The Importance Of Moral Codes In The Aztecs

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This paper will firstly demonstrate the ability of people to be good or bad, as opposed to one or the other. To begin with, this paper will discuss two examples of good people, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King, followed by two examples of bad people, King Leopold II of Belgium and Pol Pot. Secondly, this paper will demonstrate why it is necessary to adopt a flexible moral code using the examples of the Aztecs, who were forced to swap one rigid moral code for another, and Harry Truman, who was forced to choose between two unethical decisions. In conclusion, this paper finds that as one rigid moral code can be replaced with another, as in the case of the Aztecs, ethics cannot be a permanent construct, and that a rigid moral code does not…show more content…
Such a moral code would only be applicable to the followers of that religion. If another religion is forced on a population, their moral codes will have to change with it. For example, the Aztecs were famous for many things, but possibly most famous for their practice of human sacrifice. This was a religious practice that they believed pleased their gods and ensured a good harvest (Kramer, 2013). To the Aztecs, this was therefore an ethical act as it ensured the survival of their society. However, after the Spanish invasion of the Aztec Empire, many Aztecs converted to Christianity, abandoning their old religion and beliefs. Human sacrifice therefore became an unethical act. Those who converted to Christianity had to review their moral codes and their ideas of right and wrong because one rigid moral code had been replaced with another. If it is possible to do this, then surely ethics cannot be a permanent construct and so flexibility is…show more content…
For example, at the end of World War II, U.S. President Harry Truman was faced with the difficult decision of either invading Japan, causing a huge loss of life, or dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, causing a smaller immediate loss of life and bringing the war to a speedy conclusion. Truman was forced to take the decision which was the least worst. Moral rigidity however, would not have allowed Truman to make this difficult decision as both choices seem to be unethical.
In summary, this paper has shown firstly that people have the capacity to be both good and bad through the examples of Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, King Leopold II of Belgium and Pol Pot. Secondly, this paper has demonstrated the necessity of adopting a flexible moral code as rigid moral codes cannot be followed indefinitely, as in the case of the
Aztecs, and also we all at some point have to choose between two or more unethical acts, as in the case of Harry Truman, which a rigid moral code would not allow us to
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