The degree of conformity of an idea, practice, etc., to moral principles. Right moral conduct.I realize one of the most obvious questions that should strike us is the question of whose ideas or whose moral principles?
The point that jumps off the page to me is the simple fact that this whole confusing issues of morality and ethics is simply a byproduct of humanity being gregarious. We are an extremely social animal. In fact, I might even debate whether we could live (I deliberately chose the word live and not survive) in total and prolonged isolation. My point being, from a certain point of view, we are not really individuals.
Ethics, Morality, right and wrong; these things are of absolutely no value to a creature who does not depend on anything other than itself. Unfortunately for the human race, this does not apply.
So, morality is what? Is it the glue that binds us into this necessary social conglomerate? Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that it is the conglomerate itself? Either way, it provides the necessities of life.
Now, and only now, do we come to that first thought to be most obvious question; Whose ideas and whose moral principles?
A “Belief-System” is a bit more broader. It would include Agnosticism and Atheism, to name a few. A Belief-System does not necessitate moral belief in deity, but yet an adherent to a given Belief-System is still vulnerable to the disease of religiosity; and that is the defining difference (or possibly similarity) between the two. Religions would fall under the umbrella of Belief-Systems.
When the question is asked, ”Whose ideas and whose moral principles?” the answer is a Belief-System's
The Belief-System that is the “M” in morality, that governs society's morality itself, ultimately controls the very nature of that society's life. No, I don't mean the society's way of life. I mean life itself. The ability to live. (And again, I deliberately chose the word live and not survive).
Every religion, every Belief-System that I can think of has taken it upon themselves that this – that becoming the “M” in morality – is their very purpose, their goal. Whether it is in reaction to another's religion or belief-system or morality or through a direct statement of belief.
I think a few important questions we need to ask ourselves is whether we can clearly identify what and which Belief-System we belong to. Another is to question our Belief-System itself. Is it focused on being our society's, our culture's, our sub-culture's engineer? ...or the more humbling roll of its maintainer?
More importantly, can it be questioned?
Where do you belong?