What Does Morality Mean For The Average Person? Essay

1460 Words Dec 11th, 2016 6 Pages
What does morality mean to the average person? Is it sparing a few dollars to a woman on the street? Is it giving a friend a place to crash when they are down on their luck? Is it being a good person? Morality, as defined by the Oxford Living Dictionary, is the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. While this distinction may seem concrete to the individual, it is quite fluid in regards to the various societies populating our world. What is right and good to an affluent, American man living on the upper east side of Manhattan could be considered heinous and wasteful to a woman living in Siberian Yupik. What is moral and good is dependent upon the perspective of the individual defining the terms. A moral code is created from the needs of the people the code governs, as well as the convenience of its terms to the society at that point in time. The perception of what is normal in a society is key to understanding not only the people’s morals, but their cultural traditions and valued personal characteristics. Defining what is normal to a culture creates a direct path to what that culture deems to be morally good. This assertion is best evidenced by Ruth Benedict in “Morality is Relative” when she states “Normality, in short, within a very wide range, is culturally defined.” (466). The habitualness of an act in a society speaks to its goodness as one usually acts for the betterment of their society and its conditions (466).…

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