Morals & Morality - Where are they from

I want to know where your morals come from and why you honor them. Also, how many have you “broken” and would you call them your morals still if you have?

Anything else on the topic you want to share, please do!

Here’s some considerations.

Some people say morals are innate, that everyone (or at least most people, I guess) are born with some sort of morals, moral code, etc. There’s also the idea that we gather them as we go. Some people have more morals than others, and some people have respect for the morals of others, even if they don’t apply the same ones to themselves.

Whats the difference, then, between morals and principles? Is it the idea of wrong-doing, or the feeling of it? Is it the feeling that something is good, or the fear of feeling bad that keeps people in line with moral codes, or is just that people are trying to adhere to generally accepted guidelines, mostly?

And for those that don’t have morals based in feelings, are they morals at all? Or just ideas and logic-based choices on what should govern lifestyle and choices?

Im curious about thoughts on morals, on where they come from, on what defines them, and on people who might have staggeringly different or no morals.


Here’s my response + some context on why I posted this.

I used to think I had morals, two really. But one was obviously a falsity, an arbitrary rule I’d imposed upon myself because I’m afraid of being my parents. And the second, I’m not sure if it counts as a “moral” principle anymore, I’ve been considering the word for a little while and it’s relation to me.

I’m in the habit of saying I have very few morals, and that it goes hand in hand with what I do, especially in magick but also in certain mundane circumstances that have arisen. Lack of morals, on others, is something I find attractive without a doubt.

If I did have morals, they’d have come first from the Church, and those were all discarded when I was very young, and then from my interactions with family members and other adults when I was a child. But, they’re definitely not things I was explicitly taught, instead they’d be based on my conclusions and feelings related to interactions with others.

It’s my view, from reading and talking with others, that morals should be based on feelings. And I can’t say that I make choices (that affect other people) based on morals that are rooted in feelings, I make them, with potential exceptions in rare cases I assume, because of where they will get me. However, I do understand and adhere to general morals that others seem to hold because I understand the reasoning behind them and don’t disagree with it.


According to the University of Texas’s, “Morals are society’s accepted principles of right conduct that enable people to live cooperatively”.

So morals are instilled by society ir government national state local and sometimes world opinions.

Principles are more of a personal belief that you defend or try to live by regardless of consequence….think corporations or drug cartels….their only principal is making money.

Now that being said it gets a little fuzzy drawing a line between the two. If I pass on my principals to my kids, and they to my grandkids does that become a bit of family morals? Very interesting topic I’ll be following to see others opinions!


Never in my life have I heard that the government gives people morals (I’m not saying you’re wrong). Religion, however, I often hear as being a giver of morals.

I’m interested to know what kinds of morals (you would say) the government teaches, I think most people would agree that governments are decently corrupt across the board, although they also keep structure and enact/enforce regulations that can be beneficial. You’ve brought up an interesting point about with this for sure!

I agree with you that people live by their own principles (which can of course be shared with others), but I think it’s wrong to assume that people do not also live by their own moral standards. I’m not sure you’re making that assumption, but you do have principles juxtaposed against morals.


If you were to ask me this question when I was 15.l, I would provide you a very long list of things I viewed to be wrong to do. As I have gotten older, I have realized how much that has changed due to simply not only making my own choices but listening to others telling me their stories. That list has gotten incredibly shorter, as context has became more important. I found that a majority of what i believed came from external influences from my upbringing that were challenged and eventually stripped away. Others were reinforced based on either what I have experienced or observed in the lives of those closest to be.

Really interesting topic that relates to conversations I have with others at work whenever we are bored. In fact, yesterdays was whether or not it is ethical to use lobotomies as rehabilitation for specific violent crimes and possible drawbacks both for and against our viewpoints.


Yes religion does instill morals, and some usually accept everything their religions teaches. However the governments does instill some morals for example if you kill someone you go to jail……or a less pleasant and dirty example, if a man has to go pee and he pees on a street corner he could be charged with indecent exposure even though he is just peeing. So morals are placed by people in power be it church or government or village elders to make society function in unison. I hope I make sense.

Also there are double morals for example the same man peeing in the street is seen as offensive but a a toddler peeing in the street is viewed as cute yet it’s the same principle :flushed:


Maybe we should talk about social control tools deciding morals for people, category in which both, state and religion, fall in.

Just my two cents.


I asked a couple co-workers yesterday: “Do you have more, less, or the same amount of feelings now than when you were younger? Quantity of feelings, not intensity.” And then, “Where do your morals come from?” So happy Im not the only one, I’m not sure if the mundane crowd pulls this shit too.

