Moral Attitudes

Moral Attitudes

Morals are about (what society considers to be) right or wrong, while attitudes are about what you like. So, moral attitude refers to how you feel about moral issues (where society debates what is right and wrong). For example, how do you feel about euthanasia (mercy killing)? Do you believe it is correct? Moral attitudes are frequently shaped by an individual's moral values. Moral attitudes serve as the foundation for all moral behaviour.
There are many moral issues that are currently being debated, including reproductive cloning, surrogate motherhood, abortion, sex selection, pornography, prostitution, dance bars, euthanasia, capital punishment, homosexuality, live-in relationships, incest, divorce, honour killing, consumerism, personal weapon ownership, gambling, prohibition, and so on. The broad category of moral attitude encompasses your attitude toward these issues.
UPSC Prelims 2024 dynamic test series

Moral attitudes are based on moral beliefs about what is "right" and "wrong." The virtues that underpin moral attitudes are as follows:

1.    Reverence 
2.    Faithfulness 
3.    Awareness of Responsibility 
4.    Veracity 
5.    Goodness 


•    The ability to understand, affirm, and respond to moral values is the foundation for realising man's moral values. These characteristics can only be found in a reverent man.
•    Veneration is a feeling or attitude of deep respect for others that is tinged with awe. Reverence is the attitude that can be called the mother of all moral life, because it is in it that man takes his first position toward the world, which opens his spiritual eyes and allows him to grasp values.
•    The man who is irreverent and impertinent is incapable of self-abnegation or subordination. He's either a slave to his pride, or to that cramping egoism that makes him a prisoner of himself and blind to values, and drives him to ask, "Will my prestige be enhanced, will my own glory be augmented?" Alternatively, he could be a slave of concupiscence, for whom everything in the world is merely an opportunity to satisfy his lust. He doesn't keep a respectful distance from the rest of the world.
•    Irreverence can be classified into two types based on whether it stems from pride or concupiscence. The first is the man whose irreverence is a result of his arrogance. He's the kind of guy who assumes a false sense of superiority over everything and never tries to understand things "from the inside." He's the "know-it-all," schoolmaster type who thinks he can see through everything and knows everything. He is the man who believes that nothing is more important than himself and who never looks beyond his own horizon.
•    The blunt, concupiscent man, the other type of man who lacks reverence, is equally blind to values. He is only concerned with one thing: whether something is agreeable to him, whether it provides him with satisfaction, and whether it can be of any use to him.
•    He drags himself around in a circle of his own narrowness forever, never succeeding in breaking free. As a result, he is unaware of true and deep happiness, which can only come from abandoning false values and losing touch with what is good and beautiful in and of itself. He does not approach being in an impertinent manner as the first type does, but he is equally closed up within himself and does not maintain the distance required by reverence. This individual is also unconcerned about values.
•    The reverent man approaches the world in a completely different manner. He is no longer afflicted by egotism, pride, or concupiscence. He does not suffocate the world with his own ego, but instead gives it the space it requires to unfold.
•    The disposition to recognise something superior to one's arbitrary pleasure and will, and to be willing to subordinate and abnegate oneself, pervades this responsive attitude to the value of being. It allows the spiritual eye to see every being's true nature. It gives a man the ability to grasp values and leaves the possibility of revealing its essence to him.
•    All deep knowledge—and, above all, the capacity to grasp values—requires reverence as a presupposition. Every response to value, every abandonment to something important, is predicated on reverence, and it is also an essential component of such a response to value.
•    All moral conduct toward our fellowmen and ourselves is founded on a fundamental attitude of reverence. Every true love is presupposed by a basic attitude of reverence. 
•    Justice toward others, consideration for another's rights, liberty of another's decisions, limiting one's own lust for power, and all understanding of another's rights all show a similar reverence.
•    Everywhere we look, reverence is seen as the foundation and an essential component of moral life and moral values. True love, justice, kindness, self-development, purity, and truthfulness are all impossible without a fundamental attitude of reverence.
Moral Attitudes


