Steven Pinker The Moral Instinct

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What Should One Do? What is right to you might seem wrong to me. What is wrong to me might seem right to you. Who is right and who is wrong? No one is really wrong or right; it all depends on the individual’s morals. Many may think that we are born with morals but in reality it is said that morals are taught. You can say that morals are universal. We are taught what is right from wrong. People might disagree with you, but to each is own. In The New York Times article “The Moral Instinct”, author Steven Pinker expresses his view on morals and argues that the study of moral sense can help people become “better”. He also argues that morality is universal but it varies depending upon each individual’s religion, society, education, etc. Pinker…show more content…
Orwell’s life as an officer was uninspiring. He was “tripped”, “yelled” at and “insulted” (Orwell 87) by the Burmen which to him got tiring and frustrating. An officer that is pushed around like that is an officer who does not have any authority. The townspeople have no respect towards him and will never have respect unless he were to do something brave to show them that he was powerful. He was called to kill “a wild elephant” (Orwell 88) who was destroying the town and who even killed a poor man. This elephant was nowhere near “wild”. Everyone has a different definition of the word wild, and to Orwell the elephant was nowhere near it. It came to the point where Orwell had to choose between saving the harmless elephant’s life or shooting him in order to feel like a hero in the town. The townspeople encouraged Orwell to do what to them was “right”. In Pinker’s article he explains that if morality is not found, you can take a step to knowing yourself. In this case Orwell was afraid of taking this step because he knew that it would mean that he would have to face an angry crowd. He came to the point where “it was perfectly clear to [him] what [he] ought to do” (Orwell 90). To Orwell there was only one solution and it was not based upon his beliefs. He let others pressure him into making what to them seem correct. He wanted to fit in so badly that to him at that point it did not matter of he had to kill a poor innocent elephant. At first Orwell seemed to not comprehend what he had done. Orwell stated that when he “pulled the trigger [he] did not hear the bang or feel the kick” (90) as if he had not shot the elephant. Typically when you pull a trigger you hear the noise following it and you feel the vibration throughout your body. Orwell was astonished of what he was capable of doing for being

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