03 February 2022


How can morality change our life?


Topic by Sisa

Essay by Lawrence


Morality involves both good and bad behaviour thus in the context of the question morality can change our life for the worse or for the better. So what might the necessary and sufficient conditions be for us to change our life due to morality?


The question itself requires an empirical answer since each individual has their own history and context to change their personality. Thus similar circumstances and conditions might affect a person to be evil and another to be good. Hence, we cannot really make generalities that apply to all people all the time. What activates a personal behaviour must itself be an empirical event that activates personal emotions, epistemic state of mind and motivational reaction. In this description I would argue that even a false belief is an empirical event since beliefs are brain events, just the same as an impulse to steal a car.


Of course, the main function of morality is to pre-empt our behaviours into inactions or good reactions. So at the basic level morality is supposed to change our behaviour, but this is just one side of the argument. Although we believe that morality is there to be good, as I have already argued the effect can be good or bad.


One of the compelling conditions of morality is justice. A sense of justice can determine our actions and the type of actions.  When we report a crime we are appealing for justice. Sometimes we are forced into a position where we consider the option of taking justice in our own hands. Such action has been the cause of many revolutions and wars.


But some people might erroneously mistake revenge for taking justice into their own hands. For them they have a sense of moral justice that involves doing an evil act, but sometimes these people might have medical issues. Morality is supposed to prevent such behaviour as revenge, but our sense of morality has no mandatory authority or power to act in a certain approved way.


An equally important condition is that someone, many times politicians or wealthy/influential people, might feel that the power and authority they wield outweigh any moral imperatives. Dictators feel they are invincible, politicians who manipulate the electorate to win absolute democratic power; the present conservative party in government in the UK is a case in point. But more common we find this sort of moral domination when one person or group believe they have unfettered power over subordinates: heads of companies over employees; judges over defendants; dominant partners in domestic violence cases; sexual predators especially paedophiles; and anyone who is a jobs worth.


Abuse of power does not only change people’s life but neutralises accepted principles of morality and substituted by some warped sense of morality. Compare this with revenge that still recognises moral principles but the facts of the case justify an unacceptable moral action.


One of our main tools for rational behaviour, and some might argue morality, is language. How we describe the world around us and experiences also determines our morality and how we consequently behave and act as a result. Unfortunately, language is one of the rational tools we have that can easily be manipulated.


What is attractive about language is that it is very efficient at affecting our emotions. And emotions are necessary for our day to day activities: emotions affect our choices; our relationships with other people; emotions make us happy or sad; and emotions help us get out of bed in the morning and go to work. Language can be used to convey false information thus making people believe in things that are only in the interest of the deceiver.


Therefore, language and emotions in a way justify our morality and moral actions. If we feel good and use a language that make us feel good then surely acting accordingly must be moral and good. There is no doubt that morality can change our life, the big question is what is the right type of morality?



Best Lawrence




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