2. a system of principles concerning right and wrong behaviour that isaccepted by a particular group of people
3. the degree to which something is considered to be right or wrong http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/morality
How does one go about making moral decisions? Is everything so black and white? Is it always wrong to steal? Is it always wrong to lie? When is it okay to have sex and when is not okay to have sex? Is it always wrong to kill a person?
I was taught that these moral rules are black and white; after all, the 10 commandments teach us they are, right? I was raised in a church and a family where we weren't taught there was possibly a middle ground, or moral ambiguity. Then the same people who taught me these absolutes are the very same people who taught me it is acceptable to believe in the death penalty. Then I read the Bible--talk about a moral land mine! God killed or commanded people to kill entire groups of people including children and their animals.(If it is wrong to kill people, then why is it okay to kill even in this situation?) In the book of mormon, god tells a man to kill a man, wars are waged in gods name.
It was also very confusing to be taught my entire life that sex was bad and evil, then it was okay to have sex the day I was married; very confusing. (Is it bad, or good, or evil or good?) God also allows a man to rape a woman as long as he marries her after. There are concubines, polygamy and rape in the bible. How confusing is that?!
God says to not lie, but in the Bible he tells Abraham to lie about the relationship he has with his wife. The Bible has many other examples of moral ambiguity sanctioned by god.
In the mormon church, as I have read the history, I have also learned it has a great deal of moral ambiguity. The founder, Joseph Smith, openly taught monogamy, yet secretly practiced polygamy and polyandry. http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/
The church today, covers up this history from its members, actively seeking to deceive its members by not teaching this history. In 2008, in relieve society and priesthood meetings, they have studied the life of Joseph Smith and not one single lesson talks about polygamy or polyandry. http://ldsmediatalk.com/2008/01/09/teachings-of-presidents-of-the-church-joseph-smith/
The mormon church also teaches that it is sexually pure, by forbidding masturbation, sex before marriage, requiring their garments to be put back on immediately after sex, covering a woman's shoulders. Yet, is has a sexually ambiguous background where men were sent on missions and their wives were then told to marry Joseph Smith or Brigham Young (polyandry) polygamy was practiced against the law, printing presses were destroyed to keep these practices secret.
I was in a state of cognitive dissonance from the time I could read.
Who can read this history and not be in a state of moral confusion?