Moraldecision making is something every human does on a daily basis, modifying theirbehavior to obey standards of society which are based upon a shared system ofvalues.
We easily give way to thetemptation to think that it is always the same kind of thing, or that there isone kind of decision making that is serious and authentic and that all otherkinds ought to be like it. In the present time, we as human being tend to imaginethat our choices are made by something called the individual will, faced with aseries of clearly different possibilities, as if we were standing in front of asupermarket shelf with different brands of food. There may be disagreement asto what the “right” choice would be, but we know what making thechoice is about. A fewproblems may come up when we try to make a moral decision.
The definition of “moral”can mean different things to different people. For example, my religious andspiritual beliefs are the foundation for what I deem ethical. However, forsomeone else, ethics might be based on laws or their own personal understandingof what is right or wrong. For example, my family and I are not the veryreligious type, but we do follow and practice some Buddhism teachings. I wasraised in a home with a mindset of what I perceived to be right or wrong basedon my parents’ actions because one of the many things we were told as childrenwere to respect seniority and status within the family as they have lived andexperienced longer in their lifetime. Mypersonal sense of morality encompasses my values of respect and fairness forothers. When I am in a situation where I have to make a moral decision, I wouldgravitate towards these two values the most to ensure that I make a clearjudgement because I put into consideration other perspectives. I would contemplateother views on each side of the decision and how this decision could positivelyor negatively affect them.
I try to make sure that all of the decisions I make arerespectful to others in that specific situation. Overall, I can validate that thereare some actions that everyone can agree on as being right or wrong. For example,most people understand that theft or murder is wrong.
However, not everyindividual shares this similar sense of morality and these differences in theunderstanding of morals vary between person to person, so the basis of making amoral decision is dependent on oneself. When faced with a decision,each of us is aware that there is a better choice and a worse choice that wecould make. Some decisions are a better or worse choice for me alone. Forexample, deciding whether to have milk in my coffee a particular morning. Part of what makes decisions about right and wrong sodifficult for us is that we don’t all go about it in the same way.
Morals are more than just a right or wrong answer. For example, my choice never to eat tomatoes is not a moral choice;it merely has to do with the chemistry of my taste buds. Making a moraldecision requires us to make judgmentsthat we can explain, making judgments that rely not only on opinions or ourtaste buds, but on the results and rules. We need to remember that how wedecide is just as important as what we decide.