Morals usually shift over time, for example, pre-marital sex was once viewed as wrong, but many now find this acceptable. In some regions, cultures and religions, contraception is considered immoral, while other people consider contraception moral.
There are seven universal morals: be brave, be fair, defer to authority, help your group, love your family, return favours, and respect others' property.
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Morality is a set of standards that help people to live cooperatively in groups. Morality is not fixed. What is acceptable in one culture might not be admissible in another culture.
Sometimes, acting in a moral manner means individuals must sacrifice their short-term interests to benefit society. Individuals who don't do this may be considered immoral.
Some people believe morality is personal, while ethics refer to the standards of a community.
Both laws and morals regulate behaviour in a community. Both have firm foundations in the idea that everyone should have autonomy and have respect for others. Some argue that laws and morality are independent, while others believe they are interdependent.
Lawrence Kohlberg questioned why children differed in their ethical judgements. They think more in terms of black and white, or egocentric, or rational.
In an experiment, Kohlberg gave children open-ended questions to explain their answers. From this, he identified three stages of moral development:
Leaders understand the complexity of making decisions. Their decisions must always align with these three dimensions:
To no one's surprise, these elements come into dispute from time to time. When this occurs, there are no simple answers but by closely considering these three aspects, leaders will go on confidently that the choices they make represent the best possible compromise between their values.