Freshman (College 1st year) ・Philosophy ・MLA ・4 Sources

The debate over the origins of morality appears to be more perplexing than one might expect. Even as the debate rages on, one thing remains certain: it can be innate or acquired. The behavior that is inhibited is determined by natural or artificial factors. The desire to live a good moral life is viewed as a personal initiative that can be learned, inherited, or instilled by divine servants. Both Locke and Hobbes provide perspectives on the origins of moral behavior. Moral behavior, according to Locke, is something that is learned through education, acquired through customs, or acquired through personal companies (Oakeshott). Any act that is considered wrong or right thus according to Locke has nothing to do with innate traits and hence none is born with the ability to act morally right. Hobbes on his part sets out those traits that determine the morally right or wrong behaviors (Schneewind 195). Under the ‘law of nature’, Hobbes argues that one should be rational in the sense that whatever one does to another fellow should considerate. Indeed morally right or wrong behaviors are not innate and thus can be acquired through the environment through many ways.
Moral development begins when a person is born. The impact of education in one’s life serves to instill the ability to act in a good way. It is worth to note that Locke did not err when he found out that education serves as one central point where crude behavior such as immoral acts can be trimmed. Education offers a platform to learn what is right and wrong and go ahead to caution individuals from committing such wrong deeds. The curriculum within the institutions right from the early childhood to the higher education learning offers the opportunity to interact with behavior change courses. Religious courses or subjects within the education curriculum is such an example of courses that teaches one on how to behave in line with the God’s expectation and the society’s expectation which is found within the divine teachings. Social interaction courses also help to develop moral behavior since it helps to build up necessary skills in understanding human behavior (Schneewind 199). Education offers an opportunity to learners to interact with each other. Out f the interaction people are able to understand the diverse culture and learn to behavior in a modest way and avoid cultural practices that promote bad behaviors. Within the school environment pupil, students are taught not to kill as it is considered wrong within the society. The same education environment trains individuals to be able to apply their skills and reasonable thinking to assist through saving lives of women during ectopic pregnancy thus aiding abortion. Anybody thus who has been able to attend the minimum required education thus should be able to use common sense learned through interaction to behave ethically.
Learning is another aspect of gaining conscious of what is right or wrong. The learning need not to take place from the classroom but can also be conducted from social set up such as at home. Every child learns how to distinguish what is right or wrong from the teachings offered at home. In this case one tries to exploit all the available options and gets corrected where necessary especially where the action is undesirable. As a child grows, the society, as presented by the community where one lives, he or she gets to understand the dos and the don’ts. This type of learning that occurs at home across the population also set up an environment to help develop morals. This also is another proof that moral behavior is not innate but rather learnable from different societal set up. Once again Locke was right when he reiterated in his piece of work that it is impossible for one to out rightly be born with the ability to distinguish what is right or wrong.
Moral development can also be experienced on the basis of interaction with circumstances. One may not have known that an act is wrong until such individual interacts with the act. Learning through experience or observation thus becomes one of the fundamental situations where moral behavior can be developed. Thus, this is yet another proof that one cannot be bone with the ability to distinguish between what is right or wrong. If one had the ability to distinguish the same then, this would be evidenced even under the baby development.
Religious teachings also act as a source of learning environment where moral behaviors can be taught and effectively natured. Within the religious setup such as church, mosque, everybody whether young or old is guided by their religious leaders to respect each other and avoid immoral behaviors. In particular people are taught not to kill, and at the same time advised to love their neighbors they love themselves (Norton 3). This is also proving that morals need to be learned and hence the issue of such being inborn trait is an argument with no base. Even though religious teachings may not attached evidential punishment to those who fail to obey the commandments, it is indeed one of those key critical areas where more is developed.
The level of learning and commitment to moral development however differs depending on the circumstance and situation. There are issues within the society for instance that tries to test the level of morality acquired. Whereas religion is believed to be the strongest source of moral development, its ability to offer inflexible point of view on morality tend to challenge other aspect of moral stand such as in issues like abortion. Abortion continues to elicit diverse responses both from the prochoice and prolife. Both the sides base their arguments on the morality of the act. The prochoice believe that there is nothing wrong in committing abortion as may be necessitated by circumstances. To the prochoice, the life of the unborn is wholly determined by the mother’s decisions. It is thus up to the discretion of the mother to decide under the prevailing circumstances to carry the fetus till the maturity or to abort. The prolife on the other hand believe that no matter the circumstance, it is only God who has the right to life and thus none should make any attempt to take it. The prolife argue that the pain the baby experience during abortion is inhuman thus it can only be fare if the unborn lives to maturity. I join the prolife in push for saving a life and thus believe that it is wrong to take the life of unborn.
Despite the stand that abortion is a crime, there is no doubt that those who opt to do it have reasons worth the call and they are justified in their quest. For instance, Judith Jarvis Thomson in the article, “A Defense of Abortion” outlines a number of analogies to justify the need for abortion. Of important is the analogy of “the expanding child”- fetus and the ‘house’- the mother, wherein Thomson noted that the ‘expanding child’ is allowed to do so but under no circumstance should such actions threaten the wellbeing of the mother. This article postulates that the mother of the unborn child has the right to react to the action of the fetus by aborting as a way to save the mum from the danger the pregnancy may pause. Thomson however notes that the decision should not be influenced by the third party but rather the mother’s choice. In this connection, the decision to abort therefore must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the mother’s life was indeed in danger and that aborting the fetus was the only viable solution to the ethical dilemma (Thomson 2). Ectopic pregnancy is such an example where the mother’s life could be endangered and hence provide for an abortion as a way of relieving the mother from the foreseen danger. The scenario therefore highlights one of the justifiable cases where the life of the fetus may be short-lived to save the life of the mother.
On the morality perspective, and with specific focus to deontologists’ view, the act of abortion should be performed as long as it is within the law. A number of nations have legalized abortion in their country and this makes it even stronger to practice. It therefore implies that one is legally allowed to perform the same (Schneewind 196). The underlining principle here is that an act should not be judged on the basis of the outcome but on the motive of the doer. There are many reasons that may make one to perform the act as long as the action does not interfere with the freedom or peace of another. The moral behavior is determined by the duty of care which the law of any nation across the globe should intend to create. Any action performed within the law thus should not be qualified as good just like abortion has been legalized and thus there ought not to be any justification to perform it. 

Work Cited

Norton, David Hume, Human Nature and the Foundations of Morality. The Cambridge Companion to Hume. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Oakeshott, Michael Chapter: 1: Introduction to Leviathan. Hobbes on Civil Association, foreword by Paul Franco. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000.
Schneewind, J B. Locke's Moral Philosophy n.d.
Thomson, Judith Jarvis, A Defense of Abortion.Philosophy & Public Affairs 1.1 (1971).

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