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Morality: Inborn Or Product Of Experience And Surroundings?

1436 words - 6 pages

Many believe in the theory that we have the innate sense of what is right and wrong from the moment we are born. The theory also creates the assumption that our observations of our surroundings and our experience do not create what we view as moral and immoral. It also indirectly makes the claim that what is considered to be right and wrong are universal, and what is viewed as justice should be agreed upon all. However, works of literature, influences of family, and society make it evident that we are not born with morality.
In Brave New World Aldous Huxley does an outstanding job portraying what we would perceive as an immoral society as what is moral and the correct way living to the characters in the novel. The society is known as the World State, where people are divided into different castes, and depending on the caste they are set in determines their place in the community and purpose in the world. If one is an Alpha, he/she will be highly intelligent and be a leader of the free world, while one who is an Epsilon has lowered intelligence and is conditioned to do physical labor. From the process of the human beings being created in test tubes, to their birth and development, they are trained to believe in certain truths. The main goal of Brave New World’s society is to create a balance social stability, and happy individuals. To create such a world; feelings, passions, and relationships are nonexistent. No one has parents, children, or lover. Instead, everyone belongs to anyone. There is no emotional attachment, nothing is valued, only physical interaction. When one feels negative emotions, that society cannot control, such as humiliation and stress, a drug called soma is taken to feel content and passive again. Great works of literature, such as Shakespeare, religious texts, and art are forbidden in the society because it can cause passion and curiosity beyond what they have been programmed to know. Even science is suppressed for it searches for truth, and according to the novel, truth gets in the way of happiness. While one can evaluate the novel and view all who are a part of the dystopian society as immoral human beings, one must also take into consideration they are conditioned to believe this lifestyle is righteous, and overall it becomes their truth. The controlled repressive society in the novel is an example that we are not inborn with a sense of what is true or false, or right and wrong.
Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” indirectly supports the idea that morals are not gained through perspective, but naturally known. In his essay, Thoreau discusses the unjust government of America, and the relationship between the government and its citizens. He states the people should go against the injustice of the government, and stick to their human conscience. ( ) Thoreau assumes human conscience, known as the inborn sense of right and wrong, is innate in all. He also assumes the citizens are aware the actions of the government are...

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