One may ask what holds society together in a world where different cultures and religious beliefs exist. What overall rule do humans live by in order to obtain virtues such as peace, freedom, harmony and happiness? Three fields of philosophy may help answer such questions and possibly provide insight as to what true principles one must live by in order to achieve such virtues. Moral, social, and political are three fields of philosophy that contain its own set of principles that determine the ways in which one thinks and acts; however, each field is dependent upon the other. Moral and Social Philosophy
Ethics, or otherwise known as moral philosophy focuses on the study of moral and value judgments and pose such questions as what is morally right, wrong, good, just, unjust, bad, evil, or of virtue? The answers to such questions can lead one to think how he or she should conduct himself or herself in society. Aside from the many questions and answers relating to moral judgments, one important question is “what moral judgments are morally correct?” How can one know whether there exist a standard of what makes one thing morally right or wrong? (Moore-Bruder, 2005, p. 250-251) In an attempt to help answer deeper questions such as these, one may consider the concepts to moral judgments to gain an understanding of moral philosophy.
While many concepts from various moral philosophers can help one understand moral philosophy, key philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, St. Thomas Aquinas, Plato, and Aristotle each hold different ideas on what moral or ethical judgments are, and concepts such as skepticism, relativism, or, egoism, and hedonism provides insight as to how one views what is morally correct.
Ethical skepticism holds that moral knowledge is not possible while relativism holds that moral standards differ from culture to culture and from individual to individual depending what one believes to be right or wrong. On the other hand, egoism promotes self-interest above all, or a conscious action seeking one’s own interest. Hedonism holds that a person’s main motive is pleasure above all else, or when a person ought to seek pleasure above all things. Philosophers as those mentioned earlier, help justify what moral or ethical theories mean. While Kant sees that one does what is morally his or her duty to do regardless of consequences in some cases, Plato and Aristotle sees that a person acts according to the type of person he or she ought to be. Aquinas; however, sees that one does or acts in such a way that God ordains he or she to act. (Moore-Bruder, 2005, p. 251-254). To help further explain moral judgment and ethics, Plato, Aristotle, the stoics, and Socrates considered the discussion of moral character an important factor to the field as character contributes to how one sees a certain situation and what action they will take whether right or wrong. As Socrates explains in his writing “Laches,” one does not have courage just because he is standing firm in a battle, for standing firm in a battle may bring needless risk for oneself or others. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2007) This means that one may not necessarily be correct just because his or her moral character holds courage; however, moral character may play a part in how one should behave or if his or her actions are right or wrong. While much description and concepts define moral philosophy, social philosophy relates to the study of institutions and society and is concerned with determining features of the best or ideal society in specific. (Moore-Bruder, 2005, p. 10) The writer believes that along with moral values, society as a whole contributes or determines which factors best fit the description of an ideal world. Factors could include having a world free of war and racism; however, some societies promote racism and countries are at war because of religious...