What Is Moral Obligation?

1000 Words 4 Pages
What is moral obligation? It is a responsibility, a duty of human beings to follow moral code and do moral things. Everyone in this world is expected to follow a set of ethics, set by themselves. It is very clear that society & circumstances dictate an individual’s personal ethics as well as moral obligations. But, it is interesting to see how shared/personal knowledge play a role, while doing moral actions.
We often wonder how our actions at present will impact those in future and whether these actions are ethical. “According to moral relativism, our values are determined by the society we grow up in, and there are no universal value,”(van De Lagemaat). Hence, we can say that our society nurtures our personal ethics. We have the class “Value
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For example, we can look at history to illustrate this point. The Spanish Conquistadors were greatly intrigued by the native’s tales of copious reserves of gold & silver, but the latter never revealed the location of these riches. This led to the famous quest to discover “El Dorado”, which led to mass migration of Europeans to areas such as New Mexico, Caribbean etc. And, thus began practises of slavery and disenfranchisement. The Europeans, who arrived in America, started colonizing & enslaving the natives, where they were exploited to produce what Europe wanted. It can be said that lack of knowledge caused this conflict. We must keep in mind that the original Conquistadors came in search of India. If they the natives had kept their luxurious cities’ location as secret, it would have been possible that the Conquistadors might have left America. But, due to the action of some locals sharing knowledge, history changed forever. From this example, we can say that even retaining knowledge can have adverse consequences. The counter claim would be that if even if the natives told the location to the Conquistadors, they would have nevertheless thronged along in thousands to America. But, history has changed due to the locals’ mistake of even describing about these fabled cities, igniting the Europeans’ …show more content…
In my personal experience, I caught my friend cheating on the Spanish test. This situation had tested my moral & ethical stand. If I report the cheating, my friendship would end but if I ignore it, it would be considered unethical. Hence, situations might arise where obtaining knowledge results in a particular action, which can be polarizing in nature. Remember the old phrase, “Every coin has two sides”. A counter claim that every piece of information doesn’t always lead to an ethical responsibility to that individual. One of my friend stumbled on a plot to hospitalize an old lady. But he heard this conspiracy from a group of theatre actors, so he assumed that they were discussing the story for their next script. Later, he found out that the actor’s lady manager, who is known for her undermining attitude, was the one confined to a hospital bed. Though my friend was armed with the knowledge, he didn’t foresee its consequences. Hence, it wasn’t his ethical responsibility to report this

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