Subjective or Objective Morality on Campus

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Moral absolutism Pages: 14 (3140 words) Published: May 6, 2014
Subjective or Objective Morality on Campus


The question of morality is objective or subjective has been arguing for centuries. People who hold different perspectives stand on different sides. In this paper, I will exam this issue with my own finding in a University in China. I found lots of college students show lots misbehavior and poor in-class performance on campus in the University I teach. Students show misbehavior such as put trash in the wrong place, smoke in public area, drink alcohol in dorm, physical fighting, and etc. Student show poor in-class activity such as lose attention to their instructor, playing phone during class time, in-class chatting, sleeping, reading (non-course related), absent, plagiarism, and etc. As a college student, they should understand what is good for them, what should do, and what should not. If morality has only one side, which side (objective or subjective) they stand the most? That becomes my research questions. Literature review

Morality is either grounded in human well-being or grounded in custom/conventions, has varied wildly through history and around the world. By definition, morality is “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.”(Oxford Dictionaries, 2013). How to distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior, and what is the guideline or standard have been argued centuries. In other words, subjective morality-objective morality battle never stop, and scholars pick their side to stand. There's no debate that morals are different to different people. The battle of objectivism-subjectivism of morality has been lit up centuries (Staris, 2001). The whole fighting issue of morality stems from the source of what is “True”. If truth is subjective, then morality is subjective. Truth is objective then there are moral absolutes. Subjectivist’s notion that subjective morality is about all morality is situational, and each moral decision is independent because each moral situation is unique to its own conditions (Chignell, 2013). In other words, there is no true right and wrong, all decision is relative. In fact, moral subjectivism is the most obnoxious belief systems in the world. Under this view point, we can not say murder is immoral, but we can say murder is immoral under this situation. One more example, if person a think X is right, but person B think X is wrong, then who is right? Is X the right thing or wrong thing? The same logic, X is neutral. If killing is wrong, how about defend our country? The subjective moralist would not overtly judge another’s morals because any attempt to imply absolute right and wrong judgment is simply to forcing one's ideas on another. Another subjective morality conflict comes from religion that when people have different moral beliefs. For example, when Muslim can have multiple wives according to their religion, the Christian only can marry once and have one wife. The Christian can apply Muslim’s law because Bible prohibits multiple marriages. If Christian is true, then the earth has no more than 10,000 years old according to the Bible literatures. If the scientist is true, then earth has 4.5 billion years old. Which one is true become the argument here? Is the Bible or the scientist? The age of the earth becomes a subjective issue. Objectivist believes that objective morality formed by universality and some moral codes are so fundamentally important that everyone should follow. In other words, that there is an absolute right and wrong that applies to morality. Immanuel Kant stated “in order to be considered an objective moral law, a moral ideal must be universal and must never treat humanity as a means to an end, and that the world should accept the ideal as a universal law.” (Johnson, 2012). Theist, such as Christian, has clear moral code, and it based on God’s will. For instance, according to Bible, “Be holy, because I am holy,”...
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