Fear Morality Essay

Pages: 3 (1110 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics


Because of these thoughts, it is apparent that he did not believe that morality, as people know it, could come without there be some fear attached. People may not believe that they acted out of fear from some dire consequence, but they actually did. This can be seen in the fact that people who do bad things, go to jail. Thus, even on the physical plane it is fearful to go to jail so one ought to do good. This is in concert with the idea that God is in control of fear and uses it to create His version of goodness.

Fear without Morality and Morality without Fear

However, by approaching this as if it were a mathematical proof, it can be proven that his point is wrong. There are examples of people experiencing fear without morality and morality without fear. Two cases are presented to demonstrate this truth.

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A study was conducted by psychologists in which three-year-old children in Mauritius were "exposed to two different types of sounds" and then their sweat response was measured (Cline). The gist was that one sound was followed by a blaring horn and the other was not. The children learned to anticipate the horn and sweated, a known fear response, when they knew it was coming. The original experiment was conducted in the 1970's. The report says that "decades later the team looked to see if any of the original children had significant criminal records" (Cline). It was found that 138 did, and they were children who had a much less sweat response than the other children. Thus, it can be concluded that this response was inherent and not learned due to the age of the children (Cline). So the fear creates morality argument is debunked.

TOPIC: Essay on Fear Morality Fear and Morality Assignment

Taking it the opposite direction, morality can also exist in the absence of fear. According to one researcher, Pillay, there are fear-response moral clauses such as "don't murder" and "don't steal" (Pillay), but there are also those that people, sometimes, adhere to such as "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is not based in fear, but it is based in a desire to truly have a good outcome. The problem, he says, is not that morality can only happen through a fear response, but that it happens much more often because of fear than without it that is the problem (Pillay).


Nietzsche was thinking about this topic for many years and observing the world trying to determine the roots of ethics and morals. He arrived at the conclusion that morals were all based in fear and that there were no true ethics. However, here are two small refutations of those assertions that disprove his thesis. In mathematics it only takes one disproof of a theorem to render it not tru. The same can be said or Nietzsche's assertions.

Works Cited

Cline, Austin. "Fear, Morality and Crime." About Agnosticism/Atheism, 2010. Web.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. "On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic Tract." 2009. Web.

Pillay, Srini. "Fear and the Biological Non-Existence of Morality: Why are we… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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