Are there absolute moral values?
Do we follow a code where certain moral values are common in all societies? Where these moral values come from, and how these values are generated? Can one create a moral value that will be excepted by everyone?
The above are some questions which I often think about. I don’t believe that I have found a definitive answer to these questions, but some thoughts have been generated in my mind, which I would like to share with you.
When there is a discussion about absolute moral values, people often talk about the moral values written in the holy books. I am not a person who can be considered a hard believer, but I have a religion, and I believe in holy books. I do not claim that I have very high moral values, and I am not a saint. However, I give you some examples which can describe how I think.
Let’s start with some come on the ground. To kill another person is forbidden according to many religious beliefs and also is a crime almost in all societies. I believe everyone agrees that killing another person is morally wrong (besides being a crime).
At the same time, if a country is in war and sends its troops to fight. Army leaders, people in the country which troops are originated from, and almost everyone else expects these soldiers to fight and, of course, to succeed. This means that killing is allowed. These create a paradox in my mind. from one side, killing is an immoral action, and at the same time, it is ok to kill. The person who kills another in cold blood is called a murderer.
On the other hand, a soldier who kills the enemy on the battlefield is considered a hero. So what I can conclude is that this moral value is not absolute. The same goes for when a prisoner is executed. When a murderer is being sentenced to death, justice is served, although a person will be killed.
I don’t judge, neither do I say it is wrong or right; what I claim, on the other hand, is, even the most common moral value which the majority of people believe is wrong, turns to be right in some situation.
There are other examples. Another example I can give is about stealing.
It is a general understanding and a moral value, which considers stealing to be wrong. These moral values, or maybe it is better to say moral value against this, have been named in different religions as well.
International cooperation’s in different disciplines is daily in the business of stealing from normal people or even different nations. For instance, they take advantage of the workforce in a country which is considered to be cheap labor and produce products which later are sold in other countries for much higher values. Take an iPhone, for example. The prices which this phone is sold all around the world, i.e., its value is much much higher than the values which have been paid to produce this product. This means that those who produce the product have created a high value, but most of these value doesn’t go to the people who have produced the product; this is stealing.
In other examples, these multinational companies are buying natural resources from underdeveloped countries very low. These natural resources are then turned to products sold to the same countries for much higher prices. i.e., Much higher value has been driven out of the original product, and a partial part of the product is then sold back to the same country for a higher price than the original resource has been bought.
This is also stealing.
Crude oil is another example. Many products are driven out of crude oil, for instance, different types of plastics and petrol. Then petrol is sold back to the country, which has produced crude oil at a higher price than the original crude oil.
It is like, A person buys 100 grams of mixed candies, and then he sorts the cadies and takes licorice candy out the total, which is 10 grams, and then he sells back this 10-gram licorice candy back to the seller for a much higher price than original 100-gram did cost.
This, in my opinion, is stealing. It is morally wrong, but it is considered to be ok, i.e., stealing on a small scale is morally wrong and is a crime, but on a larger scale, it is considered to be ok.
If you steal a loaf of bread from a shop, you would be considered to be a thief, but if you steal on a large scale, i.e., billions of dollars, it is completely ok and commonly acceptable.
One can see that in the example above, one has defined a moral value in the form of a business transaction, and the moral value about not stealing doesn’t apply in this case.
Again, I am not a philosopher nor a saint but think about it. Where the moral values which you build your life around come from. Are these your or you accept them because others do?
In the end, I would like to thank you for reading this article and, God bless you. If you want to share this article, share it with someone you care about.