17 December 2012
Annas vs. Driver: Why We Should Never Sacrifice Knowledge
For as long as we Homo sapiens have been capable of reasoning, we have pondered how we ought to live our lives. What constitutes a “good” life? What constitutes a “bad” one? How should we treat the world, and how should we treat ourselves? What does “good” even mean? Although the answers to these questions are understandably still quite foggy, it seems safe to say that the general consensus leans toward a utilitarian stance: to be good is to live in a way that limits the suffering of others or that brings about the greatest happiness to the greatest number of individuals.
To better strive towards maximizing universal good, humankind has tried to actively distinguish between “right” and “wrong” behaviors. In doing so, many morality systems have been proposed by many different people each with the hope of best being able to accurately guide us in this process. Those who seem to best exhibit the morals we set are praised as being virtuous. However, it is obviously not universally agreed upon as to what these standards are. Thus, living virtuously has many different meanings and applications depending on whom you talk to. In her article, “Being Virtuous and Doing the Right Thing”, philosopher Julia Annas dismisses static and impersonal accounts of moral theory in favor of a developmental, personal, and knowledge-based account of virtue ethics. Most people, she argues, near
adulthood with only a limited, parochial understanding of morality that they developed largely because of the family and/or culture they grew up in. Realizing that some of their ideas about morality and virtue are mere convention (and maybe even prejudicial), they then attempt to better themselves. One way that they may go about this, as described by Annas, is to:
. . . take the directives that we find in our unreflective ethical thought, and refine them so that they do one thing clearly and specifically, namely direct us. We look at the rules in everyday ethical discourse, notice that they are vague and may conflict, and try to refine them so that conflict is ruled out. Or we follow Sidgwick in looking for principles behind everyday rules––principles which do not suffer from the flexibility of those everyday rules. (Annas page 62) From this, they may try developing a “decision procedure”, or a practical, systematic theory that tells them how to behave correctly––something that Annas strongly discourages.
Annas insists that a moral “theory of right action”, a theory that tells us what to do, is not the method we use in determining our lives’ decisions. If we follow a computer manual-like, technical model for our moral decision-making we most certainly would face problems, she argues. For one, this would imply that anyone who has access to this “manual” could supposedly become an “expert” in moral theory. At first glance this does not seem so bad, but under further inspection there are major implications if we choose to accept this. Clever––but naïve––teenagers could become moral experts. Someone with Greavu 3
good, technical understanding of the moral-manual could have a wholly contradicting, sadist personality. Any blame or praise therefore could only be rightly attributed to the manual and not the person’s character. A method that strictly tells us what to do and completely eliminates the factor of one’s character is poor procedure as the only way we can justly evaluate someone is by taking his or her external character into consideration. Instead of a moral theory that simply tells everyone what to do, Annas advocates for a “building”, character-based model of virtue ethics. In this, one would start by identifying people who appear to be virtuously superior to him or her in some respect. At a young age, this could be parents or teachers. It is important to note that these proposed...
...The question of morality proves to be a complex interrogatory. Should I
be moral? If I should be, then why? Why is morality important to society? An
assumption can be made that morals derive from a purely religious perspective or the Golden Rule approach. We are told that it is right to be moral. This is an ineffective answer, since it does not apply to someone outside the moral circle
This in mind, there is really no way to prove this too a person who wants to know why he/she should be moral. According to Olen, the only answer to them would be "because you are". Happiness could also be included in the list of moral reasons. I personally feel that this is the best supported reason for being moral. Although there will be times when the moral decision will not be pleasurable, it will eventually lead to happiness. Morality is important for
society as a whole, as it makes life livable.
What exactly is the Definition of Morality
The term "morality" can be used either
1. descriptively to refer to a code of conduct put forward by a society or,
a) some other group, such as a religion, or
b) accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
2. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.
How morality is defined plays a crucial, although often...
...Topic: Whyshouldwe attend university?
For people who have already finished high school, one of the choices they will have to make is whether to continue to higher education, which means going to college or university, or to start working and planning their life right away. Different people will have different choices of their own, but for me, I think there are two main reasons whyweshould attend college or university.
The first thing that perhaps anyone would think about going to college is to get a higher level of education. We may have studied and learned a lot at school, but that’s just the general knowledge that anyone should have. If we want to acquire an increased knowledge, especially the professional knowledge for a particular job or a specialist field of work, university and college would be the most appropriate place. Of course, going to college is just an option, besides that there are many ways to prepare for your future career. For instance, for some reason, namely financial problems, some people can’t attend college but they can still study by other means while they’re working. Still, I think we’ll get the best and proper training and education at college.
Another good reason for going to college is that you can get practical and valuable experiences while studying at college. Going...
...Whyshouldwe have pets? (More reasons)
1. What are the reasons why pets should be allowed in the Marco Polo building?
* Pets make loyal, lovable friends
* Pets teach you how to take care of others
* Pets teach you about responsibility
* A pet can help you learn about animals
* Playing with pets can make you feel happy
* Having a pet can keep you from feeling lonely or depressed
* Pets are good for your health
* Your whole family can share the benefits of having a pet in your lives
2. Not only that, but let’s say someone has a dog and a cat. Some dogs are sporty and young children like playing fetch with them especially those who have no siblings to play with. Cats on the other hand, are adored by old ladies because of their mannerisms and cleanliness. However, not just the old people can have cats, even children, teenagers, and parents can have cats as their companion too. On the other hand, I would suggest and recommend that children who are younger than the age of seven must be with an adult to watch over the pet or whatsoever.
