solve for x
What defines a man’s moral character? Is it his political stance? Does it come from personal conviction or adherence to his principles? Is he patient by nature or bold by design? What is this elusive quality that touches good men who seek to possess it?
I'll quickly dismiss religious affiliation as the moral touchstone. Religions are by and large institutions of good that teach specific, applied-ethics behaviors that benefit society at large. Yet, every religion has produced a famous criminal or two. Besides, plenty of good people existed before any of the world's current religions.
It's silly to think that any one personality type could be moral. The aggressive go-getter and the passive-aggressive peace-maker are very different people but neither holds moral superiority over the other.
It is ridiculous to think any one political theory could be the moral one. Surely, morality has been around since before any contemporary political party was conceptualized.* No, morality is much older than that and has been important all along. Since the very beginning, in fact.
"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." -Isaac Asimov
So perhaps morality is defined by a man’s ethical core.
Think about lying. It’s not always wrong. Sometimes it's a good idea, in fact, but when is a good liar a bad person? When he lies for personal gain? When he seeks to harm another or betray a friend, perhaps?
If morality is a societal construct that transcends any one era and yet reaches each man individually then what is it's origin? What is it's objective? I subscribe to the meta-ethical theory. I believe morality is derived from man's need to avoid injury, disputes, or anything that might jeopardize his society/progeny. I feel that morality has this objective, quantifiable purpose. That doesn't answer my original question, however, "What defines a moral man?"
I believe a moral man, a good man, is he who places other’s needs before his own. A man who knows he is bettering himself by making sure his friends are taken care of. A man who sees his family’s needs as tantamount to his own existence.
May each of us find ourselves to be moral men.
*Do any of the political parties from the dawn of the US of A even exist?