While walking down the street, you witness a woman unconsciously dropped a pouch. You immediately went to pick it and end up opening it. You saw $100 in it. What will be your line of action? This is a common example choose by teachers to taught students about moral values and exercises. Some questions raised here are: will you keep the money because a woman carelessly dropped it? Will you return it to the woman? If you give back, afraid of being caught or penalized and expected compensation in exchange? You are poor and will keep it to yourself? Do you discover it’s for charity purpose what will be your course of action?
Research has proved that our brain and nervous system our values and morals are led by the prefrontal cortex which is linked to emotions. Findings have shown people’s moral values are guarded based on assisting the majority of the people. Studies utilized fMRI technology that explores the brain while people are thinking about these matters.
An actual scenario:
A member of a Lacrosse team from Colorado High School was caught red-handed while cheating on videotape. It’s not about cheating in a math or geography paper. The case revolves around hiding the ball in hand and tossing it towards the goal. Even eyewitnesses were unable to notice any discrepancy. Jury and videotape reviewing revealed the truth. The team was suspended for the rest of the season thus; deprive the team of competing in the championship series.
Parents openly opposed the decision by the state athlete league. The reasoning they gave was players always ‘bend’ or ‘amend’ the rules for their benefit. It’s the thought process that leads them to think it’s a case of ‘bend’ the rules, while it was clear-cut cheating. What sort of thinking derives this for parents and high school children? Should they only think about winning at any cost? Should the end nullify the mode? Surely, if you think willing is the sole objective then it’s perfect to cheat.
Example from history:
Socrates, the greatest philosopher of ancient times has an important ethical concept that ‘might doesn’t make right’. He wants to propagate that using force by powerful on others doesn’t make it ethically correct. Mighty is not entitled to be tyrant, dishonest and immoral. He preached the value of Truth and Virtue. This is the reason he chooses death over imprisonment.
What went wrong?
What are we teaching our future generations in today’s world? Our kids can decide bases on ethics, thinking on moral values, or it’s based on personal gains and selfishness and greediness? Based on reports, it can be said high school adolescents will hold back the amount in the hypothetical scenario involving money. This is not a religious concern; history is filled with examples of people killing others based on religious beliefs. Recent precedence was the attack on the world trade Centre. It’s believed that Allah wanted this to happen to justify their action.
If we choose to defend our children on their wrongdoings of cheating in high school exams or sports, they will never learn ethical thinking. Perhaps, the best way is to live a life of principles by parents can set the right precedence for our children. Parents if choose to pass racial comments and hateful remarks on other ethnic groups we will surely fail. I decided not to vote for Barack Obama based on racial discrimination, it’s an utter disappointment. If schools start teaching believes of Socrates to kids, this will certainly provide an ideal foundation for ethical thinking.
Childhood and adolescence are phases of life when kids learn the most and develop most of their thinking process. By taking primacy of youthful idealism, we can teach them respect for life and ethically correct people.