Finding Happiness: A Study of The Necessity of A Moral Compass
- Pages: 23
- Word count: 5735
- Category: Ambition
A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteedOrder Now
Envision a world with people with no moral reference whatsoever. One would think that under certain laws, society would run flawlessly with ease if no one questioned the difference between the good and the bad because there can simply be legal guidelines to follow. A moral compass is an internalized set of values that is used to determine what is right and wrong and act appropriately. If people ran their life without a moral compass, life would not be worth living because no one would ever know happiness if they had nothing to do good for, let alone themselves. Having a moral compass points towards a goal that will allow oneself to flourish as a complete human being. Therefore, having a moral compass is necessary to be able to achieve happiness.
Philosophy, much like a moral compass, is the study of what makes us human; people try to find answers to universal questions such as the good and the bad. Often there are a variety of different philosophies that each individual has based off theoretical ideas, but moral compasses are generally shaped by conditions such as what kind of education a person has received, their personal experiences, their religion, history, culture, family, and many other influences. Each philosophy allows one to believe what should be good for themself while a moral compass guides one to achieve the good for themself. A philosophy questions happiness, a moral compass results to happiness. Comment by Tohma Taniguchi:
Two notable examples with each protagonist possessing entirely different moral compasses, yet undergo similar circumstances that are recognizable and appropriate for this topic. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Albert Camus’ The Stranger.
Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov was a man turned criminal into a better man. His life revolves around him and his intensifying feeling of guilt over time. He undergoes a seemingly unlikely development that was personally difficult for him. However, with the moral compass that he regains, he pursues and achieves a better life for himself, and as a result, he finds himself to be happy with his redeemed life.
Meursault is an ordinary man who lives a very simple life with low standards and expectations towards people and to himself. He chooses not to change any aspect of his life since he prefers that nothing disturbs his usual life style. No matter what part of life he is at, Meursault lacks an incentive to improve his life since his lack of a moral compass proves to not show any understanding for the good and the bad, even under society’s rules. Comment by Tohma Taniguchi:
What makes a moral compass important and necessary? To achieve true happiness, one would need to have an understanding of the differences and importances of good and bad so that they know what to pursue. As Plato, under Socrates’ voice, says that “… nobody desires what is bad, for what else is unhappiness but desiring bad things and getting them?” (Meno 77b-78c) All people desire to seek the good, which rewards them with happiness that cannot be attained through other means. The importance of the moral compass is so that one can live properly in accordance with both society and with themself to achieve balance. Without it, a person’s life is chaotic and lacks any order to properly function in society due to laws and in themself due to physical and potentially mental limitations. This means that the lack of a moral compass makes a person’s life lack meaning due to the personal limits that prevent oneself from progressing towards the good. Therefore a moral compass is essential to living a life that succeeds in resulting in happiness.
Ambition as a quality coexists positively with one’s moral compass. It is what drives people to achieve something good for them. Without ambition, one lacks incentive to pursue anything. However without a moral compass, an ambition may not be necessarily positive. In the beginning of Crime and Punishment, Rodion has a certain ambition that is partially based off society’s standard of becoming a grand figure since he had no moral compass of his own at the time. Recalling his theory of ordinary versus extraordinary people, Rodion believes that to make a good name for himself, he wants to do an act that helps society so that he can ascend in the social hierarchy. This shows that his moral compass involves an ambition that involves wanting to improve and be a successful person by the desire to be a role model for society. However, this ambition is based off society’s laws and off any a moral compass. Therefore it does not do Rodion any good and actually leads him to frustration later. This desire ends up involving dealing with an old pawnkeeper who had the reputation of making cheap deals with other traders. Through hearing others make complaints from another insufficient deal to the desire to get rid of her, Rodion uses other’s reasons to justify his cause of eliminating the pawnkeeper. He believes that by completing such an objective, people would look up to him, a figure who did not let the law limit him and cease the suffering of others. This becomes his first ambition, to become recognized as a sort of hero by society. Rodion thoroughly prepares himself and plans the assassination of the pawnkeeper. He sews a hole to conceal an axe, acquires the axe, crafts a imitation silver cigarette case for a diversion, and walks into the pawn shop at a specific time. At first he finds himself successful at murdering the old lady, but his plan quickly falls apart when he impulsively kills Lizaveta to prevent a loose witness. Rodion manages to swiftly clean himself, the axe, and escape the crime scene. Such a large, social ambition has become Rodion’s downfall as his goal went too far with the second, “accidental” killing. This downfall becomes a major struggle throughout the story for Rodion as he tries to handle hiding his murder history. However, Rodion finds himself physically wounded by his amplifying guilt such as whenever he hears of the murder of Alyona and Lizaveta, he faints in response. Later, Rodion desires redemption, a better ambition which he does successfully achieve; he wants to improve himself through redemption. This further shows his need of a moral compass to self-improve and to achieve goodness within himself. Despite a difficult mental journey with personal, familial, and romantic conflicts, Rodion finds peace for himself after his final confession. Even though he is a criminal to society, he finds that he has become happier with himself. This ambition that Rodion worked hard to pursue become a reality for him. Overall, Rodion’s moral compass led him towards a direction that eventually resulted in becoming truly happy and find inner peace since his ambition had evolved for greater things. Thus, having a moral compass is what helps Rodion to find the right ambition, which allows him to have peace within himself and confidence for a happier life.
