I. What is the difference between moral imperatives and social norms?
Moral imperatives and social norms are two things that i think many people get confused, unconsciously, extremely often. Moral imperative is something that must be done because it is the right thing, a social norm is something that people tell you must be done because everyone else does it. It is the widely held belief that a person should behave a certain way in a given context. I personally believe that there are far too many children's books that press the latter. As an artist that deals heavily in addressing social norms and encouraging people to think consciously about everyday activity's that they do a certain way simply because they've never considered why they were doing it that way, I believe that social norms are necessary as a foundation but that they are far to prevalent in society. When asked about the reasons behind a particular activity (riding the bus on a certain route and acting a certain way during the trip for instance, cleaning the house alone, buying food at the supermarket and interacting with the clerk), the response i usually get is something along the line of : "I dont know, thats just the way it is." I've found that "that's the way everyone does it" or "that's the way i've always done it" is the norm for a huge amount of things in daily life that you never even consider doing otherwise. I try to get people to think about it objectively and then decide if it is the way to accomplish that particular act that is most efficient AND the most fulfilling. if it is, go for it. if not, decide how to go about it differently. A great many things in life could be easier and more fun with a minimal amount of thought. Unfortunately, social norms often prevent any thought at all and encourage conformity and a lack of tolerance for diversity. I believe that pushing moral imperatives on youth is a great thing that will help them to grow into morally sound individuals that will endeavor to do the right thing. however, without a solid tolerance for diversity and ability to step outside of social norms, what a person might think is morally right could become very detrimental to those around them who do not conform to regional social norms. some social norms are required for basic functioning in society but i believe too much indoctrination on an impressionable mind can lead down roads best left untrodden.