First World War, and helped to shape the style and ability of Wilfred Owen, who eventually eclipsed his own fame. Also helps us to explore Arts , HS. Shafak is a Turkish writer whose books draw on a whole range of different themes and cultures, but for which one thing is vital: the imaginative story.

She argues against pigeonholing artists and people due to race, culture, and identity, and asserts that fiction allows us to connect with others. Also helps us to explore Imagination , arts , HS. Arguably, the philosopher who started it all, at least in terms of the way we think. Socrates never wrote anything down, so this makes it hard to figure out his ideas exactly. He is best known, perhaps, for his method, which stressed the fact that we should be aware of our ignorance, and never cease asking questions. Weil was a French philosopher, political and religious thinker. She was noted for her compassion towards others, and is also remarkable for her thoughts and opinions on Christianity and other religions.

Also helps us to explore Emotion , faith , imagination , intuition , RKS. Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and writer. The archetypal C19th wit, he also wrote widely on art, but was persecuted for his sexuality, and his anti-establishment outlook ensured his downfall. Zimbardo is a psychologist best known for his Stanford Prison experiment of , in which graduate students given power over their peers quickly began to abuse it in unexpected and brutal ways.

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