The Relationship Between Emotions or Feelings to Morality

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1066 Words
Date:  2022-03-27


The role of emotions and feeling on a moral system, (the principles, rules, norms, values, ideas, and notions that make one form) has been quite a controversial topic among philosophers when integrating the issues of emotional feeling to the morality of a person. The dilemma of the compatibility of feeling or emotions and virtue lies in the nature of non-deliberate emotions that lack linearity to the moral responsibility and those partial emotions are incompatible with the impartial morality. However, the controversy can be scraped off since on daily activities of human, and emotions claim a significant responsibility in the moral uprightness of an individual in which human mind has a responsibility for emotions whereas feelings are instrumental and intrinsically deterministic of one's moral system. Therefore, it can be noted that emotions determine ethical conduct since it either drives or deters transgression while enhancing pro-social behavior.

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In the evaluation of the role of emotion on moral conduct, we will first evaluate the relationship between emotions and moral responsibility in a broader perspective, which can be entailed as follows. Moral responsibility implies that a person is at free will to take actions and in case it faces an external force; then it is not responsible for its actions. And the free will of a person is determined with its rational deliberation in which a person has alternatives to choose the best for itself (Teper, Zhong, & Inzlicht, 2015). The rational reflection of a person is often assessed by emotions that attribute to the action; a reason used by other people to judge the moral conduct of a person. For example, a parent will praise or criticize a child based on the emotions it exhibits. A mother may advise his son that he should not be angry for a failed love relationship because it is a reasonable life challenge. Thus, such a piece of advice may prevent the son from taking actions of self-harm. Moreover, the issue of moral responsibility usually has two facets, causality, and blameworthiness in which in most instances, people tend to blame their emotions as a causal agent of a given action, which is somehow irrational (Andrea & Ronald, 2018). As such a person should evaluate the consequence of action despite the feelings and should not blame the emotions stirring it to transgression.

Moreover, emotions have a significant position in the moral domain of a person in which positive and negative emotional states help in the governing of proper ethical conduct of a person (Andrea & Ronald, 2018). The emotional concerns of a person are not necessarily egocentric since a time it addresses the well being of other individuals in the society which is valuable for them. Although an act of helping the needy may attribute to the buildup of an egoistic aspect of a person, by promoting one's pride for achieving something, it builds on the positive emotional state (Teper, Zhong, & Inzlicht, 2015). Similarly, sometimes if one develops negative emotions, it may fight the social injustices, thus drives a person to eliminate existing inequalities. For example, a person being saddened with incidences of racial segregation can advocate for campaigns against social injustice.

Equally, personal emotional concerns can be instrumental in the achievement of positive moral consequences in society (Teper, Zhong, & Inzlicht, 2015). Jealousy from religious holy books is a discourage vice that can result to adverse moral actions such as killing a person you are jealous of, but in some situations, such as in love relationships and marriages, jealousy helps in the protection of the trust of our partners. Likewise, envy can enhance personal growth where an individual will work to achieve the status quo of the other people whereas anger contributes to the protection of their reputation. The positive and negative emotions tend to couple in some incidences of the moral domain in which an act can produce emotional signs of both low and high feeling (Teper, Zhong, & Inzlicht, 2015). For instance, if a person is cut short from a pleasuring action, the individual might feel irritated before regaining emotional consciousness to a neutral state. Therefore, people should presume the low emotional feeling as a norm of life rather than expecting highs in life, which is a basis of common sense.

Another relationship of emotion or feeling to morality is expressed from the moral viewing point, whereby people tend to care about a person's action and their similar feeling in the sense that emotions are attributed with emotions and enduring values of the person (Andrea & Ronald, 2018). When an individual holds a considerable benefit for something, then it will have a certain appealing passion towards it, thus influences the person's moral domain in which he/she will be quite sincere towards it. The scenario can be seen in people of close family ties, lovers, friends, and workmates who tend to be open towards one another compared on how they relate with strangers (Teper, Zhong, & Inzlicht, 2015). This is because individuals believe that the people who they are closely related have an emotional feeling towards their situation; hence it is right to open towards them.

In the society, emotions are a moral compass, which direct ethical conduct in which a morally upright act is that one which lets one feel good whereas that which instills a lousy feeling is immoral (Andrea & Ronald, 2018). Also, emotion can be action barriers that prevent a person from transgression or committing a crime. Emotion models moral direction through initialization of the uprightness of an action, mobilizing one's cognitive ability in the perception of an act and provide a means of social communication. In influencing of social interaction, an emotion reveals a person's evaluative stands while corresponding to other social norms of judging an action's position.


In conclusion, emotions have a critical role in determining human conduct since they are either instruments of a moral system or have an intrinsic value that influences human ethical behavior. Therefore, it is essential that psychologists and other mental health counselors put considerate attention on the influence of emotions in some risk actions of people to provide a holistic intervention in mental wellbeing of people.


Andrea, S., & Ronald, D. (2018). Emotion (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Retrieved from

Teper, R., Zhong, C., & Inzlicht, M. (2015). How Emotions Shape Moral Behavior: Some Answers (and Questions) for the Field of Moral Psychology. Social And Personality Psychology Compass, 9(1), 1-14. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12154

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The Relationship Between Emotions or Feelings to Morality. (2022, Mar 27). Retrieved from

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