Happiness according to Meursault from The Stranger is seemingly primitive. Any physical activity that brings Meursault pleasure is what he believes to be sufficient enough for living life. There lacks any ambition for Meursault unlike Rodion. Meursault has no interest in anything. So nothing affects him that could bring him to upgrade his life style. The mentality of Meursault seems rather empty as he lives in the present and sees life just as it is on the surface and nothing deeper. A main example of this is when Meursault is offered a better job position by his employer; he declines this promotion as he views that it would make no difference whether he would work at a different position because he does not see the point of change since he does not like disturbances in his life. By viewing the promotion as a disturbance in his life, he does not seek any accomplishment. His employer even explicitly mentions how he lacks any ambition as well. The lack of a moral compass shows a disregard of all motivation since Meursault does not view anything of having any real importance to him: this is a absurdist view which capitalises that although there could be importance in any change, it is am unimportant and insignificant endeavor to search for; and according to Meursault, life is nothing more than one visually sees it. Meursault’s iconic quote is: “Tout cela m’est egal.” which translates to “Everything is all the same to me.” This further proves his indifference and lack of ambition as he shows no interest if nothing ever makes much difference to him because he holds no values or any priorities; and if he has no plan for his life, he can never be successful which will make his character seem empty and lack any happiness. Meursault always lives in the present. He does not take things into consideration and neither does he sincerely care about people he is around. Comment by Tohma Taniguchi: Comment by Tohma Taniguchi:
Relationships, including family, friends, and lovers, play a great role in one’s moral compass. The relations that one has can show how one values other people and what they do to prove their worth. How one handles relationships shows their human qualities that can be based off his or her interaction with others. Rodion appears very selective with who he wants to be around with. He quietly holds much value for those close to him such as his mother and sister. With his family, Rodion cares so much about them that he does not want them to feel burdened because of him; this feeling is noticeable when his mother wrote him a letter mentioning of her situation and updates. When Dunya’s fiance’s, Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin, is brought up in the letter, Rodion feels offended that his sister is sacrificing herself for wealth to help him and says to himself, “Bitter is the ascent to Golgotha. (Part 1, Chapter 4) Golgotha is a reference to where Jesus Christ was crucified according to the Gospels. The reason why Rodion alludes to this biblical reference is that he compares Jesus to Dunya in the sense that he believes that his sister is sacrificing herself for him, and this calvary makes him feel rather upset as he feels that it is his duty to help others, not burden them. Rodion’s feeling for Dunya shows a very protective aspect of his moral compass where he wishes good for his family as seeing others doing well brings him happiness. Rodion has since separated himself from society, especially after the murder of Alyona and Lizaveta Ivanovna, therefore making new friends was difficult to do. However, there is one old friend named Dmitri Prokofych Razumikhin that Rodion has held on to and has had much respect for him. Rodion has valued him as Razumikhin has done much for him such as covering for him and making sure that his family is well. He even goes out to say to Razumikhin about how well of a person he is to Dunya: “I told her that you’re a very good, honest, and hard-working man.” (Part 6, Chapter 1) Admitting Razumikhin’s positive qualities shows how much Rodion admires him and recognises the good he has done for the Raskolnikov family thanks to his moral compass. It allows him to see the best in people. Despite going through many hardships in his life, Rodion finds true love with Sonya Marmeladov. They bond over shared suffering and eventually salvation through God. Rodion grows comfortable with Sonya overtime and proves this by confessing his crime to her without the fear of judgement. He develops trust with her as she is one of the very few people in his life who would understand and feel sympathy for, no matter what he did. This is notable in the scene where Rodion admits that he was the murderer to her first, and she does not hold contempt nor judgement on him. This relationship that Rodion has allowed him to provide the confidence to willingly admit his crime to the police. Thanks to this relation, Rodion was able to find redemption through friends and to himself. At the end of the story, when Rodion is in prison, Sonya visits him and they “…were renewed by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other.” (Epilogue, Part 2) This moment shows that after much suffering, and even still more to come, their love for each other has grown through difficult experiences and through much faith. The relationships that Rodion has built and maintained shows that his moral compass has guided him to become a better person at the end through efforts that he went through to provide for his family, to accept advice from a friend, and to do the just thing for himself and for the world. Comment by Tohma Taniguchi: Comment by Tohma Taniguchi:
The relations that Meursault builds are rather lacklustre. While his relations are not terribly poor, his commitment to them are rather minimal. Although the novel never explains much about his family life, the reader can capture a glimpse of Meursault’s feelings towards his recently deceased mother, which is a bit unexpected. Meursault says to himself, in the very first line of The Stranger, “Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.” (Part 1, Chapter 1) This iconic line shows Meursault’s character and attitude towards hearing about his mother’s death. During the funeral, Meursault pays very little attention to his mother’s body as shown that he observes the other people attending the funeral, “Soon one of the women started crying… I thought she’d never stop… The woman kept on crying… I wished I didn’t have to listen to her anymore. But I didn’t dare say anything.” (Part 1, Chapter 1) He even smokes and drinks coffee with Meursault’s mother’s caretaker in front of her coffin: “Then he offered to bring me a cup of coffee with milk. I like milk in my coffee, so I said yes, and he came back a few minutes later with a tray. I drank the coffee. Then I felt like having a smoke. But I hesitated, because I didn’t know if I could do it with Maman right there. I thought about it; it didn’t matter. I offered the caretaker a cigarette and we smoked.” (Part 1, Chapter 1) After the funeral, Meursault feels as if nothing in his life has changed at all, which means that he has no affect on his mother. When questioned in court of the reason of why Meursault placed his mother in the asylum, he explains that both him and his mother had no expectations for each other. The statement of holding no expectations for his mother is unusual since he does not vocalise a sympathetic or emotional motive behind his reasoning. With a lack of love towards his mother, Meursault seems to lack any happiness or even appreciation from his family. Meursault being a passive character allows him to create friends quickly due to his notably ability to listen to others with no judgement towards them. Additionally, he does not bother others as he does like to be bothered as well. He meets people such as Salamano, Raymond Sintes, and Masson who become his friends. Such as when Raymond becomes his friends, while Meursault allows it, although does not necessarily choose to be friends with him in the first place: “He asked me again if I wanted to be pals. I said it was fine with me: he seemed pleased.” (Part 1, Chapter 3) Meursault helps Raymond with getting revenge on an Arab lady, such as writing a letter to trick her, not because he wants to, but because Raymond asks to. Meursault simply agrees to help him because he believes that so long as there is a reason for doing something, then it is permissible. However, Meursault who is void of a proper moral compass, has no thought of wanting to form a stronger bond with the friends he makes, therefore he puts himself in a position where he cannot be truly happy since he does not know how to be grateful and appreciative about people who enjoy his company and want to help him. This was notable during the scene of Meursault’s trial after murdering the Arab: his friends were unable to provide a compelling enough reason to prove that Meursault was a characterly good person. When it comes to romance, Meursault is rather disinterested in a long-lasting, committed relationship with Marie Cardona. Meursault only tends to think about her physique which is why he is why he enjoys being with her; however he does not truly love her as he does not think about her character. He also seems to find it absurd to try to find importance in relationships as he believes that he would be easily replaced by any other man while he is in prison. If Meursault had a formal moral compass, he would understand the importance of having people close to him and appreciate them and truly enjoy their presence. He would love if he had a moral compass, but he simply is unable to. He does not care about what good his friends and his girlfriend can offer to him, he only displays indifference towards them. Comment by Tohma Taniguchi:
Religion is a major factor that creates a moral compass for someone or that it helps improves one’s life. Generally, there are standards set by the religion, such as the Bible, the Torah, and the Quran in western countries where the Bible takes place in both novels. Christianity is a major component in the character on the character or his position in society in both novels. The codifications of religion can make living life easier or restricted depending on the individual’s views. Religion can make major life changes for someone for a better lifestyle depending on what deeds can result in their own happiness. Raskolnikov grew up in a Christian family. . However, in the beginning of Crime and Punishment, he had been avoiding religion due to his nihilist views. Although it is not explicitly known of what the exact cause was for Rodion’s abandoning of religion; however it can found that Rodion views society as being unfair and has lost hope in God with his circumstances of being in a decrepit, no-income status. Rodion is a skeptic as he is unsure that religion can help him. He displays frustration with himself: guilt is a main factor, as it affects hint throughout the entirety of the story. Guilt is an emotion that is greatly present under a religious person: when one commits something bad, they will inevitably feel guilty, and seek out redemption. This is what precisely happens to Rodion: he evolves to be liberated of this guilt. He is reintroduced to religion again by Sonya Marmeladov, the Christian prostitute. As a person with a moral compass to seek happiness, Rodion acquires this happiness through redemption, through God; this is notable in the scene where Rodion, as advised from Sonya, “He knelt down in the middle of the square, bowed down to the earth, and kissed that filthy earth with bliss and rapture.” (Chapter 8, Part 6) This shows that Rodion finds true happiness through confession and redemption under God. As soon as his conscience is relieved of guilt, he is at peace with himself, allowing him to accept his punishment of undergoing prison labor in Siberia. Understanding the Religion gives him his moral compass and makes him want to become a better person.
Meursault finds no key to the good as he does not understand religion. Firstly, the magistrate questions Meursault’s motives and feelings and then asks if he believed in God. Meursault responds that he does not. The magistrate holding a crucifix over his head and tries to extract guilt from Meursault because he wants to read Meursault’s head. Meursault sees this as a ridiculous action. Eventually the magistrate becomes quietly upset, “Then he looked at me closely and with a little sadness in his face. In a low voice he said, ‘I have never seen a soul as hardened as yours. The criminals who have come before me have always wept at the sight of his image of suffering.’ I was about to say that that was precisely because they were criminals. But then I realized that I was one too. It was an idea I couldn’t get used to.” (Part 2, Chapter 1) This moment shows Meursault’s lack of understanding in religion where the goal was to take responsibility for his actions. He feels no guilt, which is rather inhuman as he recognises that he is a criminal, but does not feel that he is a killer. When Meursault murdered the Arab man, he is sent to prison, then to court where is found guilty under the charge of having no guilt. A chaplain then comes to Meursault to aid him to have some hope for himself. The scene where the chaplain tries to help Meursault, who is condemned in prison, to find comfort in God. Meursault, having been already feeling uncomfortable, eventually lashes out in anger against the chaplain with violence and refuses to acknowledge the chaplain’s attempt to help him. This is the first time where Meursault displays emotions that show his true mental state. Meursault is frustrated, scared, and angry since he is sentenced for execution and has no hope. This shows that due to Meursault’s lack of a moral compass, he cannot comprehend religion and how it works. Therefore he cannot achieve true happiness in this way as he lacks a reference which is God in this particular case: if he has no moral compass, he cannot know to have hope for himself if he has no belief. Within both of these different protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov has helped himself through the process of attaining true happiness through means of religion. Therefore with a moral compass, religion can be a means of finding peace for oneself. Comment by Tohma Taniguchi: Comment by Tohma Taniguchi:
