Well, when I was a child my parents, my teachers and the church decided what was morally right for me. As an adult, I choose for myself. You can either carry what was taught to you throughout your life or you can change your mind and find your own path.
Who gets to decide what is morally right or wrong? Should we all be allowed to decide for ourselves?
Your imperative.....that little voice in your head that says -wait a minute - should I do this?
Whether you want to admit it or not, WE DO already decide for ourselves.
Even Christians who say the Bible and Godly teaching are THEIR moral compass have to weigh that information against "Reason, Reciprocity and Empathy" . . . If the Bible told you to Rape, Pillage and Maim, then I am guessing you would have a sound enough mind to know that is wrong and liable to place you at odds with society (reciprocity). Unless you are born with the empathic part of you brain diminished, because you are a psychopath, you are beholden to certain levels of Empathy . . . And while we all can reason about what is the worst possible way of life, to what is the best, we can determine that middle ground of reason . . . The Bible and God, are just reference materials Believers "FEEL" they need to complete their moral compass . . . Without understanding THEY are the true determiners of whether or not it is reasonable to follow.
Whatever keeps a society afloat is the moral decision. Being rude or unproductive is harmful to those around you. In order for us all to get along and make our lives easier we need to behave in a way that is best for those around us. You and I and everyone else need to behave in a way that benefits society. "Moral" behavior is whatever kind of morality that best keeps a society functional.
Of course these morals evolve and change over time, but they still remain pretty constant.
Your brain or gut feeling tells you what's right or wrong
I believe that the Bible gives the best guidance of what's right and wrong. Even if I were not a Christian I couldn't come up with a better set of guidelines than the Bible has.
We are imperfect, prone to sin. (Genesis 8:21; Romans 5:12) So our senses can be deceived into believing that something is good solely because it is something that we want, or it excites us, while, in fact, it may be lethal. Therefore, we need to train our senses not to be easily deceived, as a child would be. We have to learn to exercise moral discrimination as a discerning adult would. For example, a very young child, upon being offered two coins, would naturally select the larger, shinier one over the smaller, duller coin, even if the smaller coin was more valuable. Why? Because he has not been trained to distinguish the value of money. To his untrained senses, the bigger and glossier coin is better. When he gets older, he may understand better the value of money. But then he may have difficulties with food. Similarly in the matter of deciding right and wrong, we have to learn that what is pleasant to our senses is not always right. The correct thing may not always be the most exciting or the easiest thing, but it will always be morally right and the most beneficial for us.
Right and wrong can mean many things. There is a moral right and wrong, there is a social right and wrong, there is even a personal right and wrong. Much depends on perspective.
I'm thinking there is a consensus about logical rights and wrongs .. For example .. We all know it's wrong to steal from someone, to take something that doesn't belong to us. We also know it is wrong to 'cheat ' on your partner or spouse .. Or it's wrong to lie in order to gain a monetary reward .. Or it's right to posses a high level of itegrity in terms of how we treat others. Those are not often challenged in terms of 'right' and 'wrong' from ANY perspective.
If it were up to each individual what would be
considered morally right or wrong .. we would be living in a world of
total chaos. Rules and even laws for that matter provide a level
playing field. Without them .. there are no controls and matters would
get totally out of hand because .. we all know .. there's nobody
stupider than people.
Case in point .. what if someone were to
decide that extreme physical punishment were morally 'right' .. and
someone (anyone) could literally beat their parter or children into
submission? Would what we know as phyisical abuse EVER be ok? Should
people be morally enabled to make up their own rules?
I think not!
The conscience that was given us when we were created by God along with some of the things that our parents taught us. As I became an adult and started reading the Bible I learned that only God can set moral standards of right and wrong, and if followed it brings happiness and peace of mind.
Because Adam and eve sinned and we are their imperfect children we all have our own version of what we"think" is right and wrong. But God is perfect and we learn his thoughts of right and wrong when we read and meditate on the words of the bible.