Moral Theory

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In the United States the innocent kiss in the park by a young couple is looked upon as a cute display of endearment. Yet in India the practice is frowned on and can result in severe social sanctions. Prostitutes can openly display their wares and market their vocation in the Netherlands, but in the United States that same activity could result in a prison term.


Many people use this elusive quality of morality to justify even them most deviant behavior and overlook the gravest transgressions of right and wrong. However, each individual has a morality that is absolute. While we must accept that morality is absolute, it is also our responsibility to recognize that it is also absolute for other people and respect their right to alternative value systems.
Examining our most fundamental cultural group, the family, we can readily identify inconsistencies in moral judgments. The dominant religion in the United States, Christianity, has a commandment that dictates 'Thou shalt not kill'. Most people, and certainly within a Christian family, hold that morality in high esteem. Yet, almost everyone has a basis on which they would violate that commandment and be able to justify their actions. Morality is necessarily based upon the social setting. As Dr. Stephen Sullivan, Professor of Philosophy at Edinboro University, states, "...there is more than one correct morality" and "no moral values correctly apply to everyone" (qtd. in Gillespie, 1). An unwanted intruder that was threatening their family could be killed and justified as self-defense. ...
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