Values and Moral Development
Our discussion of attitudes in the last chapter brings us on to the broader issue of morals and values. Morals and values refer to those attitudes and behaviours that are generally prized by the society in which one lives. They may or may not be defined by rules, and these rules may or may not carry the force of law, but they are nevertheless seen by responsible members of society as having a binding effect in matters of conduct and of interpersonal relationships. These morals and values may be derived from religious, philosophical, or political teachings, and usually they have had an important influence upon the historical development of the society concerned, providing guidelines for the emergence of civilized patterns of behaviour and even (ostensibly) for dealings with other countries. Sometimes, within a society, sub-groups become apparent which differ from each other in the morals and values held (e.g. religious groups, socio-economic status groups), and this can lead to friction and to attempts to put down opposing value systems by force.
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