Essay on An Individual 's Moral Code

922 Words Nov 14th, 2016 4 Pages
Imagine that someone robs a bank but instead of keeping the money for themselves, the robber donates the full amount of the money to a local orphanage. If the crime is reported, the money will be seized and returned to the bank, but if nothing is said, the lives of the children in the orphanage would vastly improve. If you were a witness to this crime, would you choose to report the rob banker? Alternately, if you were the robber how do you make the decision to commit a crime, even if it would aid those who truly needed it? Morality is “the standards of rightness and goodness by which we judge human behavior: fairness, non-malevolence, tolerance, and truthfulness” (Leighton & Reiman, 2001). An individual’s moral code, and thus their moral decision making, is a combination of a variety of forces, their culture, their upbringing, and their personal experiences, among many others. Morality is a system by which we make decisions and is possibly the most integral system to our decision making processes: determining if something is right or wrong? Not all moral decisions are as complicated as the one outlined before. We engage with our moral codes on a daily basis, without truly realizing it: is it right to laugh at a sexist joke? Should you connect to this wifi network just because someone forgot to set a password? Do you try to find the owner of the $100 you found on the sidewalk?
The most important shift in our understanding of morality and moral decision making came with the…

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