Moral Argument

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A Moral Argument is a reasoned argument for a morally-judgeable statement (that deems it moral or immoral).



    • Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong). The philosophy of morality is ethics. A moral code is a system of morality (according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness." Immorality is the active opposition to morality (i.e. opposition to that which is good or right), while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles.[1][2][3] An example of a moral code is the Golden Rule which states that, "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."[4]


    • QUOTE: Moral reasoning is a study in psychology that overlaps with moral philosophy. It is also called moral development. Prominent contributors to theory include Lawrence Kohlberg and Elliot Turiel. The term is sometimes used in a different sense: reasoning under conditions of uncertainty, such as those commonly obtained in a court of law. It is this sense that gave rise to the phrase, "To a moral certainty;"[5] however, this sense is now seldom used outside of charges to juries.

      Moral reasoning can be defined as being the process in which an individual tries to determine the difference between what is right and what is wrong in a personal situation by using logic.[6] This is an important and often daily process that people use in an attempt to do the right thing. Every day for instance, people are faced with the dilemma of whether or not to lie in a given situation. People make this decision by reasoning the morality of the action and weighing that against its consequences.

      Although all moral choice can be seen as personal choice, some choices can be seen as an economic choice, or an ethical choice described by some ethical code or regulated by ethical relationships with others.

      There are four components of moral behavior. The first of these is moral sensitivity, which is "the ability to see an ethical dilemma, including how our actions will affect others."[7] The second is moral judgment, which is "the ability to reason correctly about what 'ought' to be done in a specific situation."[7] The third is moral motivation, which is "a personal commitment to moral action, accepting responsibility for the outcome."[7] The fourth and final component of moral behavior is moral character, which is a "courageous persistence in spite of fatigue or temptations to take the easy way out."[7]

      This branch of psychology is concerned with how these issues are perceived by ordinary people, and so is the foundation of descriptive ethics. There are many different moral reasonings. Moral reasoning is culturally defined, and thus is difficult to apply; yet human relationships define our existence and thus defy cultural boundaries.

  1. Johnstone, Megan-Jane (2008). Bioethics: A Nursing Perspective. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 102–103. ISBN 978-0-7295-3873-2. 
  2. Superson, Anita (2009). The Moral Skeptic. Oxford University Press. pp. 127–159. ISBN 978-0-19-537662-3. 
  3. "Amorality". Retrieved 2010-06-18.  "having no moral standards, restraints, or principles; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong"
  4. Template:Cite encyclopedia This dictionary of philosophy contains the following exact quote under the entry for "golden rule": "The maxim 'Treat others how you wish to be treated'. Various expressions of this fundamental moral rule are to be found in tenets of most religions and creeds through the ages, testifying to its universal applicability." (end quote)
  5. Victor v. Nebraska (92-8894), 511 U.S. 1(1994), from the syllabus, holding (c) and throughout, available in the Cornell Law School Supreme Court Collection
  6. "Definition of: Moral Reasoning". Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Lynn E. Swaner, "Ethical and Moral Reasoning," Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility, Position Paper, American Council of Colleges and Universities, September 13, 2004 (pdf), citing James Rest, "Morality," in Cognitive Development, ed. John H. Flavell and Ellen M. Markman, Handbook of Child Psychology volume 3, 4th ed. New York: Wiley, 1983, ISBN 978-0-471-09064-9, pp. 556–629.