•    Faithfulness is ranked second only to reverence among the attitudes of man that are fundamental to his entire moral life.
•    Faithfulness refers to the concept of remaining unwaveringly loyal to someone or something and putting that loyalty into practise on a regular basis, regardless of the circumstances.
•    One can speak of faithfulness in both a narrow and a broad sense. When we talk about fidelity toward men, we mean fidelity to a friend, marital fidelity, fidelity to one's country, or fidelity to oneself.
•    The more faithful and consistent a man is, the more substantial he will be, and the more capable he will be of becoming a vessel of moral values, a being in whom purity, justice, humility, love, and goodness will live on in him and radiate out to the world around him. 
•    In the true sense of the word, this consistency is a fundamental moral attitude of man. It is a necessary consequence of all true value understanding, as well as a component element of every true value response, and thus of the entire moral life.
•    Only the consistent man truly understands the demands of the world of values, and only he is capable of responding to value. In the context of human relationships, the supreme importance of faithfulness will stand out in a unique way. (Faithfulness is used here in its broad sense, i.e. fidelity.) What is love if it isn't based on loyalty? It is, in the end, nothing more than a lie.
•    There are those who regard loyalty as merely a bourgeois virtue, a technical correctness, or a technical loyalty. Such people believe that a man who is great, gifted, and free of "petty conventions" is unconcerned about it.
•    This is a baffling misinterpretation of the true nature of loyalty. This virtue is a free, meaningful response to the world of truth and values, to the world's unchanging and intrinsic importance, to the world's real demands. No culture, no advancement in knowledge, no community, and, above all, no moral personality, no moral growth, no substantial, inwardly unified spiritual life, and no true love are possible without this basic attitude of faithfulness. This fundamental meaning of fidelity, in the broadest sense, must pervade every relationship.


•    When we refer to someone as a "morally conscious" man and another as a "morally unconscious" man, we are referring to a significant ethical difference. The unconscious man drifts through life, grasping and responding to certain values, but in a way that is devoid of ultimate awareness and explicit character.
•    His understanding of values is more or less haphazard. Even when he rejects something bad and affirms something good at a given moment, his attitude is essentially an affirmation of his own temperament rather than a truly enlightened cooperation with the unyielding demands of values and conformity to those demands.
•    The unconscious man acts in accordance with his natural impulses; he has not yet discovered within himself the ability to freely direct himself toward the objective demands of the world of values, regardless of what is or is not congenial to his nature.
•    As a result, they overlook the importance of making conscious efforts to develop and improve their moral standing. There is no moral self-education in their lives. The formation of a moral personality is hampered by this moral sluggishness.
•    This moral awakening is closely linked to reverence and true fidelity, which we have called constancy. Furthermore, they can only fully manifest in a morally conscious man. This moral awakening is also at the heart of the fundamental moral attitude known as "awareness of responsibility." Only a man with this sense of responsibility can properly assess the impact of the demands of the values world. 
•    He has that awakened awareness of the world of values that puts his life under its sword of justice, that makes him aware of his own position and responsibilities in the cosmos at all times, and that makes him realise that he is not his own master. He understands that he cannot act according to his whims, that he is not his own judge.
•    The heedless and thoughtless man is the polar opposite of the man who is aware of his responses. The most radical type in this category is the man who is unconcerned with the world of values and is only concerned with what is subjectively satisfying to him.
•    He is the coarse man driven by his own desires, who disregards all values and sees the world as nothing more than a means to gain more pleasure; he is the same type of man we described earlier as lacking reverence.
•    The morally unconscious man, who grasps values, is affected by them, and sometimes even conforms to them, is completely different from this totally corrupted type in whom no moral value can flower at all. He grasps values, is affected by them, and sometimes even conforms to them, but he lacks a full understanding of them because he lacks a conscious and explicit awareness. 
•    He also has a deep thoughtlessness, as well as a lack of understanding of the world of values and its demands' ultimate importance. He can be pleasant, amiable, generous, and willing to assist, but none of this implies that he has attained moral excellence.
•    This individual is also devoid of a sense of accountability. Finally, there is a type of thoughtless man who makes a conscious moral effort but does not consider it necessary to have a clear and precise notion of the value in question when making decisions because of a certain superficiality and frivolity in his nature.
•    He makes no effort to develop a clear understanding of the question of value in a given situation. It suffices for him to take a position in a given case if public opinion, advice from a friend, or what appears to him as correct through convention. Such men's thoughtlessness stems from their failure to take the question of value seriously enough; despite their good intentions, they make an affirmative or negative decision without truly listening to the voice of values.
•    The man who lacks a sense of responsibility also reacts too quickly, without taking the time to evaluate new experiences against the backdrop of previously discovered truths. There is a lack of respect for reality when there is a lack of responsibility and thoughtlessness. 


