Social Norms

What is the right, moral, just thing to do with the wallet? How do you know it’s the right thing to do? Who taught you what the right, moral and just thing to do is? (use 1-4 below) How would you articulate into one or two sentences what moral principle you used to determine what the right thing to do is with the wallet?  And finally…What would you ACTUALLY do in this case if no one else were around? Consider that most of us have a moral system that we use to guide our actions. The moral system that we use in our daily lives generally come from a mix of four separate, but interrelated sources: 1. Social rules or customs that are either agreed on by the majority or enforced by some kind of law. (ex: one society believes that having more than one child is immoral, while another sees contraception/family planning as fundamentally immoral.) 2. Some authority, usually claimed to be ‘divinely inspired’, that establishes an absolute dogma. (Ex: Catholic Church: Thou shalt not steal; Quran: Forbidden to eat swine/pork.) 3. Intuitive, emotional ‘knowledge’ of what is right and wrong — a personal moral compass. (Ex: slavery is just wrong; racism harms individuals and society; taking advantage of innocent people is just bad) 4. Rational or common sense rules and principles aimed at achieving a given objective. Because we are not infallible or omniscient, we need to systematically test our data and reasoning against other minds (we explain, debate, learn) and against reality by gathering empirical evidence to test our conclusions.

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