What is “morality” in the modern sense?

In modern society, talking seriously about morality is, to put it mildly, bad manners. Modern culture and the media in various ways try to create an ironic and disdainful attitude towards moral disciplines - they say that this is a rudiment of the past, unmodern and, in general, the lot of religious fanatics. When someone starts a conversation about morality, people most often react as they have been taught: either they perceive it with caustic irony, or they persistently try to find out which “sect” the one who raises the topic of morality has fallen into. However, even those who consider themselves moral people and adhere to some rules can exhibit very peculiar forms of supposedly moral behavior.

The thing is that morality is a very, very flexible concept. Take, for example, various religious movements, in which today they talk a lot about issues of morality. For example, in some religions, only causing harm to people is considered immoral, and, say, eating animals and cruelly treating them in a number of religions is not only not condemned, but is even sometimes cultivated and extolled as behavior worthy and pleasing to God. Generally accepted religious rituals are sometimes even associated with cruelty to animals. At the same time, adherents of such religions are in the complete illusion that they are highly moral people. And if we go even further, let us remember the times of the “Holy” Inquisition and the Crusades, when a very, to put it mildly, specific moral paradigm was imposed on people and not only the killing of animals, but even the killing of people was not considered immoral. Moreover, it was considered a “godly” deed. Therefore, a particular group of people may have their own concept of morality and vary depending on religion, country, culture, traditions, and so on.

What is morality?

Morality is a set of internal values ​​and principles that guide us when performing actions and comprehending them in the future. It determines how a person perceives humanistic values ​​and how much he strives to adhere to them. Unlike morality, which is a form of social knowledge, morality is of a purely individual nature. However, it cannot be denied that it is formed under the influence of external circumstances.

At the same time, morality cannot be considered in isolation from morality. At the same time, it is important to distinguish between these concepts, since they are very close, and the difference between them has always been a subject of debate for philosophers. In colloquial speech, these words are often used as synonyms, but from a philosophical point of view, morality differs from morality in that it is aimed at assessing one’s internal qualities, internal reaction to thoughts and actions.

Morality is determined by social norms, it is relative, depending on the environment and situation. Morality is an individual personality trait; for a particular person it is absolute and does not depend on circumstances. It can be considered as the internal side of morality, which we form only for ourselves and by which we evaluate our own actions.

The origin of the word helps us better understand what morality is. It is derived from the Russian word “nrav”. The etymology of the term emphasizes that it is something that comes from within - from the character of a person. However, in colloquial speech morality is often identified with morality, which implies adherence to generally accepted norms of behavior.

Good purpose

Under different conditions, the same action can be both praiseworthy and immoral. So you need to be flexible and be able to grasp the demands of the world around you, while at the same time not losing your own head on your shoulders. A moral act denies self-interest and profit, although there is nothing wrong with achieving one's desires in a righteous way.

The most important thing is that you do not harm others. Only the result that will not cause harm to other people should be achieved. There is a fine line between improvement, reaching new heights and selfish behavior, excessive individualism. You need to feel it and try not to cross it.

The main components of morality

The concept of morality usually includes the basic positive qualities of a person: kindness, honesty, decency, responsibility, compassion, generosity, hard work, reliability, etc. For each person, the set of components may be different. For example, a Christian places above all else the 10 commandments dictated by his faith. Representatives of other religions adhere to their own moral principles.

For many people, the most desirable components of morality are determined by their main occupation. For example, a firefighter must be brave and selfless, a law enforcement officer must be honest and principled, and a judge must be decent and fair.

Moreover, morality is very subjective. Many things that are acceptable to some people seem completely immoral and immoral to others. For example, supporters of hedonism believe that every person should get the maximum pleasure from life. This contradicts the principles of religious people, and they will certainly reproach the hedonist for immorality.

People with conservative views have an extremely negative attitude towards civil marriage and other manifestations of freedom in personal relationships. At the same time, they confuse the concepts of morality and ethics, calling the liberated behavior of modern youth immoral only because it is unacceptable from their personal point of view.

Cultivating a sense of beauty

With the words “spiritual development,” along with religion, art also evokes a clear association. The formation process can be divided into 4 stages:

  • impression;
  • sensory-emotional experience;
  • knowledge;
  • grade.

These same criteria constitute the main content of the feeling of beauty.

Experiences can be gained through reading fiction, watching films, listening to concerts, visiting exhibitions and museums. Art consists not only of beauty, but of other categories of aesthetics - ugliness, sublimity, baseness, tragedy and comedy. A comprehensive perception of all categories of aesthetics allows us to form a sense of beauty.

After viewing, it is important to comment on what you saw, not only from the position of “like or dislike,” but also to justify why, what feelings this or that object evokes. These actions will allow you to accumulate sensory-emotional experience and sensitively perceive reality.

