Causes and Effects of Personal Moral Beliefs
This essay requires you to write on the causes and effects of your personal morality. Now that we have briefly discussed how morality might be explored and explained, and how to structure a cause and effect essay, the task for this assignment is to combine both concepts: our personal moral beliefs as effects of our nature/nurture duality, and as causes of our actions.
For three days, keep a daily log of three of your actions performed during each day (3 actions X 3 days = 9 actions), actions that you consider based on your personal moral-belief system. The actions should be ones you feel positive about at the end of the day; however, do not deliberately go out of your way to do a “good deed” for this assignment. Rather, just observe all your actions during the day and decide before you go to bed which ones were three of the most pro-social.
In other words, choose actions that you perform most the time, but usually do so automatically and without paying much attention to; for example, “I signaled before changing lanes,” “I tossed my empty soda can into a recycle bin,” or “I called a friend to talk about last night’s game/TV episode/homework/argument with boyfriend or girlfriend/etc.”
After recording each day’s three actions, consider the following questions:
What value or belief is reflected in each action? (e.g., concern for the environment)
What was the immediate cause for each action? (e.g., an empty soda can, a recycle bin nearby)
What was a remote cause for each action?
What is your opinion of your decision to make that action? (i.e., was it the “moral” decision or not?)
What were the consequences that you experienced because of each action, in yourself and/or in others? (Were there any unintended consequences?)
Choose any three of the nine actions that you recorded in your daily log and your answers to the questions above to reflect on how those beliefs and actions play a role in exemplifying your moral belief system. In other words, using the three-day journal of your pro-social actions, write an essay of at least 1000 words to analyze three important components of your moral belief system, how you acquired those morals, and the actions you see exemplifying those morals.
Your introduction should include a brief discussion about which morals you find most significant in guiding your daily actions.
Remember to think of each body paragraph in terms of a cause and an effect of a specific moral belief (like compassion, fidelity, kindness, etc.) That is, discuss each component of your belief system (each “pillar of morality”) as having at least one cause, and the action as its effect. Overall, your essay structure should consider the causes of the three moral values and beliefs that underlie the actions you describe, the actions themselves , and the effects the actions had (at least as well as you can remember them).