Nihilism and absurdism are consequences of the lack of a moral compass in both texts and are also also cause unhappiness. Both ideas hold the belief of nothing having any value. However nihilism deals with an acceptance that nothing holds no meaning. Absurdism states that even with the possibility of anything having meaning, it would be absurd to concern oneself with such endeavors because death takes over everyone inevitably. So having passion over anything is foolish. The reason of addressing these ideologies is to show what made the protagonists of each novel unhappy, to which a moral compass can turn around for them. Rodion Raskolnikov became a nihilist because he experienced that society has no meaning and is unfair; he pushed away his family and friends. Rodion was a student and a mentor whose dreams were crushed by poverty. He recognized that society was cruel, especially with the Marmeladov and Ivanovna family who barely manage to survive, especially after the father’s death, leaving them destitute. Rodion disregards society’s laws, and his own morals for a time. When Rodion pawns his father’s old silver watch, he feels no emotional attachment towards it as such an object means nothing but just earning money for him. This family artifact has no sentiment and because his main quest was to obtain money. After murdering the two women, Rodion rushes to clear the evidence such as taking the money bag and throwing the crosses on the Alyona’s body, “Raskolnikov thrust it in his pocket without looking at it, flung the crosses on the old woman’s body and rushed back into the bedroom, this time taking the axe with him.”(Part 1, Chapter 7). Since Rodion is a nihilist, he kills, which demonstrate that he holds no respect for social or moral laws: this is the lack of compassion. To him, his nihilism is what justifies violence and lacking human feeling. At this point in the story, Rodion has now separated himself from society: “What was taking place in him was totally unfamiliar, new, sudden, never before experienced. Not that he understood it, but he sensed clearly, with all the power of sensation, that it was no longer possible for him to address these people in the police station, not only with heartfelt effusions, as he had just done, but in any way at all, and had they been his own brothers and sisters, and not police lieutenants, there would still have been no point in this addressing them, in whatever circumstances of life.” (Part 2, Chapter 1) This passage shows that he felt that there is no meaning to confessing as it is impossible to relate with other people about what he had just committed, so he must now continue his socially isolated life. Rodion believes in a Machiavellian-like theory, called the Great Man Theory which dictates that only extraordinary people are capable of making historical impacts. With a disregard to the value of human life and influenced by this Great Man Theory, Rodion planned out the assassination of Alyona just to fulfill a risky social ambition. These scenes are instances where nihilism has become the root cause of Rodion’s unhappiness. This saddening ideology caused him to forget how much life is worth. Rodion could not appreciate and understand the good opportunities that could have been potentially available for him. Instead he eventually chose to ignore it and resort to a life where individuals are important in society if they make history. Hence, the murder of the two women result from this thought. Rodion’s nihilist views failed to bring him the happiness he wanted since he was inflicted by guilt, which went against his conscience. Rodion’s moral compass of wanting to change for the better still persisted and eventually led him to rely on personal ambition, family, friends, and religion to achieve that true happiness that he did gain at the end of the novel. Comment by Tohma Taniguchi: Comment by Tohma Taniguchi: Comment by Tohma Taniguchi:
The lack of Meursault’s happiness was due to his absurdist views as it leads him to his death. Despite, believing that he was happy because of his simple pleasures, Meursault had never experienced a fuller and more fulfilling happiness because of things that he could have looked into the significance of, but instead regards it as unimportant to try to find meaning in them. Meursault’s views that because life is absurd, the death of his mother does not affect him. He believes that the death of the Arab would not have made a difference to the world since life has no inherent value. Meursault goes on to the extent that his own life does not make an impact at all, which is why death is a minimal matter to him. These views were what prevented Meursault from achieving the true happiness because he limited his life to immediate, meaningless, and selfish pleasures. This meant that he did not feel any parental bond with his mother, neither a real friendship, nor a deep, romantic relationship. If Meursault had a moral guide for himself, he would no longer take his relations that he had took for granted and learned to appreciate them and to keep them strong. Meursault’s absurdist views on life show that he has no care for the world or for himself, especially when he comes to terms with his public execution: “Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter. Therefore… I had to accept the rejection of my appeal.” (Part 2., Chapter 5) With a lack of a moral reference, Meursault cannot feel that his life had any meaning since he believes that life inherently lacks meaning in the first place, therefore he could not have gained or understood true happiness.
