Moral Behavior and Judgement Essay Example
Moral Behavior and Judgement Essay Example

Moral Behavior and Judgement Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1450 words)
  • Published: January 20, 2022
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Moral judgment as a process of determining what is wrong or right, unethical or ethical, good or bad is a common aspect of human life (Kurtines & Lamb 2014). It is an issue that has been so far a topic of contention and debate on how it ought to be carried out and by whom. On the same note, in determining moral behaviors by ethicists, there are various questions surrounding the whole process. One of them is whether the motives of the agent should be questioned. In addition, does the moral behavior or character of the agent affect moral judgment? This study paper analyzes and establishes these underlying questions and factors affecting moral judgment and how it ought to be carried out from the perspective of an ethicist. A sound and unbiased moral judgment has to be founded on ethics and a deviation is detrimental to j



Moral judgments about human behaviors should not be subject to the motive of the ethicist. According to the consequentialist theories of morality, human behavior is either morally right or wrong based on its consequences. Even though an agent may be questionable in terms of behavior or character, this would not affect the judgment of whether human actions or behavior are morally right or wrong. Furthermore, it is such consequences that determine the ethicality of an action and not the character of the agent. Another aspect of moral judgment that cannot be overlooked is cultural differences in moral judgment and behavior. The socialization process and the cultural environment that one is brought up determine their view of morality and ethics (Kurtines & Lamb 2014). Such cultural factors may include religion,

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social ecology and norms which vary substantially among various societies and communities. In order to make valuable moral judgment in such a case, there is need to incorporate the cultural beliefs of the given community, find out what they believe to be immoral and what they deem moral then make a final decision based on their set of rules.

In every socialization process, an individual from a tender age understands morality based on the view of the society in which he or she grew. Due to dynamism and variations in different communities, this ultimately affects individuals’ determination of what is right or wrong. This implies what may be generally accepted as moral in a community may be immoral in a different community therefore making judgment in the respective communities will not be same but will be in line to what the community’s moral standards hold. However, an individual who is not morally upright will remain so regardless of the society in which such an individual lives. From deontological theories, there are certain actions that are explicitly wrong regardless of their consequences. It is from norms, which is mostly from common reasoning that deems- an action right or wrong regardless of its consequences (Bazerman & Gino 2012). Thus, it is the obligation of the agent to act by the laid down norms. A good example is where a parent must take care of the children irrespective of the financial benefits that may result from foregoing it. It is thus according to the norms that a parent takes care of the children rather than the consequence which in this case is financial implication. Based on this, it is

the way that one is brought up that ultimately affects whether he or she will be morally upright in the long run.

It is important that one avoids actions that are not morally right. In doing so, an upright person will think of his or her actions on others before indulging in performing them. In this case, they will try as much as possible to avoid actions which are likely to have negative implications on other parties. However, this has been subject to debate whereby ethicists are faced with a difficulty of whether something is right or wrong if it is meant for the good of a larger group of people. This is based on the utilitarianism theory which dictates that if an action maximizes the good and minimizes the bad, then it is morally right. This is based on the theory's assumption of considering the overall good rather than the amount of bad things caused by such an action (DeScioli & Kurzban, 2013). In measuring morality, utility is the good less the bad, and if what is considered good outweighs the bad, then such an action is moral or ethical through consideration of equal interests. In considering the above scenario, it amplifies the issue of the motives of an agent in the determination of morality by ethicists. This is particularly so because an action or the way of doing it may be wrong, but its consequence is meant for the overall good. This according to the utilitarianism ethical theory automatically deems the particular action as appropriate. In addition, in determining what is right or wrong, ethicists are faced with a challenge of whether an action

or behavior is morally wrong if the good exceeds the bad caused by such an action or behavior.

In the process of moral judgment, the ethicist doing so must put into consideration the fact that different agents have different motives. Irrespective of the circumstances in which different agents grew up, the motives of their actions may be the same especially when deciding on universal issues which are not tied to a given community. An example is deciding on what to do to a murderer. For that case, the agents will make a decision towards punishing the criminal regardless of their origins. On the other hand, it has become difficult settling on a moral judgment. . Moreover, there are such circumstances whereby an intended good thing results in bad consequences. Based on this, it is still difficult for an ethicist to determine whether an action is morally wrong just because the consequences were bad but the intentions or the act itself was good. There are some actions which cannot be judged based on the consequences because the resulting consequences may be accidental. This leads to the issue of rationality whereby the ethicist must make a logical and rational judgment. An example is whereby a company driver in trying to avoid a risky road opts for a shortcut and eventually leads to a delay in delivering the products to the clients. In this case, he will not be judged based on the delay but he will be credited for saving the company’s products from being stolen.
Moral behavior should be based on human behavior and actions. . In its explanation, lying is morally wrong in most societies. But is

lying always wrong? For example, taking a situation where a thief whom you know to ask you for information about a particular store he is planning to rob at night. Is it wrong to give false information about the store to prevent such a robbery from happening? In making a moral judgment, this cannot be classified as immoral since it does not negate the goodwill of the person who gave the information in order to prevent robbery at the store (Amit & Green 2012). It is apparent that in such a case what matters most is the intent of the action and not what the society thinks concerning it. This in some cases may bring up controversy therefore there is need to have parties that can review the whole issue without being restricted to common standards. This is based on the logic and rationality of the ethicist.

In conclusion, from the above analysis, it is evident that ethicists are faced with various challenges in their moral judgment process. However, it is important to consider all aspects of the behavior or action under judgment. This ranges from the socialization process, motives and consequences of such behaviors and actions. After putting these issues into consideration, the ethicist must be logical and rational in his or her judgment by considering all the above actions and both sides of the coin. It is clear that coming up with a moral judgment is intertwined with ethics since the reasoning needed at every step throughout the decision-making process has to be fair and should not be unfair to either of the parties involved.


  1. Amit, E., & Greene, J. D. (2012). You see,

the ends don’t justify the means visual imagery and moral judgment. Psychological science, 23(8), 861-868.

  • Bazerman, M. H., & Gino, F. (2012). Behavioral ethics: Toward a deeper understanding of moral judgment and dishonesty. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 8, 85-104.
  • DeScioli, P., & Kurzban, R. (2013). A solution to the mysteries of morality. Psychological Bulletin, 139(2), 477.
  • Kurtines, W. M., Gewirtz, J., & Lamb, J. L. (2014). Handbook of Moral Behavior and Development: Volume 1: Theory. Psychology Press.
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