External moral code? do people tend to have those?

Watching a show earlier there was a point amde about a character that having no external moral code was a mental illness. This struck me as odd, because I myself thought that was a choice more like religion. I thought some people have a moral code, and some people just do what they do. I tend to work on situational awareness. There are at best thing I am reluctant to do, but nothing I would never do even if the situation needed it. The example in the show was murder. The character would not hesitate to murder someone if they thought it was nescesary to protect thier family. Again I wondered what is wrong with that. I don't think murder is to be taken lightly, but if I really needed to protect myself or someone I cared about I wouldn't hesitate. I respect life and personal liberty and I am not one to hurt even insects if I don't need to, but I do what needs doing. I think that is what anyone or any animal at all for that matter would do. Further, I could never trust someone who could not. If I knew someone I let close to me could never under any circumstances murder someone if they needed to, I would be afraid to ever have them on my side. I think external moral codes are sort of childish. To forbid certain things entirely with no gradation at all, to just resolve that something applies to your life like a set of rules seems so ignorant and so fraught with failure to me. Why do we need to actually decide on a list of guidelines, have we no judgement? I'm not advocating being frivelous about the whole thing. I would not take pleasure from hurting anyone, but I would do what I had to do. Is there genuinely something wrong with me? Do I not understand what an external moral code is? What would any of you do?

Uploaded 01/09/2010
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