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Philosophy And The Human Good - Essay Example

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Philosophy And The Human Good

This means that deep down Henry believed that just because he was in a difficult situation that endangered his scholarship, it clearly did not make him deserve to be someone special enough to be entitled to a license to steal. Henry knew or at least believed that the law against stealing was a moral law that governed all men no matter what their circumstances were. Just because he was in a difficult situation did not give him the reason to commit a crime. Besides, although the whole world may not know about it, he was worried about two other things. First, Henry was afraid that he might kept doing the same thing and that he might end up stealing anything someday as long as he could justify it – and that he might even commit similar crimes someday. Thus, he and many others who would make the wrong choice would affect the community negatively. Second, Henry was afraid that he might in fact get caught and that his boss might either have him arrested or would sack him. Either way, he would lose the job. Ethical absolutism has universal validity and, just like Henry, I believe that this principle applies to all human beings. However, I would not know whether a person that I admire, like my mother, would also employ ethical absolutism in all her moral decisions. I once heard my mother say that she would do anything for her children. It then seemed to me that she would even allow herself to break rules just for her children’s sake, although I have not seen my mother in this moral dilemma yet. Nevertheless, I somehow understood from the example of Henry that those with conscience usually adhere to ethical absolutism. From the example of my mother, I have learned that people who would have such a...
He could lose his scholarship or he could lose his job if he got caught stealing. Nevertheless, no matter what situation he was in, the true moral law still considered and will always regard stealing as evil. Another ethical theory, namely ethical subjectivism, with its belief that “the ultimate moral authority is the individual or the ‘subject,’” would have come to a different conclusion if it had been applied to Henry’s case. If Henry had chosen a decision that could have brought forth his best interests, then he could have adopted ethical subjectivism. He could simply have stolen the drill. After all, his boss was rich and he would not know anyway. Moreover, if he had stolen and sold the drill, it could have financed his project and he could have kept his scholarship. Nevertheless, if the boss would find out about the theft, it would be in his best interests too to have it back and get Henry arrested. The problem with ethical subjectivism is that there would always be the conflict of best interests. The more important question is, "What happened to Henry?" Actually, he was able to keep his scholarship. He asked his teacher to extend the deadline for the project and he was able to muster enough courage and humility to borrow money from the same boss. He would have achieved the same results had he stolen the drill but with ethical absolutism, there was no guilt involved. He even became prouder that he was able to surpass such a temptation and told me that he knew he would not do anything evil even. ...Show more


The paper "Philosophy And The Human Good" describe the difficult choice that was made out of his belief in ethical absolutism and in the philosophy of W. T. Stace, although if he had both been raised as adhering to ethical subjectivism, he would definitely have made the easier choice…
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