What Does it Mean to be Moral?

Morality means something different to different people. To some, morality is objective. There is something about our morality that is innate in all of us and the same moral code applies to everyone. To others, morality is subjective. Different cultures have different moral codes. So which is it? Is morality objective or subjective?

If morality is objective, then “what does it mean to be moral?” is an easy question to answer. But where does that morality come from? Some would say a deity. Others would say evolution or nature. And how do you explain different moral codes in different cultures and religious groups? 

If morality is subjective, then it is more difficult to answer my question. So, if morality is subjective, what does it mean to be moral? Does it mean anything?

9 responses to “What Does it Mean to be Moral?

  • Sarrah J. Woods

    Great questions, and important ones. I’m still reading and studying as much as I can about ethics in philosophy and also in other contexts. I’ve got a lot to learn.

    As of now, I fall into a middle ground between objectivity and subjectivity. I don’t think there is a god or supernatural force or ultimate law that provides “objective,” absolute moral rules, but I don’t think morality is just up to each individual.

    Instead, I think it’s important to bring biology and history into the equation: the basic human morals that most of us share—our senses of right and wrong—are instincts hard-wired into us by evolution, as our species evolved to survive together as social creatures.


  • nikeyo

    An objective understanding of morality, to me, is absurd. It begs the question: who decides, then, what is moral?

    As I see it, morality is a conversation. Much like language, it is a means to an end. The end with morality being social coherency.

    Whenever I speak of this, people who mentioned to me “The moral Landscape” by Hitchens, but to be honest I have never read it.


    • hessianwithteeth

      I can’t help but find it funny how angry people get when I say that morality is objective. It’s like they assume that if there is no objective guideline, then it should be acceptable to do whatever we want whenever we want. They also like to point out that murder is wrong everywhere like that actually means something. It ignores the fact that other moral codes change from culture to culture and it also ignores the fact that different cultures define murder differently.


  • Godless Cranium

    Empathy, reason, societal acceptance. Things that were seen as moral a few hundred years ago aren’t always seen as moral today.


  • fictionfitz

    Reblogged this on Good Morning and commented:
    Hessian often has me thinking, but still would like a real portrait of him or her.


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