I was reading, and intrigued by, a post written by Scott Bonn, a sociology professor and an expert on crime, titled “Beware: Evil Exists Everywhere” . In this post he discusses the act of evil as being socially constructed; that is “all knowledge, including the most basic, taken-for-granted common sense knowledge of everyday life, is actually constructed and reinforced through social interaction” (psychology today.com). In plainer english, we believe in something because we are (1). taught to believe in it, or (2). observed as being true, both of which are in the social environment. This is especially true, or more so, through the interaction between us and our immediate surroundings (at one place and at one time). That is one person’s view of evil, may be different than another person’s view of evil. Dr. Bonn believes that the Salem Witch Trials are a great example for this. The community executed or condemned so many people accused of witchcraft because to them (in 1692 Massachusetts) witchcraft or practicing witchcraft was evil and should be condemned. To us, now, in the 21st century, it seems silly that that event happened because of advances in technology etc. (psychology today.com).
I contend the idea of morality operates much the same way. Morality is socially constructed, in that what is considered moral here in the USA may be strange or immortal elsewhere and vice versa. Again, the idea of morality, much like the idea of evil is not universal. Case in point, To Mauritania, an African nation, it is moral to force- feed a girl till she is fat because fat in Mauritania means beautiful and a higher chance of getting married (www.businessinsider.com). To us here in the U.S.A., it may seem both immoral and strange to force- feed anyone, especially a girl, because it is child- abuse. Thus, morality is socially constructed as well.