Philosopher asserts morality matters more than ever

July 21, 2004

Today's society is wracked by moral shortcomings apparent in numerous scandals that hit headlines, such as the murder of innocent victims and racist attacks. In a time when the role of morality is being continually questioned philosopher Professor Roger Trigg from the University of Warwick defends the significance of morality in our social and political lives in his new book Morality Matters.

Professor Trigg argues that we need a shared moral vision in order to live together, both nationally and internationally. The research considers the need for a shared morality in relation to important topics such as human rights.

Morality Matters raises questions such as 'Should the law allow torture?'. Only a principled stand against all injustice can preserve can preserve the integrity of law as an instrument for the protection of the innocent and for the delivery of justice, contends Professor Trigg.

Professor Trigg, from the University of Warwick, said: "The issue of torture dominated the news when photographs of prisoners at a US-controlled prison in Iraq came to light. Amid the smoke and mirrors is a question of morality that becomes weightier to the extent that torture appeared to be condoned within parts of the US Administration, and prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have been kept for years away from the due process of law. We cannot accept an ally's rationale for prisoner abuse, or contempt for the rule of law, then condemn foes for similar actions".

"Morality matters, not just because it should govern our personal behaviour and the way we treat others. It should provide the context in which all affairs are conducted, and nations governed. Morality can never be the product of individual whim or passing fashion. It is the key foundation of any properly ordered society."

Once the law of a land and justice become parted, the moral force of law is weakened. Law should protect the rights of those it is designed to protect. Morality and law are far from identical but all law depends upon moral authority to be obeyed.

Totalitarian methods are inevitable once respect for the rule of law, rooted in morality, is removed. Morality Matters examines controversial issues such as morality and patriotism, politics and race, sexual orientation and discrimination and international relations.

Opposed to relativism the research stresses that private behaviour cannot be kept separate from public choices. Morality Matters asserts that we need to acknowledge the moral foundations of our way of life.

Professor Roger Trigg, added: "The role of morality in public life is as prominent as ever. The debate on embryo screening and the rules governing "designer babies" continues and Tony Blair is hinting that the legal time limit for abortions could be re-examined. Legislating morality does not infringe rights. It takes time, effort, and calm and reasoned discussion to figure out what legislation should be."
-end-
For more information contact: Professor Roger Trigg, University of Warwick, Tel: 44-247-652-3724 or Jenny Murray, Communications Office, University of Warwick, Tel: 44-247-657-4255, Mobile: 07876 71 7740 Morality Matters, is published by Blackwell (hardback and paperback), 2004

University of Warwick

Related Morality Articles from Brightsurf:

Conservatives and liberals motivated by different psychological factors, new study shows
Liberalism and conservatism are associated with qualitatively different psychological concerns, notably those linked to morality, shows a new study that explores how political ideology and moral values are connected to motivated social cognition.

Hot-button words trigger conservatives and liberals differently
Researchers have linked a brain region to what they call neural polarization, offering a glimpse into the partisan brain in the weeks leading up to what is arguably the most consequential U.S. presidential election in modern history.

Invisible barriers cut down on cheating
Both see-through and pretend partitions promoted honesty in taking tests, psychology experiments show, suggesting simple environmental cues can nudge children to do the right thing.

Study: Interplay of impact, moral goals influences charitable giving to different causes
With the rise of globalization, geographic borders are becoming less relevant for making charitable donations, which means nonprofits and charities can make more effective pitches to donors by emphasizing higher-level concepts such as morality and idealistic values, said Carlos Torelli, a professor of business administration and the James F.

Fake news feels less immoral to share when we've seen it before
People who repeatedly encounter a fake news item may feel less and less unethical about sharing it on social media, even when they don't believe the information, research indicates.

Athletes suspend morality to pursue sporting success -- study
Ruthless sportspeople often suspend their sense of right and wrong when they step onto the field of play -- viewing sport as a different world where they jettison responsibility to act in a moral way, according to a new study.

Hunter-gatherers agree on what is moral, but not who is moral
Social psychologists from the University of Pennsylvania wanted to know whether there was a universal concept of moral character, by looking beyond Western populations.

Even today, we want our heroes to know right from wrong
In a world of sympathetic villains and flawed heroes, people still like fictional characters more when they have a strong sense of morality, a new study finds.

Power to the people: How everyday acts of defiance can shape and change markets
Subtle, hidden and everyday acts of resistance and defiance by people with limited resources could have an impact on markets in societies where state and religion is all-powerful.

When robots commit wrongdoing, people may incorrectly assign the blame
Last year, a self-driven car struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz.

Read More: Morality News and Morality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.