Finding Direction: Ethics- Definitions, Characteristics, and Principles 2.1.0A
After examining these causes and effects of moral Growth and Decay, consider how you have seen particular characteristics play out in the world, in behaviors and relationships. Once we do this, choices and actions of all types can become more clear and understandable. We can consider them more thoughtfully and choose more wisely.
Causes and Effects of Moral Growth vs. Causes and Effects of Moral Decay
love of others vs. love of self or personal select-group only * * * * * mental and moral independence vs. mental and moral dependence * * * * * awareness of reality vs. unrealistic fanaticism, group narcissism * * * * * integrated, united personality vs. extreme dependence on leaders, cult of personality * * * * * warm, affectionate human contacts vs. despair, cynicism, loss of trust * * * * * inner harmony and strength vs. inner dissonance, crippling, emptiness * * * * * courage vs. fright, threat * * * * * dignified life for all people vs. others seen as inferior or nonhuman * * * * * experience of self as individual, separate but open vs. experience of self as dependent, narcissistic, closed
These are just a few causes and effects of moral Growth vs. Decay. Of course, our attitudes and actions can fall into hundreds of gradations. Few choices fall at the tail edges of total Growth or total Decay. Most of our attitudes and actions waver around the center of the bell curve. But they are contagious – we affect not only ourselves, but also those around us, for better or worse. Look around. What attitudes and behaviors are you spreading?
Without Words We Cannot Think
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Letter to the Philippians 4:8 (ca 62 AD), Apostle Paul