I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. — Ernest Hemingway

There must always be a remedy for wrong and injustice if we only know how to find it. — Ida B. Wells

Big Question: How can I tell right from wrong?

Sixth graders may not use the term "moral ambiguity," but they have confronted complex moral and ethical decisions. Even young children know the angst of being torn between two choices, each of which seems to mix right and wrong.

The simple answer to today's Big Question is that there is no simple answer. However, youth will learn in this session how to use tests and guidelines—for example, the UU Principles, their own conscience, the Golden Rule—to discern the best, most right action in specific situations.

Helping sixth graders through the thickets of moral ambiguity is very much worth the effort. The session offers youth challenges to consider and includes a story of conscience at work. In WCUU, youth create conscience art. WIT Time considers where best to find help in making moral, ethical decisions.

Goals

This session will:

  • Pose the Big Question "How can I tell right from wrong?" and explore Unitarian Universalist responses
  • Explore the concept of the conscience
  • Examine how one's actions affect oneself and others
  • Apply moral abstractions to real situations
  • Provide Unitarian Universalist guidelines for confronting moral and ethical dilemmas.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Embrace the challenge and the responsibility of sorting right and wrong
  • Experience that general answers usually cannot help in moral decision-making; specific situations and decisions each require a moral and ethical review
  • Understand and internalize UU ethical guidelines
  • Practice applying moral and ethical tests and guidelines to diverse dilemmas.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.