Saturday, February 15, 2014

An Older Man's View Of Morals, Ethics, Fidelity, and Honor

When folks talk about our western world being awash in immorality, there is a certain validity to the statement.  Unless you have lived under a rock in the Arctic, were raised by wolves, or spent the last 50 years in outer Mongolia, it is hard to not see it; all kinds of illicit temptation is in the open for all to see.  Then, there is the Internet, but that's a story for another time.  Unfortunately, too many people play fast and loose with their ethics and morals.  They sacrifice what's good and wholesome for short term pleasure or quick monetary gain, thinking that they will get away with it.  Maybe in our modern world people do not understand morals and ethics, or they just don't give a damn.  Let's see what Mr. Webster has to say:
Moral(s) - 1a   of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior/  b. expressing a teaching a conception of right behavior. * 
Ethic(s) - 1.  the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation ** 
Ethical 3.  conforming to accepted standards of conduct ***

When we read Mr. Webster's definition for moral(s), we see the words principles and teaching.  Looking at ethic(s) and ethical, we see the words discipline, duty, obligation, and conforming.  Therefore, morals, the principles of right and wrong behavior are things that are taught (and today often discarded).  Ethics on the other hand, is the application and living these principle in daily life.  These principles of right and wrong, as ethics, then become a part of the person's character.  Let's look at morals and ethics using the following question:  

What is the difference between a moral man and an ethical man?  

A moral man knows that is wrong to "cheat" on his wife, but temptation convinces him to justify negative behavior. Thus, he thinks that he has earned the right to do so, and then proceeds to commit infidelity.  It's almost Lokian how this works.  An ethical man, because he has burned the principles of right and wrong into his character, so much so that it has become a part of him, will not commit infidelity for two reasons:  he knows that infidelity is wrong and, he is not willing to let that negative action stain his character and honor.  Some people still think that fidelity and honor matter.  Obviously, the ethical man understands fidelity and honor.  

Fidelity, or the loyalty to spouse, ancestors, family, Gods, and friends never should be taken lightly; it is the stuff that binds when all else fails.  Honor is something that, if lost, is very hard to regain.  Honor is not only your character, but your good name and how people look at you.  Only fools trade away fidelity and honor for illicit pleasure or short term gains.  Take a look around you.  Who do you know that has fallen?  Who do you know that has trashed their fidelity and honor?    

*Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, copyright 2007 Merriam-Webster Incorporated
** Ibid
*** Ibid


                                                Copyright @2014/2016 Terry Unger    



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