• Morality has to do with the way we
live our lives.
• Morality helps us to judge the
difference between right and wrong.
• Once we know the difference
between the two, we can do what is
right and avoid what is wrong.
• We are human beings.
• We are able to think about our behaviour in
order to decide what to say and what to do
in any given situation.
• When we encounter moral situations, we
can either act in a way that we know is
right, or we can do the opposite and act in
a way that we know to be wrong.
“An immoral person
knows the difference
between right and wrong
and chooses to do what is
“A moral person knows
the difference between
right and wrong and
chooses to do what is
“An amoral person has
no regard for any
standards of right or
wrong, and just does
what he/she likes.”
Moral Behaviour can
• The Consequences – what will happen if they do
it/don’t do it.
• Their Emotions – how will they feel about their
• The Situation – the background, what led up to it.
• Laws and Rules – if it is against the law or a rule.
• Authority – if someone orders them, or forces them
to do it.
• Common Practice – whether or not everyone is
• Their Conscience – something that tells them its right
Questions to consider…
• Think of a character that you have read about in a
book, seen on television, or in a film or video game,
who fits the description:
o A moral person
o An immoral person
o An amoral person
• Explain why you have placed these characters in
these particular categories.
What are “VALUES”?
• A value is something that we think is very important
• Do any of these values apply to you?
To be popular.
To have lots of money.
To have lots of friends.
To be respected.
To get good exam results.
To have a nice car.
To be good at sports.
To be happy and content.
To have a strong faith.
• Our values affect the way we think, what we say,
and how we behave.
• Our values are not acquired by accident, we get
our values from other people.
• Can you think of any examples of where these
values come from?
Steps in Moral Decision-making…
• The class organise a school fundraising event for the
victims of a natural disaster. Everyone works hard,
and it is a great success. You and your friends are
the principal organisers. You count and bag the
money, and a teacher drives you down to the
bank. The cashier weighs the bags and tells you the
total. There is a shortfall of €25, one bag is missing.
You have your suspicions, although you didn’t
actually see anyone take it. The gift cheque must
be presented to the relief organisation by the end
of the week. What do you do?
• A school trip is coming up. Everyone is looking
forward to it. There is a visit to an exhibition and
then a stop at a leisure centre on the way back.
The teacher reads out the list of those who have
paid so far. Your name is called out. You know you
haven’t paid. The money is still in your pocket as
you brought it in this morning. What do you do?
• You have seen a pair of football boots in a sale and you
really want them. You have enough money saved, but
you were planning to use some of that to go out at the
weekend with your friends. If you buy the boots you’ll
have nothing left. That evening at home you overhear
your mum telling your brother/sister that she has left the
money for the schoolbooks he//she needs in an envelope
in their schoolbag and that they better not lose it. You
and your brother/sister do not get on very well. You think
that he/she is a real know-it-all and they always make fun
of your friends. If you took the money, you would have
enough to buy the football boots and go out with your
friends at the weekend. What do you do?
not function if
You could not
friends if you
and stole from
totally collapse if
Can you think of
1. Home and Family
• The home and family play an important part in
influencing our moral outlook.
• Our parents were the first people to teach us the
difference between right and wrong.
• As children we learnt that it is good to share our
toys, to always tell the truth and not hit other
2. Friends and Peers
• As we grow older we begin to be influenced by
others outside the home.
• Going to school, making friends and mixing with
other children our own age meant we encountered
different types of values.
• Therefore it can be said that our friends and peers
also play an important role in influencing our moral
3. Religion and Church
• People’s moral outlook is strongly influenced by the
religion in which they have been brought up.
• Many young people go to schools with a religious
ethos where they are educated in their faith.
• Therefore the values they have received at home
are reinforced by the teachings and practices of
4. Society and the State
• The State plays an important role in deciding our
• The State passes the laws of the country.
• Society also plays an important role in influencing
our moral outlook as it can decide what is
accepted as good or bad.
• Usually when the majority of society behave in a
certain way then that behaviour can become
• We can be influenced by our emotions to behave
in certain ways.
• This can have a positive impact on us in situations
where we are moved by sympathy or compassion
to help somebody in need.
• However, emotions can also provide us with
negative outcomes when we are driven by anger
or hatred when responding to certain situations.
• Moral issues are not always simply a matter of
stating what is right and what is wrong.
• Morality is about human beings and their
• We must remember that many factors can
influence the way people behave.