Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Spectacle of What We Live By

          Morality...there are a number of theories behind how we come to grasp what morality is, but in its most basic sense, it is knowing the line between right and wrong. Good and bad if you will.
          First of all, our first ideas on how we view morality begin once we are able to walk, talk, and understand other people's actions and behavior. More specifically, how we are raised and the lessons we are taught from our parents. When a child performs a certain task, action, or behavior that is met with applause and happiness from the mother or father, the child will begin to realize that these tasks, actions, or behavior are the "good" or "right" way to go about an individual's daily life. Likewise, when a child performs tasks, actions, or behavior that is recognized as "bad" or "wrong" it clicks in the child's mind that performing these undesirable actions will only be met with disdain and dissapointment. If there is a punishment on top of the parental scolding, that will leave and even impact on a child's future moral choices, mind set, and future behavior.
          Religion may also become an external factor on an individual's sense of morality, but that may depend on just how religious that individual might be or even how that individual's friends or family might be. For the sake of this blog, lets say that an individual was a Christian. On top of the moral support from their friends and family, the teachings and lessons of The Bible also offer a moral guide. In religion, following the teachings and lessons of God and his followers is looked upon as moral and humane behavior. As you might expect, behavior and actions going against these teachings were labeled as sinners and punished in some of the worst ways ever imagined. The Ten Commandments themselves are a very straightforward moral guide.
          My last thoughts on morality stem from what popular medias such as television, books, movies, videogames, and what the popular media portrays as moral. For example, in any typical movie or television series you have your protagonist and antagonist. The protagonist is portrayed as doing the right thing, fighting for a noble cause, sacrificing for the greater good, etc. The protagonist's behavior will leave an impression on the audience's viewers with a portayal of moral heroism. Many role playing video games offer players choices throughout the game which offer different results and reward depending on which moral path they choose to pursue. The popular video game Mass Effect allows players to create their own character and complete a number of quests. The catch is depending on how the player's character interacts with the rest of the game's characters is kept in check by the game's morality system. Solving problems through diplomacy and peaceful negotiations will yield the player paragon points while if the player's character is cruel, ruthless, and violent, they will yield renegade points. Turning on the news is the easiest way to view a society's general moral standpoint and how it portrays the concept of right and wrong to the rest of the country.
          All of these influences shape our very minds on how to view our own actions as well as other people's actions and will continue to do so for future generations.


  1. Chris you've done it again. I like how you used two very different examples to show us examples of morality in society. The only bad this is that you had a one sentence conclusion paragraph. I don't even think I had one in my blog post though, so don't get really depressed.

    You've done good kid, you've done good.

  2. Hey Chris, it's me again. I really liked this blog post. It was extremely informative and even included a wonderful reference to Mass Effect.

  3. I like how your thoughts varied from childhood, to religion, and then into media. It made me think a lot about were our morals come from and how they develop. My question to you is how do you think our morals are developed?

  4. I like how you talked about several different parts of our lives and growing up that help to form our moral, however I think you overlooked the effect society has on us. The Times magazine article that Ms Kennett had on her blog had some interesting points about this if you have not read it yet I highly recommend it.

  5. I love how you talked about gaining a sense of morals from such a young age, because that really is the roots of everything. The way we are raised ultimately determines who we become later in life. However we are always being shaped by our societies, where different forms of media play huge roles in swaying these morals we've been establishing throughout our lives. Although I do wish you touched more on how media influences our morality and not just how it portrays it.

  6. I like that you connected the psychology behind parenting with morality. I am a firm believer in fact that children do the things they do because that is the way they were raised at home. I also love the example of religion. It's a major source of what a person considers moral or immoral and was a great perspective to add to your response. Awesome job Chris, this is my favorite one so far!