What is morality? Maybe we often think morality is only about the good or bad deed, or decision we make in everyday life. But more than that, morality is related to our worldview, our way of thinking and how we see the world. I can say that our morality is based on our worldview. For an example, a communist worldview will see capitalism as a bad thing, vice versa. Religious worldview will see everything contrast to their belief system as bad things. So, what I want to say is morality is very depended on our worldview.
How is our view of morality built, in relation with our worldview? First, it depends on what our parents told us when we’re still a child. If our parents were smoking, we rarely see that smoking is a bad thing, even we don’t do that because of health reason. If our parents were such religious people, we, too, try to obey what our religion tells us to do. Our parents were the first moral guides for us, and they had an important role in building our worldview.
Second, it depends on our society, our friends, school, or our hobbies. It also depends on where we stay. For example, if we stay in Indonesia, we will obey government’s rule. Furthermore, Indonesia is a religious country, where we can find informal religious rules taken firmly by the society. For example, when the LGBT people claimed their rights, the society refused them because LGBT is not right according to their belief system.
Thirdly, our own religion or belief. Everybody has their own belief. Even an atheist must have his/her own belief – there is no God. This religion or belief is very foundational to our worldview because we don’t just think about it, we believe it. Although the worldview is wrong to other people, we still believe that it’s the truth. For example, the radicals killed themselves, believed that they would have a very great reward from God in heaven. For many of us, it sounds ridiculous, but for the radicals, it is the truth, they believe this as a fact.
We see that this world contains so many people who have various worldviews. I said earlier that our morality depends on our worldview. So, does it mean that no universal moral guides for us? Are the moral views always relative, not universal? I believe that the question itself based on a worldview called relativism. Relativism sees the world as relative, including morality. They don’t believe in one, universal moral guide. But we will back to our first conclusion: A belief that universal moral guide doesn’t exist based on a worldview called relativism.
While there are various worldviews around the world, we must believe that there is something we can accept as GOOD and BAD universally. It means all people will agree that this is GOOD or BAD. Why is it bad? Because you don’t want it to happen to you. We can’t trust relativism about that. For example, do you want to be killed without reason? Do you want your mother, sister, or wife raped and killed by the terrorists? The answer is NO. For every normal people, the answer is exactly NO. Even if you ask this question to the killer himself, or to the rapist himself, they’ll probably answer no. The conclusion is, there is, in fact, a universal good and bad for all people. But besides that, there are also many cases which we can’t uniformly decide if it is good or bad. Like the case of euthanasia, war, et cetera. The decisions may be different to every person. It called the “moral dilemma.” We live in the world full of dilemma, and almost every day we must make decisions. We must consider that we live in the world which not just black and white, it is the world full of dilemma. It must make us wiser. We can’t just judge other people because we don’t walk in their shoes! We, too, can’t ignore our decision in everyday life. We must always think about the consequences, for yourself as well as for the others too. It makes us think carefully about our life, not because we are too afraid of punishment and hungry for reward (like children always think about morality), but to live well in this world, happy and content.