Laws, Morals, Ethics, and Religious Beliefs
Laws, Morals, Ethics, and Religious Beliefs
Laws, morals, ethics, and religious beliefs are all connected and have been indicated to influence an individual as well as a society in terms of their values and their behavior. These aspects are important in uniting individuals in a given society by providing the same principles to be followed by different individuals (Kaveny, 2016). Without these aspects, a society would work without unity, which would lead to individuals adopting different principles, which may cause conflicts with other members of society. Laws are laid down rules and actions, which must be obeyed and followed by individuals. Morals are values, which determine a character or the conduct of individuals in determining what is wrong or right (Kaveny, 2016). Ethics are principles, which govern an individual’s behavior in carrying out certain activities. Religious beliefs, on the other hand, involve submission to supernatural authority, which determines individuals’ behaviors in different scenarios (Kaveny, 2016).
A Research-Based Discussion Regarding the Similarities between Laws, Morals, Ethics, and Religious Beliefs
Laws, morals, ethics, and religious beliefs all have an effect on human behavior by influencing the approach to certain aspects and situations. These aspects provide guidance to individuals and society in performing different roles and responsibilities (Kaveny, 2016). Religion, which is derived from different doctrines, has strict rules and guidance on a person’s behavior with laws being used by the government to guide human actions (Kaveny, 2016). Ethics are also derived to guide human behavior and actions in certain aspects which are meant to ensure professionalism and respect for individuals in performing different duties. Morals involve making important decisions related to right or wrong (Kaveny, 2016).
All these aspects are similar in that they instruct and guide human behavior for the wellbeing of all individuals and ensure that everyone behaves according to the expected standards and expectations (Kaveny, 2016). If an individual flouts or goes against the guidelines laid down under these aspects, there are certain consequences expected to befall the individual. This may include punishment or segregation from the rest of society members (Kaveny, 2016). Laws, morals, ethics, and religious beliefs define the values of a society, which gives individuals a reference point for the actions, which the individual may be engaged in. This is important when individuals are making important decisions, which may impact other members of society (Kaveny, 2016).
A Research-Based Discussion Regarding the Differences between Laws, Morals, Ethics, and Religious Beliefs
Regardless of the many diverse similarities between laws, morals, ethics, and religious beliefs, there are also differences between the four aspects, which may be based on their principles, purpose, and origin (Weinberger, 2013). It is important for everyone to know the differences to avoid any conflict between any of these aspects. Ethics is an aspect, which shapes human behavior and the decision-making process, which is based on one’s values and principles instead of implemented social rules (Franks, Hanscomb, & Johnston, 2017). These principles and values are based on one’s beliefs about certain things and evidence of consistency with those beliefs. Morality involves principles and values, which have been refined over time to guide individuals of a society (Staub, 2013). These are not based on one’s thought process or personal values. Morality is passed down in communities and families and may not likely fit personal beliefs and is an aspect, which is passed on unconsciously (Staub, 2013).
The law is different from the other aspects in that it provides a basic standard of accepted behavior, which is aimed at ensuring that all individuals are equally treated. This means that laws are meant to protect members of a community from any action that would harm them (Weinberger, 2013). There are other aspects of ethics and morality, which the law does not address and so cannot be applied in certain situations. Religion, on the other hand, is not intended to serve all communities but rather certain groupings (Walborn, 2014). Religion is a personal choice, which involves individuals believing in the same rules through worshipping the same supernatural being. The behavior of these individuals is based on the principles of the supernatural being (Walborn, 2014). Religious rules are serious and cannot be amended rather followed to satisfaction, as there are consequences to breaking the rules. Religious beliefs are not enforced but instead are a personal choice based on an individual’s belief (Walborn, 2014).
