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How important is ethics and morality in our life?

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  • How important is ethics and morality in our life?

    How do you define ethics and morality? Does ethics and morality differ from culture to culture, religion to religion? Or is it same every where? Can ethics and morality be taught or it comes from within?Is ethic and morality a religious issue?

  • #2
    Ethics and morality definitely differ from culture to culture and religion to religion. How people define values is a choice, and most people will make such choices based either on their perception of religion or on their perception of what works for them.

    I took a course in Cultural Anthropology, and there was demonstrated a wide range of what we would consider ethical choices, based on living conditions where different peoples were born. In the jungles of South America, for example, clothing is considered mostly optional. In the very high mountains of -- it was either Nepal or Tibet, women had multiple husbands, usually brothers.

    As Christians, ideally, we prefer to allow God to define ethics and morality through the Bible. I have studied several cultures, and the Bible stands as the finest set of defined ethics and morality I have ever found.
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    • #3
      I was taught that cultural standards were things like clothing that may vary from culture to culture, but that ethics were fairly constant. The idea that "thou shalt not murder" is fairly universal, but how murder is defined varies. Ethics and morality are essential to any form of civilisation though. Without the ability to trust, trade, or work together you'd just have anarchy and chaos.

      It is interesting how morals tend to vary across cultures, and even in the same culture between different religions or groups. With international travel becoming more common, there are clashes so often between groups that sometimes it can be hard to tell what set of ethics or morality is being followed. It gets more complicated when people discard it when it suits them, trusting that everyone else will not and they'll still be protected by those standards.
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      • #4
        Actually, Chatterbox, there is tremendous variation in what might be considered ethics. For example, you may be familiar with the book and movie End Of The Spear. In the book, Steve Saint explains that in the Waodoni culture of the Amazon, there were 2 ways to solve a dispute; ignore the offender or murder them. I'm not even sure they considered murder ethically wrong, just kind of necessary. It certainly was normal, although so much killing caused great pain and greater fear. In Saudi Arabia, even today, a shoplifter has their hand cut off, and in Islam, that is considered ethical.

        The problem is that people can and do justify anything, so what one person considers unacceptable, another can claim is normal. Because it is all too easy to justify anything, there must be a standard of behavior that applies to everyone equally. Unfortunately, no society ever gets that perfect, because the wealthy and powerful always manipulate the laws and boundaries to suit themselves. Be that as it may, societies do manage to keep a peace among their peoples by setting some sort of standards that apply to most.

        So, finally, how do we decide which interpretation of ethics and morality is best? In America today, there are many special interest groups who desire to decide for themselves what ethics and morality should be, but the problem is that there are too many versions of where to draw a line, and even questioning if a line (between right and wrong) should exist at all. But the questions are, or should be, who benefits, who suffers and why. I think that asking that very question is necessary to consider when we seek to define ethics and morals.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Meg View Post
          The problem is that people can and do justify anything, so what one person considers unacceptable, another can claim is normal.
          Just adding that we are actually Justified when our faith is placed in Christ Jesus. It is His righteousness that's imputed to us, another words this can be another aspect of being made righteous in Christ alone, that is to deny ourselves and trust in Him and His righteousness and in His precepts/and commandments. Denying ourselves rejects self-righteousness and what we deem justifiable in our thoughts and actions. Doesn't matter what we may think about a situation but what Christ our Lord said and lived.

          Good post, Meg,
          God bless,
          William
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          • #6
            I agree with you, William. I guess I wasn't quite clear in what I meant about people justifying anything. I was referring to unbelievers and anyone depending on anything apart from Jesus Christ.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chameli View Post
              How important is ethics and morality in our life?
              Grenville Klesier had something to say about this (copied from the quote thread):

              You are already of consequence in the world if you are known as a man or woman of strict integrity.
              Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

              "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

              "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

              "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

              "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
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