Moral Compass Essay
Yuebo (Grace) Zhu
A moral compass is the moral guide on which a person bases his/her decisions and distinguishes what is right from what is wrong. With our moral compass, we know what rules we should play by. When I was a child, I learnt Chinese traditional wisdom, Confucianism, from my parents and elementary school. The core of Confucianism is humanity, to be altruistic, upright and courteous within the society, from which I got to know the rules I should honor. Never cheat. Be kind and honest. Don't do anything that will hurt others. These become the foundation of my moral compass.
As I grow older, I have been introduced to other theories which cast light on the formation of my moral compass. According to Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of Utilitarianism, the measure of right and wrong is to maximize happiness of maximized number. But when I tried to make decisions based on this theory, I met some problems. First, sometimes it’s impossible to transfer all the values into numbers to make comparison. Second, to achieve the maximized overall pleasure, I had to sacrifice the minority’s interests, which was unfair to them. As I was exposed to “Liberalism”, I found my answers. Every individual in the society deserves respect. Everyone has the right to choose freely, to live our life in the way we like, and to respect others for doing the same things. This part of Liberalism goes along with Confucianism; therefore I set my moral compass as “to respect every individual”.
II. Moral Vision, Code and Fitness
If I was asked to portray a picture to symbolize my moral vision, I would come up with a flying bird. A bird flying represents liberty. It can fly to wherever it wants, and no other birds can stop it. It cannot get into other birds’ way to stop others either. I would like to live a life as the bird. I can...