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In the first part I argued that morality is best conceived as a socially constructed reality. The Practice of Morality When we recognize the socially constructed status of moral rules, responsibilities, obligations, prohibitions and the like we may find ourselves in a bit of a quandary: We understand that these things do not, in fact, apply universally.
Now we have a choice: But on what basis would it be rational to ignore them, and which ones? Morality of some sort is necessary for human existence, for we cannot live without others of our kind.
Suppose we wanted to devise a moral system for universal use. On what rational basis could we choose the rules of that system? If everybody by some magical trick stopped believing in physical reality, it would assert itself anyway.
Even if we believed we could, we could not in fact walk through a tree. The square root of nine would still be three even if nobody believed it. But if everyone stopped believing in money, we would have no money. We would have only bits of paper and metal.
Similarly, it seems that we could opt out of morality, although doing so would be quite difficult. It would be difficult because socially constructed reality is not merely fictional; it is, in its own way, real.
Moral entities, and institutional facts in general, have a peculiar nature: They compel our behavior because they seem really to be there. And, for most of us, they continue to seem really to be there even after we recognize their socially constructed nature, much as an optical illusion still fools us even when we know that it is only an illusion.
It is no small thing to be an institutional fact. You can remove yourself from some institutions, e. In other words, you create an alternative social institution. Some communes may try to do away with money, but most of them have to interact with the outside world, which forces them to deal with money anyway.
And yet, recognizing the socially constructed nature of morality opens a possibility that was not apparent to us before. Before we think about it much, we treat moral rules as constraining our conduct because we take them for granted. Their socially constructed character is invisible to us, largely because our acceptance of them is not something we do deliberately.
We are taught the moral rules by parents, elders and educators in our society. Just as we take money, marriage, government, property and the myriad other institutional facts as real, so we take moral rules as objectively real.
We question them only when cracks in the structure of our social reality confront us, as illustrated by moral conflicts such as those mentioned in Part I. But for those who do, a sort of spell is broken.
Intellectually, we do not see our world the same way as before; we are no longer taken in by moral reality. Once we understand that morality is socially constructed, we have the freedom to buy into it or not.
We are able to choose, within the constraints of our emotional and social conditioning, which duties to obey. This freedom can seem like a burden because emotionally we still feel the force of these moral intuitions.Jan 25, · Meredith Chivers is a creator of bonobo pornography.
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Crossword Solver - Crossword Clues, synonyms, anagrams and definition of conclusion. Newspaper essays. Let's find possible answers to "Newspaper essays" crossword clue. First of all, we will look for a few extra hints for this entry: Newspaper essays. Below is the solution for Newspaper essays crossword clue.
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