Is Meursault to blame for his lack of ideologies or is just a part of him? One can say that he could not help it as his standards of life were minimal. Therefore anything simple was enough for him; one may even dictate that he was happy because of the simple life he had. However, Meursault recognises that he was not entirely satisfied in a way towards the end of the book, where he is condemned for a public execution; his attitude towards death is rather unusual as his he may see life as just his own personal game. He has the thought where he considered the possibility of a successfully being appealed, which would have meant being set free to live a little longer. This shows that he felt regret of not changing things before which could have meant being able to live life: and this realisation shows that he recognises that he had been taking life for granted, but it was too late due to the current circumstances that had already taken place. Examining Meursault’s disposition further, it is notable, that he exhibits sociopathic tendencies to say the least. Generally, these traits include, but are not limited to, a lack of any moral compass, mimicking emotions, unusually purposeful analysing of people, manipulation of people, being void of remorse, and not having a sense of responsibility. Sociopaths, as they only study emotions but are unable to feel them, have never understood happiness. It is no coincidence that Meursault has never been able to understand or feel what it means to be happy; he can only recognise what it may look like to be happy. He was never sure of his feelings at all. Such as when Meursault was apathetic towards the death of his mother as he felt no sorrow during her funeral. He lacked any sensitivity towards the woman being beaten up by Raymond. Meursault also felt no remorse towards the Arab he had shot at the beach. While such behavior does not diagnose him with certainty that he is a sociopath, Meursault definitely displays such tendencies that serve a great part in his character. One must remember that he is always indifferent to the world and to people. Therefore, Meursault is not to blame because he lacks a moral compass, so he could not earn it if he had no personal understanding of true happiness.
Can a moral compass be replaceable? Instead of a moral compass, current society is given enormous freedom to construct their own lives and make their own moral compass under no imposed religion and with freedom of opinion and speech. Although this outcome has many positive elements, it can also result in large numbers of people who are fundamentally unsure when it comes to their philosophy of life. This multicultural society can be confused and not know where they belong. They don’t seem to know that they are doing the right actions to their lives. They don’t seem to know what virtues are personally and they lose touch with themselves. When they lose themselves, they realise that they are not happy and have wasted their time conforming to a set of beliefs that are socially acceptable instead of fittingly good universally.
What about the moral compass allows one to become happy? A sense of empathy is the element of a moral compass. There may be varying levels of empathy by how sensible or susceptible to emotions with others. Emotional intelligence is key for the effect of happiness. By understanding and developing others, one can become more at peace simply because of the joy it brings people. Communicating with someone else’s pains or pleasures does make one happy as a deep conversation will foster a sense of trust with another, healing through comfort of being vulnerable, personal growth through reflection, and sustain connection. While Rodion Raskolnikov demonstrates a lot of empathy to those worse off than him, Meursault lacks any empathy towards anyone he knows, especially the Arab he shoots. Without empathy, one is unable to relate to others’ emotions and reactions to certain stimuli, thus putting them at a disability to understand emotions, and therefore one can never be happy.
This is notable in The Stranger, since Meursault never really relates emotionally to others, even in a cognitive sense. An example is when Meursault becomes Raymond Sintes’ friend, not because he chose to, but because he simply allowed it: “He asked me again if I wanted to be pals. I said it was fine with me: he seemed pleased.” (Part 1, Chapter 3) Meursault makes friends, or rather people become his friend, as he does not judge, not because he knows that negative judgement can affect someone, but because he does not care about the matter at all. Meursault may be a good listener, but without any empathy, he cannot connect well or truly relate with his friends which means that he has no strong bond with them.
For Rodion, he shows strong signs of empathy. This is more prominent in moments of him giving his money away to people despite Rodion being in poverty himself. When he receives money, he often gives it away, such as to help a young, drunk woman and to Katerina for Marmeladov’s funeral. While he cares little about money, he cares for those who suffer from having to live on a few roubles a day like Marmeladov’s family.
The question of how to lead a life that concludes to happiness is answered by the necessity of having a moral compass. It allows one to make decisions from good and bad; and there is beauty in the simplicity of moral choice in the world through many things. Ambition coinciding with a moral compass allows one to pursue a goal to which when it is achieved, the person is rewarded a sense of confidence and happiness within themself. Social relations show how one values others’ company and reveals one’s moral compass by choosing better options for others. Religion can help one develop a moral compass and learn to make good choices based off a religion’s rules. Empathy allows a moral compass to guide one to happiness through the understanding of others. A moral compass offers guidelines of doing good to oneself and towards others, which will result in true happiness. Without a moral compass, one is left with a life devoid of meaning, which is not how anyone should live.