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Moral courage

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moral courage is the courage to take action for moral reasons despite the risk of adverse consequences.[1]

Courage is required in order to take action when one has doubts or fears about the consequences. Moral courage therefore involves deliberation or careful thought. Reflex action or dogmatic fanaticism do not involve moral courage because such impulsive actions are not based upon moral reasoning.[2]

Moral courage may also require physical courage when the consequences are punishment or other bodily peril.[3]

Moral courage has been seen as the exemplary modernist form of courage.[4]

Parenting approach[edit]

Incorporating moral courage into parenting[how?] can affect the self-expression[specify] of the child during late adolescence.[5] The development[specify] of moral courage within parenting is not only affected by the parent's passed-down moral values but the children's autonomy on how to perceive and practice their moral values.[5] Those who incorporate the practice of their moral values into their everyday lives engage in moral courage to protect those values as well.[6]

Examples of moral courage[edit]

Moral courage can be shown through selfless actions aimed to diminish or eliminate discrimination. A study used qualitative research methods to analyze the process of how and why individuals become LGBT allies.[6] The study mentions how human resources development play a role to help prevent LGBT discrimination in the workplace.[relevant?]

Moral courage anonymity[edit]

Many different aspects can contribute to moral courage. Something that may inhibit moral courage however, is the undesirable consequences in their personal, social, and work life. A way of counteracting those adverse consequences and increasing moral courage may be by adding anonymity.[7] In a study on online moral courage, they found that moral courage and anonymity online had a positive correlation. Moral courage was also correlated with gender, age, and education levels, therefore, those who are older, male, and have lower levels of education are more likely to perform acts of moral courage when they perceive that they are acting anonymously compared to those who are young, female, and have higher levels of education.[7] Even when controlling those factors, there is still a positive correlation.


  1. ^ Vesilind, P. Aarne (2006). "The Courage To Do The Right Thing". The right thing to do: an ethics guide for engineering students (2nd ed.). Woodsville, N.H.: Lakeshore Press. ISBN 9780965053969.
  2. ^ Walton, Douglas N. (1986). "Moral Deliberation and Conduct". Courage, a philosophical investigation. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520054431.
  3. ^ Putman, Daniel A. (2004). Psychological Courage. University Press of America. ISBN 9780761828204.
  4. ^ Shippey, T. A. (1992). The Road to Middle Earth. pp. 72–73.
  5. ^ a b Bronstein, Phyllis; Fox, Barbara J.; Kamon, Jody L.; Knolls, Michelle L. (30 May 2007). "Parenting and Gender as Predictors of Moral Courage in Late Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study". Sex Roles. 56 (9–10): 661–74. doi:10.1007/s11199-007-9182-8. S2CID 21740863.
  6. ^ a b Brooks, A. K.; Edwards, K. (5 January 2009). "Allies in the Workplace: Including LGBT in HRD". Advances in Developing Human Resources. 11 (1): 136–49. doi:10.1177/1523422308328500. S2CID 145066844.
  7. ^ a b Pan, Xinyu; Hou, Yubo; Wang, Qi (November 2023). "Are we braver in cyberspace? Social media anonymity enhances moral courage". Computers in Human Behavior. 148: 107880. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2023.107880. ISSN 0747-5632.

Further reading[edit]