Why Should One Be Moral

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Happiness Pages: 7 (2395 words) Published: October 28, 2005
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 unacknowledged, role in formulating ethical theories. To take "morality" to refer to an actually existing code of conduct is quite likely to lead to some form of relativism. Among those who use "morality" normatively, different specifications of the conditions under which all rational persons would put forward a code of conduct result in different kinds of moral theories.

To claim that "morality" in the normative sense does not have any referent, that is, to claim that there is no code of conduct that, under any plausible specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons, results in moral skepticism. Thus, although, not widely discussed, the definition of morality has great significance for moral theory.

Now expanding on the happiness theory, 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 happiness includes pleasures, joys, and successes as well as many pains, grief's, and troubles in ones life. A happy life is not cause by the pleasures we've had, nor marred by the displeasures we've had.

Aristotle defined the things that make happiness as health, wealth, friendship, and good moral character. Aristotle stated that happiness was also the highest good leaving nothing more to be desired. Life is made perfect by possession of all good things. We seek happiness for its own sake. All others are sought for happiness.

Aristotle believed to become happy one must have good character and be willing to suffer to obtain the greater good later on. We should seek the good in the long run. Most men/women will not do this. We take the immediate pleasure. Most people think that happiness is unique to each person. Aristotle believed that there is only one true conception and that it holds the same for all humans. Power is not an attribute to happiness because it would preclude some people from being happy if they are ruled. Aristotle believed as our for fathers that everyone has an ultimate right to the pursuit of happiness.

He believed that this pursuit must be cooperative, not competitive. All this said, it is clear that it fits into his belief that everything in nature has a goal towards which it naturally strives (i.e. happiness). A morally virtuous person is one who is moderate in his actions. He chooses the mean as opposed to the extremes. Aristotle...

Cited: examples were that this president could propose laws concerning equal rights for women.
His actions, however, would demonstrate that he did not in fact believe in the laws he mandated. His deeds (lechery) would be immoral and would therefore invalidate his laws. It would be a demonstration of the adage ‘Do as I say, not as I do. ' The Golden Rule is a classic example of this.
We should do unto others what we would have others do unto us. Since I do not want my neighbor to steal my belongings, then it is wrong for me to steal his belongings. Since I would want people to feed me if I was starving, then I should help feed starving people.
Following this line of reasoning, it would be possible for me to determine whether any action is right or wrong. Therefore, based on the Golden Rule, it would also be wrong for me to lie to, harass, victimize or kill others. It is from these kinds of moral judgments that society is able to define a larger set of fundamental principles; such as rights to life, liberty and happiness.
This leads to the formation of a sort of democratic version of morality called ethics. A group selects certain rules of right conduct from a pool of rules of right conduct created by individuals and adopts them as the social norm. In this way, a composite ethical code evolves so that most of the people in the group are content to follow most of the rules most of the time. In this way, our society encourages people to be moral.
Moral person makes the Society a better living place.
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