Morality is among the most sensitive issues among many societies across the world. People have different perceptions about morality, a factor that influences how people in different places and society see morality. In this regard, it is arguably true that morality has time and locations factors, which determine the definition of morality. The fact that morality is subject to time and societal differences is referred to ethical relativism (Sullivan 184). Although this may be true, there is the need to establish how time and geographical location differences affect morality. It is also worth establishing which and how other factors that define morality apart from time and societal differences given that people living in closer locations may define morality differently.
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Most societies define morality by issues of right or wrong, implying that whatever is perceived to be morally degrading is said to be morally right and vice versa. This means that morality is dependent on the people’s perceptions and beliefs. For instance, religion and culture influence the manner in which many societies define morality. This is because culture and religion introduce many differences among diverse societies, meaning that whatever one society perceives to be wrong may not necessarily be so in another society. It is common knowledge that religion is one of the strongest societal issue that divides people along religious lines and defines morals in many if not all societies. According to Sullivan (184), cultural connotations have been found to influence the variation of morality. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a good example of how culture influences morality. Whereas some societies regard the practice as immoral, others have attached robust religious beliefs to support their actions.
Although one cannot justify the practice of female circumcision by any means, the fact remains that the practice embraced in some societies, in different places. Such realities mean that morality is not universal but dependent on time. Another notable observation is that traditions play a leading role as far as place and time are concerned. This is because traditional practices are affected by time. Although some societies have stopped some practices such as girl circumcision, some still hold on to the practice. African societies are an outstanding example where culture is overprotected. Macklin (58) asserts that some sections of the society choose to protect and defend their culture and resist any suggestions for change. This may lead to the formation of subcultures within a multicultural society. This means that definition of morality might change with time due to the formation of a multicultural society. Some smaller elements may resist alteration of the definition. Locations of such resistant groups define how place affects how wrong or right, good or evil, are defined thus influencing morality.
Imperialism is a phenomenon that is associated with rulers. However, imperialism can also be experienced in terms of ethics. This affects morality directly because ethics are used to define morality in many ways. Ethical imperialism is usually present when a few people take charge in directing how people should behave (Macklin 194). The resultant scenario is characterized by a few people who make critical decisions on behalf of others. Supposing a group of ethical imperialists colonize a group of people in a certain area, subjects will be subjected to all manners of rues and regulation that define morality and immorality. Studies have shown that cultural factors play a significant role in determining what is correct or bad in a society. Depending on the location of a group of people, ethical imperialism introduces inconsistency between what people may prefer and what ethical imperialism dictates.
Some people are vulnerable to both internal and external forces that affect their belief in something. People are said to be affected by a moral imperative which commands basic ethical laws set by self or others. According to the founder of this philosophy, Immanuel Kent (18th century), everyone has intrinsic or extrinsic forces that tell whenever something is wrong (Sullivan 331). This bids people to laws and gives them a duty to obey these laws that are branded as moral. These laws vary with time and from one society to the other meaning that moral imperative individuals have no option but to follow what has been predetermined to be right by them or the society. In other words, morality is affected by time and place simultaneously because people justify actions by necessity rather than purpose.
In conclusion, morality can be said to be fully dependent on time and place. The ability of some sections of society to dictate what is morally right or wrong makes time and society's location highly influential when defining moral values that a society will find binding. However, other factors such as culture and religion also feature in almost all processes through which time and place affect morality. This is because the two factors vary with time (especially culture) and place (especially religion). Either what is labeled as morally acceptable or not is dependent the people living in certain areas with different cultures and at a particular time. This happens with the influence of among other factors, culture, and religion.
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