What are moral issues?

Regardless of one’s worldview there needs to be a structure in place to identify and navigate through moral issues.  I think most of us do this automatically — our moral filters are already in place by the time we need them.

After reflecting on this for the past day or so, I’m finding it difficult to be able to define what is and is not a moral issue.  Sure we don’t have much difficulty naming them.  Stealing is morally wrong, and caring for a child is morally right, and turning on a fan or mowing the lawn are amoral.

How then, according to your view of the world, do you adjudicate between which actions and events are moral and which are amoral?


  1. I’ve brought it up before. At BibleGateway.com, one can see how a verse reads in several Bibles at the same time. One can search using a single keyword and find all verses that contain the word. “Morality” and “moral” aren’t used all that often, and when they are, it is usually in a sexual context. This is especially true with the word(s) “immoral” or “immorality”. It is difficult to find either without “sexual” immediately preceding them. So right off, what is moral is what is sexually acceptable in Scripture, or, in the eyes of God.

    These days, however, morality is used to judge any behavior whether sexual or not. It is similarly (ab)used in the manner “obscene” is. Obscene used to be reserved for matters of a sexual nature, and now is often used to speak of things like the carnage of war.

  2. To my mind, a moral action is one in which the action directly (or in some cases, indirectly) affects the well-being of others.
    I believe that the moral/immoral divide is not a dichotomy, and that things can be both immoral in some respects but moral given the alternatives.

    • I think I agree with that George. The reason I wrote this was brought on by a discussion with someone who asserted that sexual activities (in any manifestation) are neither moral or immoral just like writing your name with either pen or pencil.

  3. I find it kind of humourous and ironic that the bible doesn’t have a comparable concept to wronging someone or yourself unless it involves genitalia. Really speaks to the canard that the bible and Christianity are the basis or a necessity for our moral framework.
    I don’t think your argument is helping, Marshalart.

  4. I think that every sexual act is by rights a moral issue with the exception of perhaps masturbation. How can one’s sexual conduct not impact those whom they interact with?

  5. I was taking a bit of a dig at the first comment, implying that there is no corollary concept to our current understanding of morality. I know that there is- I just was being sarcastic in an effort to point out how disingenuous and pointless marshalart’s comment was.

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