should treasure and encourage these intolerant emotional reactions to
immorality, not mimic the psychopath's indifference to law breaking.
Moral action is based on emotions, not just on ideas of justice. The
seven deadly sins are all based on emotions: caring for others instead
of greed, admiring achievements instead of laziness, hating injustice,
etc. Wrong-doing, our own and others', should offend us (Keen,
Is it important to avoid lying or cheating or being cruel even if you
know you won't get caught? Yes! Why? Because you would know you
did wrong. How could a person believe he/she believes in a certain
value or moral if the moral is freely disregarded whenever no one is
looking? Obviously, even to the wrong-doer, such professed morals
are simply gimmicks or lies to impress others, not guidelines for living.
Morals must be practiced in order to grow strong (perhaps practice in
situations where you are not observed is especially valuable in
establishing a moral character). Furthermore, Frank (1988) suggests
that looking like a good person, which both the honest and dishonest
strive for, is best achieved by actually being good. In short, a person
should be honest and faithful and considerate, even when he/she
won't get caught, because by doing so he/she cultivates the emotions
and moral principles that help him/her be good in other situations.
Don't cheat on your taxes, don't lie about your accomplishments, and
dont pretend to be something you aren't; instead be honest and
proudly tell yourself you are building your moral character.
Other guidelines for living
Many books have been written about values and ways to live. I
have cited several helpful ones at the end of this chapter.
I have pushed loving one another, following the Golden Rule.
Aren't there other good "rules" for living? Of course, but none, in my
opinion, as important as the Golden Rule. What are some of the other
Have hope, courage, and self-direction. Without hope, we
would do nothing. It helps us through hard times (Pines & Aronson,
1981). Having high hopes gives us the zeal and drive to do our best.
Where there is little hope, it takes courage to do what you think is
right. The soldier asked (by all of us) to assault a machine gun bunker
must have enormous courage and devotion. The person who has
different ideas from others must have courage to speak up.
Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.