My personal ethical value system is highly influenced by day-to-day experiences. I believe that the philosophies and ideologies that I strongly support and assert are shaped by my past and my everyday dealings with other people and various situations. Perhaps my family is one of the primary factors that influence the ethical values that I believe in. Considerations are extended from the self to other members of the family whom I love and value. With this in mind, I assume moral responsibility over my children because I feel that the person they would become when they grow us is up to me, whether good or bad, is up to me.
I believe that it is the primary role of the parents to guide their children in the right way for them to realize the significance of ethics and proper values. The moral responsibility is bounded by the love and concern I feel for my children because I want them to grow in a righteous way able to determine what is right from wrong. From this, I hope they become productive members of society and fulfill who they want to become in the future. This beliefs support the relationship between moral responsibility and freedom, against the concept of determinism.
Moral responsibility is the compulsion of people to make sure that moral and ethical practice and beliefs are endorsed and sustained at all times. (Eshleman, 2001) The will to become morally responsible is brought about by my concern for my children. At this point, it is discernible that taking up moral responsibility towards my children is my free will. Another reasoning that will support this is that before I had children, I never felt responsible for supporting moral or ethical activities.
It was more of a responsibility for those people who are affected by immorality or unethical activities, so as long as I was unaffected my views will stay neutral about these particular issues. The decision of not taking on responsibility for morality was my choice, not driven by any predestined external and overpowering element. mHaving children though changed my views about morality and ethics. I see my children everyday and I feel a great duty to influence them in a good way. Determinism, as I see it is invalid when it is related to moral responsibility and free will.
Determinism suggests that everything that happens is caused by nature. It supports the idea that everything is bounded by fate, predictable, and destined. (Eshleman, 2001) When it comes to moral responsibility, I do not think that everyone is determined to take such an obligation. Children who grow up to misguided and delinquent were raised by parents who did not choose to take on the responsibility of morally and ethically guiding their children and directing them to their wellbeing. This suggests that moral responsibility is bounded by free will.
When it comes to raising children, parents who are not concerned about whether the path that their children take are moral or not have chosen to give up on their moral responsibility. When it comes to dealing with other people, I believe that we should treat other people the way that we wanted to be treated ourselves while also keeping in mind acceptable actions and behaviors towards them. I am agreeable to the social contract theory which postulates that morality or ethical discipline is something formulated by the people based on what grounds are acceptable to everyone.
(CSUS, 2008) Therefore my place in society and my actions and behavior as connected to other people is governed by how I want to be treated as an individual and acceptable acts or behaviors that are amenable to everyone. For instance, I want people to respect my choice of religion so I respect theirs and along with this, respect towards any religion is acceptable to everyone. Along these lines are the views I go with when it comes to social relationships. I always check whether how I treat others as I want to be treated myself is acceptable to society.
For instance, I do not want other people interfering with my life or meddling with issues that I should be facing along and confronting as they are my personal battles so I do not stick my nose to other people’s business. But when people face unacceptable behavior, such as a neighbor being beaten by her husband, I find it social duty to help my neighbor because it is after all the moral and acceptable way to approach the issue. Helping means that I could help her ask assistance from the authorities or from social welfare organizations.
Another example I could think of to drive the point of the matter is the issue of garbage disposal. As I have mentioned, I would not dare try to intervene with what other people are doing or thinking because I do not want them to do that to me, but if for instance I saw someone dumping garbage in the river or some prohibited sites for garbage disposal, then I would have to interfere because I believe everyone asserts that nature should be taken care of and not polluted.
So although I respect other people’s privacy as I want them to respect mine, I try to understand when I am supposed to intervene or not and step on other people’s privacy as long as it is something accepted and agreeable to society. I also believe that goodness come with respect. Respect is a general rule or practice that people should adapt in order to exhibit morality and goodness not just to other people, but also to the environment or nature. People are equal, but somehow different from each. What may be true or valid to someone, may be false or invalid to others.
Such is the concept of relativism. (Swoyer, 2003) To get by with these differences, whether influenced by culture or personal experiences and points of view, there is a need to respect all aspects of society. Respect for other people means respecting their rights as people. I detest bias and discrimination and wars because I believe it exhibits disrespect for other people. I believe men and women should be treated equally. Differences between races or ethnic groups should be determined but not labeled as superior or inferior but rather grasped and acknowledged.