Over time, a person develops favorite works of art, movements and authors. Studying them will allow you to reasonably evaluate what you see. This stage is called knowledge accumulation.

The next stage of development is analysis. The ability to analyze can be developed with the help of reviews from professional critics in magazines, television and radio programs. In this case, you need to compare different points of view, agree or refute them. Over time, you will develop your own point of view.

Discussing with friends is also helpful.

How is morality demonstrated?

A person who is guided by morality in his actions is usually said to act according to his conscience. That is, one of the key manifestations of morality is to treat others responsibly and fairly, without infringing on them in any way for the sake of one’s own self-interest.

Many try to act according to their conscience for religious reasons, hoping that in this way they will save their soul. This approach can hardly be called unselfish, but unselfishness is one of the main manifestations of morality. However, it is religion that for many people is the main incentive to form the right views and ideals.

From the point of view of evolution, morality is one of the most important mechanisms that ensure the survival and development of the human race. This is a property of an individual that plays a huge role for the whole society. It is morality that motivates people to support each other, and if it were not there, humanity would eradicate itself. Any intentional crimes are committed by immoral people. At the same time, to others they may well look like highly moral individuals.

Taking into account the above, the well-being of each individual society and humanity as a whole depends on the level of morality of people. Morality cannot solve this problem, since it implies external assessment. A person guided by morality always acts in such a way that others will appreciate his action. The one who is guided by morality does not need the assessments of others, but evaluates his own actions.

Where do the roots come from?

There are a number of factors on which the analysis of individual behavior is based. First you need to figure out what exactly pushes a person to take this or that action. A moral act is performed only for good purposes, which can be described as noble. Although, of course, it also happens that by the will of fate, having a rather favorable plan, you can cause harm. Here the consequences that the event led to are already assessed.

They are the basis for making the final verdict and assessment when the signs of a moral act are analyzed. The main criterion is how significant and useful the step is for society as a whole. It is also important to consider the circumstances in which the events took place.

The history of the emergence of morality

It is believed that the first manifestations of morality appeared among primitive people. To live in society, they had to confront their own animal instincts. At the same time, morality was also formed, since the first people needed to behave in such a way as to achieve approval and gain a certain status in their tribe. But if moral standards were developed jointly, and their observance was monitored, then morality was the personal guideline of each individual person.

In the modern world, moral standards also remain a personal matter for each person. The state monitors compliance with the law and punishes criminals; society condemns people who deviate from moral standards. But you need to monitor morality yourself. The only external institution that supports moral behavior is the church. But as we found out above, the desire to be “pure” from the point of view of one’s faith is not always quite selfless.

However, many people sincerely strive to adhere to the rules dictated by their religion. So in Christianity there are 10 commandments that prescribe moral behavior for a person. Like many other religions, Christianity has the so-called “Golden Rule of Morality.” The most common formulation is: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This principle is found in philosophical works and in many literary works.

Legal education

Related to political education is legal education, which is understood as the purposeful activity of government agencies and society, influencing the legal consciousness, culture and behavior of people to follow the law and its norms.

Thanks to legal education, citizens develop confidence and independence in the legal sphere. This stimulates the legal activity of individual citizens, which involves conscious, proactive, social, moral and responsible behavior.

Legal education includes the following elements:

  • legal experience of the society;
  • pedagogical and psychological methods of influencing citizens (personal example, persuasion, encouragement, punishment, coercion);
  • forms of education - the external and behavioral aspects of the relationship between the state and the population.

Legal education is carried out with the participation of schools, universities, the media, legal education and self-education.

The meaning of morality

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of morality, since it is a fundamental personality trait, which is the foundation for the formation of a strong and strong character. Its presence is a sign of a person with a healthy psyche and a high level of cognitive abilities, who is able to take a worthy place in society and live in harmony with others. A moral person, as a rule, is happier in his personal life and makes those close to him happy.

Morality helps a person find a reasonable balance between sacrifice and selfishness. Moral-oriented individuals, in contrast to ego-oriented ones, have a higher level of civic consciousness. This guarantees them the opportunity to take a worthy place in society, since it ensures comfortable coexistence with other people.

Political education

Political education is a purposeful and systematic influence on the consciousness of an individual with one goal - to form certain political qualities.

Its main tasks are:

  • rooting in the consciousness and behavior of values, norms, orientations and models accepted in a given society;
  • the spread of a certain type of political culture.

The content of political education includes:

  • The rational component is the transfer of basic political information, the formation of a system of knowledge about the political system. The rational component is implemented through school and university education and the government-controlled media.
  • The emotional component is the formation of a certain attitude towards political objects and phenomena. It is closely related to a person's strong preference for politics. The emotional component is realized through such means as ceremonial parades, demonstrations, processions, celebrations, presentation of passports, party cards and awards.

