In Ethics class, we were asked who influenced our moral compass. Our book’s author said that his moral compass came from his parents who taught him right from wrong and to believe in Jesus Christ. Society has a way of influencing our moral compass as well by sticking true to fundamental values such as murder, stealing, and slanderous things are wrong and working to be a better person in society through education, perseverance and success is right. People tell us these things daily. Teachers are supposed to teach us right from wrong in school through history, modern times, and in some way how they try to plan for the future. But…
who taught them?
Lana Del Ray said an interesting quote about her moral compass.
My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality; just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and as wavering as the ocean.
People may influence your moral compass but they can’t give you one. My mom taught me right from wrong. Don’t touch this, don’t do that, do your homework, clean your room, and so on. Society and Government do the same thing. Go to school, don’t publish that, don’t stay up too late, don’t buy things at this time, don’t use this drug, use this one but don’t overuse it. Teachers can do it to. Turn in this on this day, don’t talk, speak up, stand up, go outside. These conditions taught us what to do growing up, but I ask again…
who taught them?
The history of ethics dates back to Ancient Greece with Socrates, Sophocles, Aristotle, and so on. Before then, if you choose to believe so, came with the message from Jesus Christ. Although the Catholic Church was created out of the teachings of the Bible, there was a period of time where their moral compass was questioned… actually a couple times throughout the course of history. Wars led to wars and more wars over rights, freedom and many other things. Slavery was deemed right in our society at one point and now it is terrible and morally wrong. Dating back to the history of forever, whichever Creation story you choose to believe, ethics and morals have been initiated by someone and then implemented. People like Hitler and Stalin stood tall. Slavery and wars prevailed in their idea of what was right.
But who taught them?
My teacher told us that Ethics provides Tools and not Answers. How do we learn these tools? How do we implement them? Who influenced Hitler to believe that the Jews were involved with Communists in a joint conspiracy to take over the world? Who told him that was right?
Going back to Lana Del Ray’s quote, I believe that Ethics cannot be taught. Ethics is something inside of us, like an instinct. We listen to what we are told without ever having to believe them. We aren’t taught at an early age to believe. We are taught to believe in something because “They said so.” Can we blame them? We aren’t going to get far by asking an infant if they truly believe they should wear the color blue or not. We teach children right from wrong to the best of our knowledge until they become old enough to decide for themselves. My moral compass comes from what I’ve learned and how I act out what I’ve learned over the years of my life from society, my family, my friends and my teachers. People have the same innate qualities and more and more of these are coming out in the world. People have naturally sick and twisted tendencies inside that never come out because they are widely accepted as wrong but some people don’t deem them this way.
I find this paradox of ethics interesting. People were put on Earth somehow and millions of us have accepted an answer because we all want answers. Whether is was from God, a Big Bang or through Evolution, we can all accept the fact that we are living and we are living together. People don’t actually know what the hell we are doing here. Why out of the complete “unknown” we were made to live and breathe and run this rock we are standing on. We don’t know what the point of our lives are. We can find truths that are evident through repetition. We have found that people will grow, they will learn, they will live and they will die. For what reason, that is for you to decide. How you choose to spend your time here, however long it may be, is entirely up to you and always will be.