A Research-Based Discussion Regarding How Each of Those Forces Affects the Behavior of Individuals
Religious beliefs affect the behavior of individuals by influencing the decision-making process and actions taken in different scenarios. A belief is a strong force, which may influence an individual’s choices and actions (Walborn, 2014). Religious beliefs shape an individual’s moral decisions, which may impact other individuals in society. An individual uses religious beliefs to filter any information and acquire only information, which is related to their beliefs (Walborn, 2014). This is responsible for impacting an individual’s thinking process which in turn impacts the behavior of the individual. This may occur even after much convincing to the individual to change his/her mind. Laws provide obligations to individuals and consequences on the engagement on certain activities (Weinberger, 2013). This impacts the behavior of individuals due to the incentives provided as well as avoidance of the associated consequences. Laws have been indicated to be effective in regulating human behavior, which is achieved through enforcement, which enables individuals to adhere to the enacted laws (Weinberger, 2013).
This discourages individuals in engaging in certain behaviors, which may harm others. Ethics also impact an individual’s behavior by instilling moral principles and values which govern the behavior of an individual in different settings (Franks, Hanscomb, ; Johnston, 2017). Ethics provide knowledge, which is responsible for impacting an individual’s behavior. There are also consequences in engaging in unethical behavior, which encourages individuals to refrain from certain activities (Franks, Hanscomb, & Johnston, 2017). Morality, on the other hand, also influences an individual’s behavior by the provision of moral standards, which help individuals in determining what is right or wrong (Staub, 2013). This determines the moral responsibility of individuals based on their conscience on moral standards. Without the principles of morality, there can be issues of conflict of interests in a society. Morality governs the behavior of individuals in a society bringing harmony and fairness in the community (Staub, 2013).
A Discussion of How Each of Those Forces Influence Your Personal Behavior
Personal behavior is very crucial in determining how an individual relates with other members of society. Morality impacts an individual’s conscience, which in result affects the individual’s everyday decisions (Staub, 2013). This involves the choices made by the individual and how certain behavior may impact the individual. Morality programs different concepts of what is right and wrong which influences an individual’s personal behavior (Staub, 2013). Laws influence personal behavior by analyzing how certain behavior may have negative consequences on an individual (Weinberger, 2013). Laws enable an individual to analyze the rewards and consequences associated with different behaviors. If a behavior is rewarded, there will more of it and less punished behavior (Weinberger, 2013).
Ethics affects the personal values of individuals, which are important in guiding an individual’s behavior. Based on the unique personal values of different individuals, ethics play an important role in the development of personal ethics, which influence an individual’s behavior (Franks, Hanscomb, & Johnston, 2017). Religious beliefs influence personal behavior by affecting his/her reasoning and perspective on reality. Religious beliefs impact the thinking process of individuals and how individuals perceive different situations and behavior (Walborn, 2014). Religious rules are also associated with rewards as well as punishment for not adhering to the set guidelines. Due to this, individuals strive to live in adherence to the rules, which is shown in their personal behaviors (Walborn, 2014).
Laws, morals, ethics, and religious beliefs are important in ensuring that all individuals behave responsibly and according to the desired behaviors. These aspects have played an important role in ensuring that there is unity and respect in societies as they all focus on preventing negative behavior (Kaveny, 2016). This is achieved by rewarding positive behavior while at the same time punishing negative behavior. Without these important aspects in a society, there would be conflicts of interests and an increase in negative behavior as there would be no consequences associated with negative behavior (Kaveny, 2016). These aspects have enabled members of society to relate well and pass down these principles to ensure there is continuity of these important values. These aspects should be well understood by everyone and how they can be applied to motivate positive behavior in society (Kaveny, 2016).
Franks, B., Hanscomb, S., & Johnston, S. F. (2017). Environmental Ethics and Behavioral Change. London: Taylor and Francis.
Kaveny, C. (2016). A culture of engagement: Law, religion, and morality. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Staub, E. (2013). Positive Social Behavior and Morality: Social and Personal Influences. Saint Louis: Elsevier Science.
Walborn, F. (2014). Religion in personality theory. London: Academic Press.
Weinberger, O. (2013). Law, institution and legal politics: Fundamental problems of legal theory and social philosophy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.