•    Another of the basic presuppositions for a person's moral life is honesty. An untruthful or mendacious person not only embodies a great moral disvalue, but his untruthfulness is crippled throughout his entire personality; his entire moral life; everything in him that is morally positive is threatened by his untruthfulness.
•    The untrustworthy individual has no regard for values. He takes on a lordly position over being and does whatever he wants with it. This attitude has an air of arrogance, irreverence, and impertinence about it.
•    A liar views the entire world as an instrument for his own ends to some extent; everything that exists is an instrument for him; if he can't use it, he will treat it as non-existent.
•    There are three types of untruthfulness to be distinguished
1.    In the devious liar who sees nothing wrong with affirming the polar opposite of what is true when it serves his purposes. In order to achieve his goals, we're dealing with a man who clearly and consciously cheats and betrays other men.
2.    The man who lies to himself and, as a result, to others is the second type. He is the man who simply erases from his mind everything that is difficult or unpleasant in his life. This is the man who refuses to acknowledge his own flaws; he is the man who immediately twists the meaning of any situation that embarrasses or irritates him. His deception is directed primarily at himself, with only indirect effects on others. He deceives himself first, then deceives other men.
3.    The break with truth in the third type of untruthfulness is less reprehensible, but it goes perhaps deeper, and it is reflected even more in the very being of its perpetrators. We see it in ungenuine people whose personalities are a ruse, who are incapable of genuine joy, genuine enthusiasm, genuine love, whose every attitude is a sham, and whose every action bears the stamp of deception. These men don't want to deceive and dupe others, and they don't want to deceive and dupe themselves, but they can't seem to make a genuine connection with the world. They are the ungenuine shadow-like beings; their joys and sorrows are manufactured, despite their sincere intentions. 
•    The three types of untruthfulness mentioned above are opposed by the man who is truly truthful. He is honest and does not deceive himself or others. He understands the basic demand of the value that exists in every being because of his deep reverence for the majesty of being. 
•    The truthful person prioritises the demands of values over his or her own selfish or comfortable desires. As a result, he despises all forms of deception.
•    The man who has a "classical" relationship with being is the man who is genuine and true in every attitude and action. We don't find any phoney attitudes in his soul. He is an honest and straightforward individual. He is not moved to arrogate to himself a position in the world other than that which is objectively due him because he is free of personal pride.
•    Like reverence, fidelity or constancy, and awareness of responsibility, veracity is a foundation of our entire moral life. It has a high intrinsic value, as do the other virtues, and is also necessary as a basic presupposition of a personality in which genuine moral values can blossom in their fullness
Moral Attitudes


•    Goodness is at the heart of the entire moral values edifice. It's no coincidence that the term "good" refers to both general moral value and the specific moral quality of goodness.
•    Among the various moral values, none encapsulates the entire reign of moral values more completely than goodness.
•    It is both the source of all morality and the most sublime fruit of it. As a result, its central importance in the moral sphere differs significantly from that of the fundamental attitudes previously mentioned: reverence, fidelity, awareness of responsibility, and veracity.
•    These virtues are accepted as a presupposition for the moral life, apart from their own high moral value. Goodness, on the other hand, is the result of living a moral life, not a presumption. It is the pinnacle of all morality and the queen of all virtues.
•    What exactly is goodness? What exactly does it mean to say that a man radiates goodness? We say this about a man when he is willing to help, when he is kind and just, when he is willing to make sacrifices for others, when he forgives others' wrongdoings, when he is generous and when he is selfless and full of tenderness.
•    All of these characteristics are manifestations of love in different forms. This demonstrates the close relationship between love and goodness. Love is like a river of goodness, and goodness is love's breath.
•    A man's goodness is not limited to benevolent intentions toward one specific person whom he loves. When we say someone is good, we mean that he exhibits open benevolence on a regular basis, that his attitude toward all men is loving and generous.
•    For goodness, like every other virtue, is more than a fleeting attitude; it is a fundamental attitude and position. The indifferent or cold man, the hard-hearted man, and the wicked man are three types of men who embody a specific antithesis to goodness. The latter is the anti-values man: the man who is ruled by a basic sense of pride and who lives in a powerless rebellion against the world of values.
•    In the hard-hearted person, there is another antithesis to goodness. He is the stern, cold man who is unmoved by compassion, who ignores all petitions, and who tramples on everything without thought. Finally, the cold, indifferent man is the polar opposite of the good man.
•    He is the man who, with a blighting lack of comprehension, ignores his fellowmen; the man who lives for his own comforts and pleasures; he, too, is an egoist, but he has a different complexion than the hard-hearted man. 
•    He is neither hostile nor brutally and unrelentingly hard on others, but he is filled with indifference toward his fellow citizens. He lacks the hard-hearted man's sternness and brutality. Instead of the good man's awareness and openness, we find him constrained and blind to values, and instead of the good man's all-embracing breadth, we find a petty narrowness in him.
•    It is important not to conflate goodness with good nature. The good-natured man is both harmless and appeaser; due to his nature's lassitude and inertia, he allows himself to be mistreated without noticing it. His friendly demeanour stems from a completely unspoken tendency in his personality.
•    Goodness, on the other hand, is born of a conscious response to love; it is "ardent awakening" rather than "harmless lassitude." 
•    It is inertia and dullness, not inertia and dullness; it is strength rather than weakness. Because he lacks the strength to resist, the good man allows himself to be used, but he serves freely and willingly humbles himself. 
•    Whereas the other fundamental attitudes, such as reverence, faithfulness, awareness of responsibility, and veracity, respond to the world of values as a whole, goodness not only responds to it, but is, in a sense, the person's reflection of the entire world of values.

Any suggestions or correction in this article - please click here ([email protected])

Related Posts: