Our ethics are fundamental and unique qualities that have defined us since we were children. They’ve been ingrained and changed by those around us, such as our family, friends, and enemies. However, I believe that religion, government, and empathy are the underlying sculptors of our ethical position. Religion and government mold our perspective because they give us a higher power to answer to. They share similarities between each other; for example, most religions and governments forbid crimes against another human such as murder and stealing. From a very young age, no matter our religious stance or understanding of government, most of us have accepted these as wrong. How do we understand that these are wrong though? I think that has to do with our empathy.
Our moral code is constantly adapting to our understanding of the world around us. As we grow older, we bear witness to different experiences and remember their associated emotions; whether the experiences were good or bad. When we see somebody around us going through a similar experience, we remember those feelings. If we are stolen from, we remember the frustration and pain that follows. When we see another person going through that, we remember how we felt and shape our perspective of wrong vs right based on the empathy we have for them. Thus, our ethical position typically sides with our empathetic one.
3 Comments for “M1 – Chris McClure”
I thought your take on how our ethics change as we grow up was a good point of view, that a person’s experiences and life events shape our ethics. How it can be tied to our empathetic one for others going through similar situations was not something I had thought about.
I enjoyed this take on empathy is part of our ethics. I believe empathy also has a big role in our ethical development. This post made me think about when I was a teacher at a childcare center. Being the lead teacher I made observations on all the children in my class every couple of weeks. I had one specific child whose empathy was very developed for a 10 month old. He was very in tune with his emotions and the emotions of his classmates. It was quite interesting to see how he reacted to his classmates based on how they were feeling that day. Your post made me curious about how his ethical development will develop in the future based on the rest of his classmates of is same age.
I know empathy is not the only quality that determines our personal ethics, but if he was able to have the quality before everyone else, will that make him a “more ethical” human? Just an interesting thought!
Hey Chris, I enjoyed how you phrased this. I believe that you are influenced by whats around you whether it be family, government, or religion. But I didn’t even think that empathy is truly what shines through. One will change growing up but how you feel about something will forever be.