TED Conversations

Ellen Feig

Professor, Bergen Community College


This conversation is closed.

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

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 25 2013: Hi Ellen, here is my concept:

    I have been digging into my ancestry (including getting DNA ancestry) and during my search I came across the “The Nine Noble Virtues” and I can’t think of better virtues to follow and teach.
    1. Courage
    2. Truth
    3. Honour
    4. Fidelity
    5. Discipline
    6. Hospitality
    7. Self-Reliance
    8. Industriousness
    9. Perseverance

    There is nothing about religion in them, nor can I see anything a religion would abject to.
    They are thought and discussion provoking.
    For example: Is truth something you seek, tell, or accept?

    Do you have the "courage" to accept the "truth" that you eat poorly, and have the "discipline" and "perseverance" to change? And can you be "industrious" enough to find food that is healthy and taste.

    I wonder if optimism should be a 10th virtue.
    • thumb
      Jan 25 2013: These are great - do you know where they came from?
      • thumb
        Jan 25 2013: Yes, hehehe my Viking ancestors.
        That is right there were noble Vikings, in fact as I’m discovering the Vikings were not as history generally depicts them.
        They had tools 100s of years ahead of Europe, one blacksmith made swords 2,000 years ahead of Europe. Russia is named after the Swedish noble Vikings (called Rus) that traded along the Volga River.

        You can Google “Nine Noble Virtues” and get more information, history and interpretations.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.