Should We Strive To be Moral Saints?
In the article, “Moral Saint’s” written by Susan Wolfe she states that the moral saint is, “One whose every action is as morally good as possible, a person, that is, who is as morally worthy as can be.” I believe that for humans striving to be a moral saint is in a sense admirable, but should not be viewed as a realistic goal, in the sense that if not attained, one is deemed immoral or a failure. In class we had discussed Susan’s essay and talked about her views in terms of why humans should not aspire to live as moral Saints. In it she gives some valid points on why we should not do so, and although not all of her arguments are done so in a tasteful way, I must admit that she does share somewhat of a common stance on the question as myself. If someone were to ask another to give a few examples of people that they’d personally aspire to be, I feel as if one is more likely to name Gene Simons rather than Mahatma Gandhi. Okay, maybe this isn’t entirely true, but then again the point that I am trying to make is that in terms of aspirations, more people would chose to live the lifestyle of the star athlete, rock star, or successful entrepreneur rather than that of Mother Theresa. We do so because underneath are skin lies both free will and unique passions. Free will allows us to dip into and out of areas through our personal choices and past experiences. Habitually acting on desires allow us to hone special qualities that make us unique, and sometimes at the expense of not doing the “greatest possible good” in the utilitarian sense. Wolfe writes that by truly adopting moral sainthood as an aspiration, one inevitably has to give up any and all other goals. She says this because as a moral saint, one must be able to give one’s total self for the sake of others and society. Because of this great sacrifice of one’s total self and desires, Susan believes that the moral saint inevitably will not be able to enjoy life. Although...
Cited: Cahn, Steven M., and Peter J. Markie. Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.
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