“Yaw, according to Aristotle, man is a political animal. His behaviour is associated with the social setting in which it occurs. Moral virtues, he said, are acquired by practice and habit. Morals cannot be reduced to a set of principles, but we can make generalisations on what it is to be good men. But whose task is it to make generalisations?”

“There are those who say,” Abayaw replied, “that religion is necessary to good conduct. But Buddhism, Islam or Christianity are mere conduits–religious moral systems for a code of behaviour. There are other moral systems, and theology alone does not shape man’s behaviour.”

“Then the teaching of ethics and conduct,” Dulmog concluded, “becomes the responsibility of the State through its educational institutions. The State must teach ethics, not religion, from early childhood. Aristotle said that a bad moral state, once formed, is not easily amended. The future of the nation depends on how children have been raised to become leaders and to have principles in life. The good of the individual becomes the good of the community. We are thus shaped by both our upbringing and our education.”

“But our culture exists, Mog, because the individuals that compose society maintain its existence. To create new practices, another way of thought, a different way of life will be up to the individual to make changes and provide direction.

“What are the ethical values that the State must impart? Integrity, honesty, social graces, moral commitment, citizenship, a sense of justice… But above all, the State must impart a strong sense of responsibility to society.”

“No one is infallible, Yaw, but we have to strive to do what is right.”