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Simone Grant

Unessay Project 2 Draft 3

3/17/2015, Word Count: 747

Cover letter
A picture is worth a thousand words, and hopefully these paintings Ive made can help
translate a couple of mine about human nature and morals. These paintings are subtly
uncomfortable, and help explain the differences between moral codes in the US, China, and
Nigeria on matters of war, infanticide, and polygamy, respectively. These countries are not
necessarily the worst offenders of these morals, but they were the easiest to depict.
In the US, a soldier salutes a flag that shades the graves of those killed in yet another war
that was started under the guise of peace. In China, an infant ward at a hospital is filled only with
baby boys. In Nigeria, there is a pleasant wedding between a man and his four wives. These are
all acceptable scenarios in their respective countries, but become less pleasant when viewed by
other countries around the world.
If we, as human beings, want the concept of world peace to be more than a passing
fantasy, we need to learn to put aside our morals when addressing international relations, or
otherwise solidify them into one large code of morals. Is that how we want things to be? Or can
there be another way?

Morals are principles establishing the differences between right and wrong. They are formed
over time as a result of a societys people and circumstances. Morals differ from culture to
culture, however there are some cross-cultural similarities between them. Most humans seem to
certain activities or behaviors, either through a disgust response or through our evolution as
mammals and primates. Harm, cheating, betrayal, subversion, degradation and oppression are all
things fundamentally disliked by all humans, regardless of culture, though of course even these
hard-wired morals can be reformed by human experiences. (Dobolyi, moralfoundations)
After these fundamental morals, however, cultures seem to drift away from each other in terms
of morality. As humans, we cannot seem to agree on racism, sexism, polygamy, infanticide,
genocide, torture, homosexuality, extramarital affairs, or contraception usage. (Wiegand, Moral
judgement) Some of these work against our set point of human morality, and some work with
them, but all are present in the world even in modern times.
I believe that if we want peace in the world, quite a few of these will need to be settled and
agreed upon by everyone. It seems impossible, but cultural and moral ambiguities create tension
that will not go away until they are resolved. This has become even more important in our
modern world, because all countries are linked through the internet and social media it is
becoming difficult to sweep activities that are morally unsound or debatable under the rug
What are our options? Through research and speculation Ive reached the conclusion that, for
true peace, we only have one option: everyone needs to have the same moral system, and be
taught it from birth. If everyone has the same perception of right and wrong, these issues
wouldnt be issues anymore. However, the thought of this happening raises a few red flags. How
would these codes be adopted? Through coercion, corruption, or force? Through a set of laws
that may or may not work? That is, of course, not even including the discussion of whose morals
we would be adopting. Is abortion okay but infanticide unthinkable? Is genocide a no-go but
racism okay in small amounts? Are contraception exclusion and sexism a package deal? Not to
mention who, exactly, would be deciding which combination was perfect. Would there be a
vote? Could a government handle it?
Try as I might to be happy for this kind of idea, where everyone is peaceful and moral
speculation is a thing of the past, I find I cannot. Who would we be? Would we all be the same?
The whole situation has a vague utopian overtone to it, a unity only gained through a lack of
individuality. Schools of thought and entire religions would be brought down by this kind of
regime, and that doesnt seem like a good idea to me.
So, as you can see, the idea of us all having the same moral system is incredibly far-fetched. I
think that, as we move forward, everyone should not seek to overthrow their individual moral
systems, or to obliterate everyone elses. Personally, I think it would be best if we kept those
other morals in our minds. Through understanding, and being open-minded, I believe we can get
as close to a utopia as we can without actually touching it.

Works Cited

BBC. Kenya President Signs Polygamy Law Web. 18 Mar. 2015

Poushter, Jacob. Whats Morally Acceptable? It Depends on Where in the World You
Live. PewResearchCenter. PewResearchCenter, Web. 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 18 Mar.
2015. <>.
Dobolyi, David. Home. moralfoundations. collaboration, 8 Nov. 2014.
Web. 18 Mar. 2015. <>.
Wiegand, Caroline. Cross-cultural Moral Judgement in a Globalised World. Einternational relations students. E-international relations students, 25 May 2012. Web. 18
Mar. 2015. <>.