What Is Morality For?
What Is Morality For?
  • Reporter Park Hee-won
  • 승인 2018.05.10 09:56
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I always believed that progressing everyday is the most worthwhile virtue in my life. I thought a person should advance internally and externally as time passes by. Taking time off, I was nervous about the fact that I was relaxing. It does not mean I always did my very best to deal with all tasks around me. However, I felt guilty whenever I took a break, which made me helpless. This tendency has worsened these days. Devastated, I tried to find out what was wrong with me.

I finally concluded that the idea that a person should be better everyday is not always true. It might sound radical, but it is just a myth made by society. I mean obsession about self-advancement is not that desirable an attitude to take. In utilitarian terms, people should behave in a way that maximizes utility. This ‘utility’ is usually used to describe the well-being of sentient entities. It is the core reason why the world tells us to wake up early, not to be lazy, work hard, be happy and progress; fundamental morality that holds good. If we do not work hard and get lazy, it damages the utility of the community. Those deeds referred to above ultimately hinder productivity and fertility. Also, practicing virtues made by a utilitarian viewpoint can be interpreted as beneficial. People on earth are the descendants of ancestors who felt happy, worked hard and prospered. However, I am saying that morality is not for the pure good of the community as learnt, but for the individual and social profit.

We take living up to those standards of morality for granted because we have been taught from early childhood without any explanation other than its goodness and efficiency. Especially in neoliberal capitalistic Korea with a rampant competitive social atmosphere, I was told to comply with a rapidly changing world and I actually strived to meet these fictional standards. I entered POSTECH as the result of that perspiration and began to face the stressful aspect of being agile over my ability. The demand of society sometimes binds one from following what one yearns to do.

Most of the moral standards were made for the interest of the individual. The concept of the God-given rights of men emerged in medieval times. If lords and knights were in a bad mood, peasants could be killed without hesitation. Not to be killed, people created the concept of God-given rights for their sake. Also, people did not want to be robbed or have possessions stolen, thus, it was made into a law that robbery or stealing are illegal. These basic moral standards ultimately protect the rights of each individual, who benefit from them. In spite of the fact that we live in a world of cultural relativity, there are certain basic rules to keep and certain taboos are prohibited. Many cultures around the globe share main moral laws that forbid murder, rape and others, for the utility of society and individual.

Personally, I promised not to push myself excessively in my studies and work. I found obsession on morality; working and studying hard made my life stressful and depressing. Having too high expectations on my achievements, harmed my life balance. Relaxing for the better leap is an important part of life. I will not feel guilty when at rest and not obsess with success in the extent that it lashes me at present. In conclusion, morality is something all people must abide by. It is one of the main factors which keeps the world running. The bottom line is that the morality exists for the benefit of the people. We should not to be stressful following it recklessly.