Moved from working on the chapter about fear and courage to the impulse to action component within the survival process which enables courage, however, while researching fear and courage I came across the common military distinction between physical courage and moral courage.Physical courage is acting in spite of fear. Fighting when Nature screams to flee. Moral courage ... now that is another beast entirely.
Moral courage is doing what is 'right' even though it may be unpopular. Writers on the subject suggest that men are prepared to walk into the face of cannons but are reluctant to stand up and be recognised when moral courage is required. In fact, they suggest that those with moral courage possess physical courage but those with physical courage do not necessarily possess moral courage.
From my work, what I am investigating is the role of emotion in the moral concept of courage. Physical courage involves the use of will-power to override the instinctive impulses of fear. Moral courage does not tend to involve the emotion of fear. It involves the cognitive/intellectual concept of fear but not the 'real' emotional experience of fear.
I was involved with a school where a particular situation tested the moral courage of the instructors and senior personnel. To a person they failed. There is no doubt they possessed physical courage as they'd demonstrated it on many occasions, however, they failed when moral courage was called for. Why? How?
Loyalty is the enemy of moral courage. Take the military for instance. Loyalty to the chain of command, to a commander, to one's own fellow troops can compromise an individual's moral courage.
The most common way to train physical courage is to engage in 'realistic' training. How do you train moral courage? ... and does it really matter?