We put several practical examples to know how to recognize these social or moral norms.
The world is a very diverse place where each culture establishes what is right and what is wrong to do.
What is correct is defined both by legal norms, that when broken they imply crimes, or moral norms, which can cause social rejection of those who do not obey them.
Recommended article: “The 6 differences between ethics and morals”
What is morality?
Morality is a concept that refers to the set of socially well-regarded behaviors, which depend on the culture of each country and its religion. In contrast, ethics is the set of individual values that guide a person’s behavior.
What is moral in one country may be frowned upon in another, therefore we must be aware of the cultural diversity that exists on our planet and be careful not to behave in an offensive way abroad.
Examples of moral
The morality of each culture offers a series of rules that define what is appropriate. Morality does not necessarily mean that it is appropriate.
Here are some moral maxims and examples of morally acceptable behavior in most cultures.
1. Tell the truth
In most cultures, it is considered a fundamental maxim. Telling the truth implies being sincere and not lying, although the lie can be beneficial to us.
However, this maxim accepts certain types of lies, such as the case of seeing a persecution between a victim and his aggressor, knowing where the persecuted person is hiding and lying to the aggressor to avoid finding them.
There are also other specific situations, instilled from a young age, that imply the obligation not to tell the truth, as would be the case of saying what one really thinks of someone with respect to their physicality or other aspects.
2. Generosity and altruism
Sharing one’s own is considered morally and socially cooperative, especially if it is in order to guarantee the good of others and the prosperity of the community.
3. Do not contradict what society commands
Each culture has a series of rules that makes it work in a certain way and according to an ideology developed over hundreds of years of history.
Not following the norm, be it in behavior, thought, clothing or other aspects, can be seen as an attack on a country’s own culture and traditions.
For example, in the more fundamentalist Islamic societies, where women are obliged to wear the veil, failure to wear it would be considered immoral conduct, as well as being punishable by law.
4. Respect for life
This moral maxim is typical of cultures with Christian influence. Both the physical integrity of oneself and that of others must be respected, considering murder and suicide the maximum exponent of the violation of this premise.
However, this maxim presents a certain controversy depending on what situations, such as the cases of abortions in which, if not carried out, the life of the mother is in danger, or in euthanasia, since it can be seen as unethical to allow a person continue to suffer.
5. Treat others according to how you want to be treated
Basically it can be reduced as not doing to others what you do not want them to do to yourself. We often refer to this maxim as “the golden rule. “
In Ancient Mesopotamia this premise was very clear, both morally and legally, and basically many laws present in the Code of Hammurabi start from the idea of an eye for an eye, executing the penalties in the same way in which they had been carried out. acts of vandalism.
6. Don’t cheat
The fast and easy way may not be morally accepted. In Western society, the value of effort and perseverance is instilled, with which cheating is considered inappropriate behavior.
When playing a sport or taking an exam, you should offer your best and behave in a respectful way. Sacrifice and perseverance are morally highly regarded values.
Be firm with your own ideals and do not neglect the social group to which you belong, such as family or a group of friends. The abandonment of ideals or not fulfilling them can be interpreted as hypocrisy and turning your back on those close to you is considered treason.
However, it can be seen as correct to leave the group when it behaves immorally or carries out inappropriate behaviors.
8. Rejoice for the merits of others and not be envious
A socially cooperative behavior is to be happy about what others have achieved, regardless of whether you have contributed to its achievement.
9. Live according to God’s will
For example, in Christian societies this premise is based on the Ten Commandments of God’s law, which indicates the way in which believers should live in order not to offend God and thank them for their own existence.
Japanese morals: several examples
Japanese culture is a very complex religious and moral society. Unlike in the West, in Japan actions are not perceived as good or bad, but alone, but they must be done respecting a series of duties and obligations.
It’s funny how some behaviors that in our culture we would see as inappropriate, such as infidelity or substance abuse, in Japan are not seen as something negative and are even defended and perceived as something natural.
The Japanese code of conduct is based on three concepts, which are like gears that work together to define good behavior in the land of the rising sun.
The Japanese consider that at birth they incur a series of debts to their parents, such as receiving a name and having been brought into the world. This idea is somewhat similar to the one held in the West regarding original Sin, however without the negative connotation.
It arises from the interaction with other people, when favors or other altruistic behaviors are performed or received. The idea of being in debt acquires a point that borders on exaggeration in Japan, coming to be perceived as something that will never be completely satisfied and relationships are deeply influenced by it.
This idea is what is behind the fact that the Japanese thank each other several times.
It is a duty of a patriotic nature, which refers to the respect that must be felt for Japan, its law and the emperor.
Today these three ideas are strongly present, but in feudal Japan they played a much more striking role. For example, if a samurai was insulted in public, his giri was soiled and he had the obligation to clean it, exercising his revenge on the one who had given him the offense, usually in a duel.
However, if this situation occurred in the imperial palace, the chu had to be taken into account, since attacking another person there would mean offending the emperor. That is why the solution to this situation would be the death of the offended person, committing harakiri or honorable suicide.
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Rachels, James (2007). Introduction to moral philosophy.