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Ellen Feig

Professor, Bergen Community College


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Can one teach young people to be moral? Is morality something that must be taught in the home? Is it innate?

Currently I am working on a professional development platform focused on teaching college students ethics and morality. Young people seem to be incredibly disengaged from others, have little sense of what it means to be moral, gracious or ethical and don't care. How can we teach morality or is it something that is innate?

Topics: ethics morality

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  • Jan 23 2013: My observation may be small and simple, but I do see there are differences in how people define morals. It is their behavior that defines their true morals. Theory is only theory. Religions teach specifics of behavior and the result is intended good relationships. These could be called morals of the teachings. What one really does is either in harmony or out of harmony with moral teachings.

    With that said we could ask young folks what they think of the ages-old teaching, "Do to others what you expect of others to do to you" The higher road of humankind thinking may be the widely accepted and ultimate definition of morals. So therefore, is a person in harmony with these higher values? It is these morals we hold as basis for good or bad behavior.

    Why not ask a young person to think about how they want to be treated? Ask for an honest answer. What is their understanding if in society no one cares? What are the repercussions if no one cares? Get them to think and request from them an honest answer. We don't have to stand idle as morals decline. What real threats to themselves if morals continue decline. Real social and civil problems really do come down to personal individual behavior and we humans cannot escape that fact.

    So responders, how do you reach young persons? This is the profound question asked.

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