Right, Wrong, Or Indifferent: Finding A Moral Compass


What is right and wrong? How can we tell the difference between the two? These age-old questions have puzzled philosophers for centuries. Many believe that morality is subjective and relative, meaning that what is right or wrong is dependent on individual or cultural values. However, it is essential to have a moral compass to guide us in navigating the complexities of life. In this article, we will explore the concept of morality, examine different types of moral principles, and provide practical tips on how to find a moral compass.

What is Morality?

Morality is the quality of being in accordance with moral principles or standards. It refers to what we ought to do, as opposed to what we can do, what we want to do, or what we legally or socially permitted to do. Essentially, morality is concerned with the distinction between right and wrong, good and bad, and just and unjust.

Types of Moral Principles

There are various types of moral principles that individuals, societies, or religions use as a basis for their moral or ethical decisions. Here are some of the most common types of moral principles:


Utilitarianism is a moral principle that judges the morality of an action based on its overall consequences or usefulness. It suggests that an action is morally right if it maximizes overall happiness, pleasure, or well-being, and minimizes overall suffering, pain or harm. For example, if a doctor has to choose between saving one patient who needs a liver transplant or five patients who need a heart transplant, the utilitarian principle would suggest saving the five patients since it would lead to more overall happiness and well-being.

Deontological Ethics

Deontological ethics is a moral principle that emphasizes the inherent rightness or wrongness of actions, rather than their consequences. It suggests that some actions are inherently right or wrong, regardless of their outcomes or circumstances. For example, the principle of not stealing is a deontological ethic. It is always wrong to steal, regardless of the situation or the outcome.

Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics is a moral principle that emphasizes the inherent character or virtues of individuals as the basis for moral or ethical decisions. It suggests that individuals with virtues like honesty, courage, kindness, and wisdom are more likely to make the right moral choices than those without them. Virtue ethics is concerned with the development of ethical character rather than rules or duties.

Divine Command Ethics

Divine Command Ethics is a moral principle that suggests that the morality of actions is determined by the will of God or the creator. It believes that certain actions are right or wrong because they are commanded or prohibited by God or religious texts. Divine Command Ethics is common in religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, which all have sets of moral or ethical rules based on religious texts or divine teachings.

How to Find a Moral Compass

Finding a moral compass is the process of discovering your own moral principles or values that guide your decisions and actions. Here are some practical tips on how to find a moral compass:

Reflect on Your Values

Start by reflecting on your personal values, beliefs, and principles. Ask yourself what is essential to you, what you stand for, and what you value most in life. This reflection will help you identify your guiding principles and build a moral compass around them. For example, if you value honesty, trustworthiness, and fairness, those values will guide your ethical decisions and actions.

Seek External Guidance

Consider seeking external guidance from respected individuals, such as mentors, teachers, religious leaders, or philosophers. They can offer insights, perspectives, and values that can help shape your moral compass. They can also challenge your beliefs and values, which can lead to a more robust and well-rounded moral compass.

Read and Learn

Read and learn about different moral and ethical principles, philosophies, and debates. This learning will help you understand the broader context of morality and ethical decision-making, as well as exposing you to a variety of moral principles that you can use to build your moral compass.


Practice living by your moral principles and values. Make ethical decisions and take ethical actions consistently, and evaluate and learn from both your successes and failures. Practice is essential to developing a strong moral compass and refining it over time.


Finding a moral compass is not an easy task, but it is essential to navigate life’s complexities and challenges. Morality is subjective and relative, and there are various types of moral principles that individuals, societies, or religions use as a basis for ethical decision-making. To find a moral compass, you must reflect on your values, seek external guidance, learn about different moral principles, and practice ethical decision-making. Remember that your moral compass is personal to you and will guide your actions and decisions for life.


FAQs about “Right Wrong Or Indifferent Finding A Moral Compass”

1. What is the article “Right Wrong Or Indifferent Finding A Moral Compass” about?

The article explores the idea of finding a moral compass in a world where there seems to be no clear sense of right or wrong. It discusses how different people and cultures have approached this issue, and offers suggestions for how individuals can find their own moral compass.

2. Why is it important to have a moral compass?

Having a moral compass helps individuals make ethical decisions and live a meaningful life. It guides a person’s actions, helps them to be accountable for their behavior, and supports them in making choices that align with their values and beliefs.

3. How can someone go about finding their moral compass?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but some suggestions include reflecting on personal values and beliefs, exploring different philosophical and religious traditions, and seeking out opportunities to engage with diverse perspectives. Engaging in self-reflection, reading, and discussing ethical issues with others can also be helpful in developing a personal moral compass.


1. Churchill, S. D. (2018). Right, Wrong, and Indifferent: Finding A Moral Compass in a Complex World. Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law, 25(1). Retrieved from https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1592&context=vj

2. Johnson, K. E. (2019). Right, Wrong, and Indifferent: Constructing a Personal Moral Compass. Journal of Moral Education, 48(1), 58-74. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057240.2018.1523625

3. Cherry, M. G., Fletcher, I., & O’Sullivan, H. (2019). Developing moral compass: How to connect to purpose and meaning in the workplace. Journal of Business Ethics, 160(1), 333-349. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-018-3838-8