Yeahhhh I also have changed my stances on quite a few things. I think through understanding reasoning mostly I’ve made shifts and sometimes drastic changes to my views.


I think this is really a gem.

Can you say more? Do you mean like punishment-wise, I can’t think of what you mean by “deciding morals for people.”


Like @Dralukmun 's example about damage to others, the morals the social control tools give to people are usually related to what allows society to work. Don’t kill, don’t still, commandments but also laws. The Christian God punishing or your fellow man punishing or a crazy bunch of people punishing. It is, indeed, a threat about what would happen to anyone who breaks the law, from the state or from religion or from any other social control tool.

So, they decide morals for the tribe in order to keep the tribe in line, so boys have sex with girls and the milk doesn’t spoil, so the tribe can survive and maybe thrive.


I respectfully disagree. I think that they hold sway over (edit: many) people’s actions, but not personal morals.


That’s perfectly fine :smiley:


I am willing to bet my paycheck that there are groups that do. Likely not everyone obviously but definitely some groups of individuals. Too much has happened the last few years that has challenged how the life is viewed for those topics not to be coming up in some fashion


Exactly morals control peoples actions….those moral codes imposed by government ie laws do exactly that….so we as people or humans may or may not have those morals or values imposed by the clergy govt etc.

Morals are society’s agreed upon standards to have a stable society (maybe stable is the wrong word) yet I may disagree with some moral codes that are imposed by clergy and govt. for example I live in an extremely catholic society, I currently have workers in my house that are very catholic……so I can’t practice as much as I need to because the workers may get scared that I’m doing witchy stuff. Yet my principles disagree I shouldn’t have to hide my beliefs in my own house.

Edit (not sure how to auto quote)

I mean we as a people May or May not agree with those moral standards placed by those in power.


A good question is whether it is the morals themselves or the consquences of breaking them that actually acts as the sway.


I agree with the first half of this.

I think that people’s morals often control the things they are and aren’t willing to do and the things that they do and don’t do.

However, I think people also act in ways that suit other people’s (i.e. laws) values, principles, and at times morals even when they don’t fall within personal morals. For example, let’s say I have no moral qualm about killing people who have wronged me, and yet, the legal repercussions of it keep me from doing so.

My inaction has nothing to do with my morals, or anything the government says is right or wrong, good or bad, it’s only that I don’t want to deal with the legal consequences. The government itself is not a person and therefore can’t have morals, although the people within it can. Yes, I am adhering to those people’s morals, but it does not make them my own only because I am not acting in opposition to them.

this seems like a limited definition to me


I like this line a lot. Shows a difference between morality and principles. It’s easy for me to see the difference in this direction, but much less so in the other.


An excellent question! My view:

Whats yours @Dralukmun


Morals and ethics serve the function of a social contract. Social contracts may be written or verbal, and are a necessary component of any group. There must be a certain amount of common ground, that when agreed upon, grants the necessary amount of trust (?) for a group to function as a unit. This glue may vary greatly, but is essential.

These matters are complicated by Geography and Psychology. Geography is as the underlying song of a nation or group. The ethical system of peaceful traders means nothing to folks living in a violent jungle. What works for one nation may not work for another nation due to the terrain itself! Due to the unpredictability of Nature, humans being part of Nature, some folks are just born different. Sociopaths and Psychopaths are vestigial anomalies. Priding themselves on inflicting pain, they seem to not understand that if all folks were like that there would be no society or cohesion.

A certain amount of rules are necessary. However, most are crutches for those too weak to grow a spine and figure things out themselves. “Sky daddy said so” doesn’t mean anything to myself.

In my experience, the true villains and monsters of this world dress themselves in images of light and authority. Whomever is seen as a figure or in a position of moral authority - that always attracts monsters.

If somebody hurts folks who cannot defend themselves, the elderly and children - and I can verify this somehow… if you know me well, I don’t tolerate those sorts of harmful sparks of life. In my neighborhood, that will get you clapped. This can cause riffs with some spirits, but hey, I’m in this body of flesh so my choices to make.


I agree with this but it breaks the definition of morals……it is more of a principal.
Morals are imposed by society ie elected (sometimes non elected officials) yet principals are personal and you may decide to act or to not act on your principals because of possible consequences.

Don’t get me wrong I’m just trying to draw the the line between morale and principals.

Here in Mexico there is a law that says “faltas a la moral y buen gobierno” which translates to faults against morals and good government….this is where the peeing example comes in. I hope I’m making sense.