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Module 1: Morality and the Law


Law ... Natural Law. Unwritten but universal. consists of rights: Self-defense (preservation) ... Conventional Law ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Module 1: Morality and the Law

Module 1 Morality and the Law
  • Definition of Morality
  • Moral Theories
  • Moral Codes
  • Moral Standards
  • Guilt and Conscience
  • Natural Law
  • Conventional Law
  • Purpose of Laws
  • Morality and the Law

Definition of Morality
  • A set of rules of right conduct
  • A system used to modify and regulate our behavior
  • It includes virtues like
  • Love for others
  • Compassion.
  • Desire for justice.

  • It builds character traits in individuals.
  • It is group-based in the sense that it is a set
    of shared rules, principles and duties applicable
    to a group/society and independent of religion.
  • It has no reference to social standing of
    individuals in the group
  • It is influenced by other factors like
  • Time
  • place

Moral Theories
  • Each group/society justifies its beliefs in the
    system (set of rules of right conduct) using
    theories- Moral Theories.
  • Moral theories seek to introduce a degree of
    rationality and rigor into moral deliberations.
  • The rationale for our decisions is based on
    moral theories
  • Good decisions must ensure
  • sound reasoning
  • Impartiality

Moral Theories
  • 5. These must be guided through
  • Use of rational intuition- based on moral
  • Use of reason to achieve the highest moral good
  • Ability to distinguish between primary and
    secondary moral principles ( general to more
  • Rational calculation of consequences of action
    based on the decision

Moral Codes
  • Rules or norms within a group or society for
    what is proper behavior for the members
  • Shared and behavioral patterns (for survival of
    the group/society)
  • There are some cultural-free and timeless moral
  • Moral codes exert control over actions of
    members of that society or group
  • Compliance/adherence to the groups moral code
    is almost involuntary

Moral Standards
  • A moral standard is a special moral norm that
    guides and enforces policy
  • Standards consists of
  • Enforcement of moral codes
  • Self-judgment (Guilt)
  • Moral standards lax when enforcement and
    self-judgment decline

Guilt and Conscience
  • Morality as the system that sets standards for
    virtuous conduct also contains judgment and
    enforcement mechanisms
  • Guilt is an internal judging and enforcement
    mechanism that consists of
  • Self-judging and punishing oneself for not living
    up to the moral standards
  • Self-forgiveness based on ones set of moral
  • Conscience is the capacity and ability to
    self-judge based on self moral standards

Guilt and Conscience
  • Conscience is motivated by ones
  • Pride
  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Love
  • Personal identification
  • Conscience initiates ones guilt feeling

  • Rules of conduct or actions recognized by
    customs or decreed by a formal body and
    enforceable by some instrument.
  • We obey two types of laws Natural and

Natural Law
  • Unwritten but universal
  • consists of rights
  • Self-defense (preservation)
  • Individual property
  • Liberty
  • It is a higher form of human law, therefore,
    independent of human preferences and applies to
    all rational creatures of nature
  • Before organized human societies, humans
    existed because of natural law.
  • Civilization is based on it.

Conventional Law
  • It is a system of rules created by and for human
    beings through, though not always, public
  • It varies from society to society
  • Its purpose is to
  • Protect human life, property and liberty.
  • prescribe a system or punishments for unlawful
    acts Penal Code

Morality and the Law
  • Laws are derived from moral codes
  • The differences are stated on pages 8 and 9.