3. Now, why are dogs are so common around the houses/buildings? Let’s put it in a way of saying there are many reasons to that question. Some animals such as dogs are very useful in the field of medicine. This enables epileptic people to live life normally without fear of disrupting their activities. This is...
...and nothing else. As a Christian we are held to a higher standard. Weshould abstain from alcoholic drink. The bible clearly shows that drinking alcoholic beverages result in cheating, hypocrisy, pride, and blasphemy. The spiritual damage caused is not worth it, not only that but the physical health problems as well. Christians should act responsibly concerning their personal testimony and influence. Romans 14:21 “Do not do anything that will hurt your testimony as a believer.” Alcoholic beverages today are much stronger than those of the biblical era and much more likely to produce imperilment of judgment and drunkenness. Today, 5 ounces of wine equals 12 ounces of beer which equals 1.5 ounces of whiskey, such drinks are approximately three times the alcohol contained in an 8-ounce cup of diluted wine in biblical times. Luke 12:45, “Drunkenness will cause a person not to be ready for the Lord’s return.” This is bad because we must be ready for no one knows the day or hour.
Alcoholic beverages today provide no spiritual benefit but have the realistic potential for harm to many people spiritual and physically. Habakkuk 2:15, “woe to him that gives his neighbor drink.” Paul cites the Corinthian motto, “Everything is permissible,” and then counters, “but all things are not beneficial” 1 Corinthians 10: 23-24. Paul is condemning that which we do, that which is spiritually beneficial,...
...both systems, I was able to evaluate the positive and negative factors involved and thus structure the regulations that should obey.
There is a list of factors that influence the decisions why some obey the law and why some do not: background, financial stability, education; they all affect the decisions that people make such as talking on the phone while driving or get in a car knowingly that there is alcohol in the system.
Different from the culture I come from, Americans are typically law-abiding people due to the legal education that many received throughout their school years. However, in the same way as happens in every society, we acknowledge that everyone breaks some type of law at some point in their lives and some people do it often; for example, people using illegal drugs, people that refuse to pay their taxes, robbery, etc.
For some of us we feel a certain pressure or fear of being arrested that keeps us from trying to break laws. The average Joe understands the consequences of committing a crime and most of would try to avoid these consequences. When we often see the lifestyles many inmates are living by in the prison system not to many of us look forward to having to fight for our meals or worry about their cell mate’s intentions. Society recognizes the pressure of the consequences of committing a crime, so pressure plays a vital role why people obey the...
...Weshould legalize marijuana because it would be a great tax source for the government, it would help out farmers, it would create many jobs, it would eliminate a good majority of the jail population, it would lessen the amount of tension that we see around us, and it is a safe drug. Although there are many good reasons that weshould legalize marijuana, there are also some good reasons that weshould not legalize it. These include it would increase the amount of lazy people, it might be hard to tax and control it, and it would increase the availability of marijuana to underage people.
“Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.” 1 This quote comes from internationally acclaimed Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician Bob Marley. In this quote he is trying to tell us that herb (aka marijuana) is not a bad thing, but instead it is a good thing. It is recognized as a healing herb because of its many calming effects. Marijuana has what are called psychoactive chemicals, the main one being 'tetrahydrocannabinol' or THC for short. This is what causes the calming or healing effect of marijuana. Some of the medical uses for marijuana include cure or prevention of Glaucoma a serious eye disease, used by Aids and Terminal Patients to ease nausea and delirium, a natural Sedative and sleep aid if you use the Sativa instead of Indica, a natural...
...Poetry to my opinion is emotional and boring. So it leaves me with one question; that whyshouldwe study poetry at all?
I think I know just the right words to answer it. Poetry is a voice given to each one of us in our life time. It can be a roar, a scream or even a whisper. This voice can be used to express a variety of things. Often, people use poetry to express how they feel when they are misunderstood. Writing your feelings down in the form of poetry allows you be seen through the eyes of another person, and this is why poetry is important to me.
Poetry is a bond, a bond of empathy between the writer and the reader; it has emotions and connects the writer and the reader. Cause these poems have been written by people to express their emotion that they normally would have to hide from the world. A poem allows you to see beyond the surface. Sometimes this is done through metaphors or other abstract ways which cause you to think really hard.
For example in olden times during the struggle of the common people, who were being treated like dirt poetry was a gift they had through which they could express their thoughts which led to a revolt and people came to a common understanding.
During that time people used to write poems anonymously because there was this scare within every poet to be caught. Once such anonymous poem written in those times was “YOUNG, GIFTED BUT BLACK”, the poet wrote:
...WhyShould I Be Moral?
The question of morality proves to be a complex interrogatory. Should I
be moral? If I should be, then why? Why is morality important to society? An
assumption can be made that morals derive from a purely religious perspective or
the Golden Rule approach. We are told that it is right to be moral. This is an
ineffective answer, since it does not apply to someone outside the moral circle
This in mind, there is really no way to prove this too a person who
wants to know why he/she should be moral. According to Olen, the only answer to
them would be "because you are". Happiness could also be included in the list
of moral reasons. I personally feel that this is the best supported reason for
being moral. Although there will be times when the moral decision will not be
pleasurable, it will eventually lead to happiness. Morality is important for
society as a whole, as it makes life livable. Now expanding on the happiness
theory, I will discuss the ideas of Aristotle. Aristotle believed that
happiness is the quality of whole human life. We all have misconceptions about
happiness. Most of us believe that happiness is experiencing a lively feeling
of joy or pleasant feelings. We can be happy at one moment, but not the next.
Aristotle on the other hand said that true...