"In a social system, the totality of the conditions for deciding the bestowal of esteem or disdain within the system "(K. BAUSCH, Glossary, Pers. comm., 2002)
This definition has been inspired by N. LUHMANN's views. It clearly describes morality as a socio-cultural values defining code, most generally based on non-rational mythical beliefs or religious faith. Morality is a symbolic generalization that reduces the full reflexive complexity of double contingent ego/alter relations… and by this generalization opens up 1) room for the freeplay of conditionings, and 2) the possibility of reconstructing complexity through the binary schematism esteem/disdain".
Morality is thus essentially a social set of constraints. However, it is clear that the obedience to these constraints is basically a mere insurance against getting in trouble.
Ethics on the contrary engages personal responsibility for one's own behavior, and may in some cases lead to a rebellion against social constraints imposed by moral in the meaning of LUHMANN.
Consequently, morality is not universal in an absolute sense. Some specific behavior can easily be praised, or even made obligatory in one culture and abhored and even prohibited in another. Examples abound.
Any morality, specific to a culture, is transmitted by conditioning, generally since the most tender age. It thus becomes ingrained and escapes any critical reappraisal.
This leads to a set of standardized behaviors, not anymore discusses by anybody (in German "Gleichschaltung")
In this way many possible conflicts are avoided eliminated or at least made infrequent and much more easily evaluated and reduced within a community that obey stable and clear rules and prescriptions.
Morality is, or better, moralities are thus basically social devices and as such quite different and more limited in scope than ethics, which is more concerned with the deepest human nature, man's relation with his living the deepest human nature, man's relation with his living and non-living environment and the most existencial question marks. (See H.von FOERSTER and M. BRÖCKER, 2002)
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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