How to develop morality?

Research shows that morality is formed in childhood. Its foundation is laid by the age of 7, and by 16 it is fully developed. This does not mean that an adult cannot influence his own moral development. He may well improve, instill in himself new principles and strictly adhere to them. However, for him they will be more moral than ethical.

Morality needs to be developed at an early age, so children need to be provided with the appropriate conditions for this. It is obvious that every responsible parent tries to instill in their child certain traits of moral behavior: honesty, responsibility, sincerity, decency and other generally recognized human values.

Despite efforts, not everyone succeeds, since parents themselves often misunderstand what morality is and try to impose their views on their children using incorrect or even unacceptable methods. Let's consider several correct approaches that will help develop morality in a child.

Personal example

In the practice of psychologists, a situation often occurs when a person has some inexplicable habit, about which he cannot say exactly where it came from. This could be an unusual way to prepare a certain dish or a strange sequence of actions in completely familiar activities. Subsequently, it often turns out that this habit was passed on to a person from his parents, but he himself did not even know about it.

Children adopt many aspects of their behavior from adults. And if you want to instill morality in your child, try to always behave appropriately in his presence. This is an effective pedagogical technique that provides a more reliable result than any persuasion or punishment.

Friendly conversation

Children react negatively to any moral teaching. They may agree, but only in order to quickly end the unpleasant conversation, because for a child any moral pressure is unbearable. At the same time, children perceive and remember very well the information they receive during an interesting, friendly conversation. Replace instructions and reproaches with advice, and the child will listen to you much more attentively.

Discussion with a joint search for truth

An excellent way of learning that ensures lasting retention of information is to independently search for the answer or find it in the process of discussion. Therefore, if you want to instill in your child some moral trait, try to make sure that he himself understands its importance. You can give an example from life and whet his interest with leading questions.

Educational games

Children's love of games is a powerful development mechanism provided by nature. So why not use it for its intended purpose? It is through games that children usually learn to interact with other people. And it is in games that it is best to instill in them such important aspects of morality as honesty, responsibility and justice. By looking at the reactions of other players, the child learns to think about those around him, overcoming his innate egocentric perception.


Not only children's fairy tales, but also quite adult literary works show the bad and good deeds of the characters, inviting the reader to draw the necessary conclusions for himself. Therefore, reading books helps children understand which actions are moral and which are not.

Developing morality in a child is not so difficult; the main thing is to pay attention to the little things that we have considered. It is also important to always let your child speak out, so that he realizes the value of his opinion for others and values ​​it more himself. In the future, he will attach more importance to his own thoughts, which is important for the development of morality.


Only a morally developed person can carry out moral actions. Examples of these can often be found in literary works or films, which carry a certain charge of wisdom to the reader and viewer. In any novel or story there are heroes whose behavior can be rewarded for courage, dedication, and ethics. This is how we learn about the sublime purpose of the individual.

All this happens against the backdrop of a certain era, its way of life and ideas about correct and sinful behavior. In order to make the reader think, the authors create situations in which the characters on the pages of the books commit moral actions. Examples of them abound in the novel War and Peace, written by Tolstoy.

We can talk about a whole chain of difficult moral problems that are resolved in the course of the story. Even looking at the life of one of the main characters, A. Bolkonsky, one can notice moments of perfect peace, which are replaced by military difficulties. He selflessly sacrifices his own life for the sake of his native land, which deserves all praise and approval.

Mental education

Mental education is the formation of a knowledge system based on the fundamentals of science. The system includes the following categories:

  • logical thinking;
  • memory;
  • attention;
  • imagination;
  • capabilities;
  • development of inclination and talent;
  • desire to constantly learn new things and improve existing general educational and special knowledge, skills and abilities.

Obtaining this knowledge is achieved through:

  • systematic training at school, university and other educational institutions;
  • extracurricular, extracurricular and independent work.

The content of mental education depends on the educational program, the profile of professional training and cognitive interests, which presupposes knowledge of specific educational material, facts, terminology, symbols, names, titles, dates, concepts of various types, connections and dependencies between them, as well as methods of their use and understanding places of their application in the system of sciences.

What are the standards?

Moral standards can be represented as a scale with two poles , one of which displays encouraged behavior patterns, and the other condemned.

Moral norms can be divided into two types: about what is permissible and what is unacceptable (about good and evil).

The concepts are opposite and mutually exclusive, which means that each norm has its own antipode.

This forces a person to take a stable position, since it is impossible to maintain neutrality in conditions of polarity (unless inaction is a conscious choice of a person who is ready to be condemned by others).

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