Ethics: Morality and Ethical Egoist

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Education Pages: 3 (1028 words) Published: July 11, 2010
Classes that teach us about ethics are not offered til college. There are no classes that teach morals in grade school or high school. In recent years we have seen young children committing horrible acts, like at Columbine and Virginia Tech. Where do children learn about ethics? Maybe some parents are entrusting schools to educate their children in morals and good values. But is there a moral value to education? Or is it just learning facts and information?

I, personally, agree with the idea of soft universalism. This is not a new idea and was first suggested by Scottish philosopher David Hume. Hume believed that all people share a fellow-feeling, a compassion, that may show itself in different ways but is present in the human spirit regardless of one's cultural background. Soft universalists believe there are certain values that all cultures share (Rosentand 134-135). At least three morals are universal according to American philosopher, James Rachels:"a policy of caring for enough infants to ensure the continuation of the group, a rule against lying, and a rule against murder" (Rosentand 135) These morals are found in all cultures because they also help the group's basic survival. So, this could also be just logic. In order to survive a culture must care for and raise their own children. Not all cultures subscribe to raising their own children but if they don't they will die out (Rosenstand 136). The next two rules seem only to apply to members of the group. This is evident in acts of war. We are not supposed to murder or lie to our neighbors or fellow Americans. Although, we are morally free to kill Iraqis in the war, since they are a declared enemy.

Although, most people would admit that not all lying is bad. For example, lying about a sexual relationship to protect those involved, or not telling the whole truth about a friend's appearance when they ask. So maybe a rule about lying isn't universal, nut if we characterize it more like a...
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