I consider myself to be a pretty moral person. I don’t think about condemning anyone because of their beliefs and I don’t think I have the right to determine another person’s lifestyle. I think I am right in what I believe, but understand that others may have equal conviction of their own certainty.
Where do these morals come from, and have I been shaped by nature or nurture? What about those who don’t have the same beliefs as me?
The majority of my morals have come from my upbringing, my family are pretty liberal and I’ve had little exposure to more “conservative” mindsets. I’ve never been taught that someone else is inferior to me, and nor has any ideology been forced upon me. Papa G is a Labour man, yet I’ve never been forced out on Trade Union marches or made to sing “The Red Flag” every morning.
The area I grew up in also has a large mix of different cultures, Coventry being a hub of the manufacturing industry would see an influx of migrants from all across the globe. In my class at school I would have a mix of different religions and faiths and we would always visit a mosque or temple on a school trip. I never came to consider any other belief system to be more valid than another but they all seemed to have the same moral code at heart.
The golden rule
Be kind to each other, and more so to those less fortunate.
My old housemate was from the middle-class area of Kent, and when he came to live in Coventry he was surprised at the amount of social cohesion even with all the different cultures. I had to explain to him that I knew no different so it didn’t seem strange to me.
Perhaps I’ve been lucky to have this life where I haven’t had a belief system enforced on me, maybe if I had been born in a more ideological family then I would have problems with those who are not like me; a white, straight, male.
I also feel that my lack of religious conviction helps me, I have decided what is right and wrong based upon my judgement of what should and shouldn’t be tolerated. I don’t have these morals dictated to me by stone tablets or scripture and abide by them for fear of heavenly reprisal. This means I have no belief-based reason to be against sexual orientations or anything else that is prohibited by religious demand.
If it makes someone happy and doesn’t hurt anyone else then what is the problem. My morals are very similar to the declarations of America’s founders, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
This is why I am happy for someone to have a different moral code from me, why should I judge mine more valid? Mrs G has faith in the creation of the universe by God, I believe in the Big Bang. In our own minds we are both correct and the other wrong, but can understand why we take the standpoint we do.
Perhaps this is the moral I am most proud I have been given from life, give others the respect you want for yourself.
Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.