Random Thoughts: Morals and Values

Do people have morals and values at birth? Are these things purely learned behavior, or is this something that a person has inherent within them? Can a person simply be “good” or “bad?” In my view, at least some of this is present from the start. Of course, many things in a person’s life contribute to their value system. The family and friends that surround them, the culture of their community, their religious teachings, all these things certainly influence what is morally acceptable to each individual. These influences are not the final, determining factor on how a person acts towards their fellow human beings, though. I believe that at the core of a person they have been born with certain tendencies that can greatly determine future behaviors for good or bad. How else to explain how a person who came from a stable, loving family, who had “good” decent friends, and lived in a community that fostered a presence of inclusion and decency toward others still ends up as a violent criminal? Or the complete opposite effect where a person is born into a broken, dysfunctional family, knows a slew of trouble-prone friends, and whose neighborhood is little more than a crime-infested, war zone, yet still seems to break away from all that and turn out to be a really great person? My money is on that core piece deep within each person, a little voice, if you will, that keeps guiding one toward the light or may lead you into darkness. I also think most people are actually inherently “good” and at least try to be decent but stumble at times. I know I have. Until next time…

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