The aim of this essay is to discuss if there is or not a universal morality. In order to present this discussion, two literature pieces will be critically analyzed to investigate the concept of universal morality. The two literature pieces selected for this purpose are Dante’s Inferno and Beowulf. While discussing the two stories, this essay will provide evidence if there is or not a universal morality. Further ahead, the essay will provide evidence for code of ethics in the two stories. These evidences will help in understanding the value of moral truth in Beowulf and Inferno. Hence, the universal morality depends on the construct of the individual values, beliefs and notions developed by the people.
In the earlier parts of Inferno, Dante has established significant tension across the human sympathy of its characters and objective impersonality for justice of God. However, with the progress of this story, there is less inclination of the character towards pity (De Monticelli 183). In addition, the repetitive feedback by Virgil ends up encouraging the overall development (Kennedy 62). Therefore, the text of Inferno has asserted infinite wisdom of God’s justice. Punishment is imposed on sinners in perfect proportionality with the sin. Anyone who pities their suffering will be reflecting less understanding (Armour, 2).
The universal relativism not accepted as the theory. The theory suggested that the action that is good for majority of people is acceptable. Hence, the good for many habitual actions is not necessarily moral due to the theory of universal relativism does not address the morality (Mitchell 40). The consideration that the concepts of slavery and racism cannot be moral establishes that there is a universal morality. Various researchers maintained a contrasting view with the assertion that there cannot be a universal morality as the philosophy and ethics of each society are individually related to the economic situations (Beauchamp 28). This perspective suggested that different culture and societies develop their own morality standards based on their history and economic status. Beowulf is among the most essential records of heroic deed. The major themes of Beowulf reflect the motivations and values of the characters. The main theme of Beowulf is loyalty, which has a strong embodiment in its title character. Furthermore, the concept of identity is clearly centralized in this literature piece with two different components of individual reputation and ancestral heritage. In this poem, the characters cannot introduce themselves or express their identity in the absence of reference of family lineage (Mitchell 35). There is huge prominence of family history in the entire piece due to its emphasis upon kinship bonds.