Blog Number 4
This module content is important because, knowledge in which we gained through our beliefs and values shape our ethical views of the nature of existence and the universe. Ethics as defined in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy as a “systemizing, defending and recommending concepts of right or wrong behavior.” Ethics asks questions in regards to values and behavior. The philosophical concept of ethics forces an individual to examine their values, principles, their actions and interactions with others and also consequences that may be linked through their decision making. There are many branches formed around the concept of ethics but morality is the consistent link with ethics.
Morals is defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “relating principles to right or wrong in behavior.” Morals questions ethical reasoning and decisions. Morals in ethics formulate questions about personal and social gain through the actions of an individual and where it may lead. A perfect example of this is Aristotle’s explanation of personal and social benefits one may or may not gain through their ethical decisions based on their individual morality. For Aristotle according to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “moral virtue is the only practical road to effective action. What the person of good character loves with right desire and thinks (sic) of as an end with right reason must first be perceived as beautiful… It is only in the middle ground between habits of acting and principles of action that the soul can allow right desire and right reason to make their appearance, as the direct and natural response of a free human being to the sight of the beautiful.” What this basically means is that based on a normative moral that an individual may have gained through the basis of culture and or personal experiences, if it is intended well then it will be perceived and taking in as positive. Good intentions is the middle ground in which a person may find, receive, and or distribute positive personal and social gain. Though positive actions and intentions lead to positive consequences there are morals, beliefs and values that may not fall under the set of normative morals that everyone else follows.
Positive actions lead to positive rewards but negative actions lead to negative consequences. Not all values, beliefs, and morals have a common ground. Values and beliefs may vary throughout different regions of the world. What a particular region believes is right our region might perceive as wrong. As mentioned, perception of philosophical theories and beliefs are very subjective but there is a middle ground. Anything that exceeds above or falls below the middle ground is considered taboo or negative. For example, morals, values and beliefs in third world countries practice animal sacrifice to please their gods. In the Western society sacrificing living things to please something that cannot be physically seen, touch, heard, tasted and or smelled has a negative connotation and those who do it should be punished. What middle ground has the right to say whether it is wrong or right.
Personal values and beliefs shape what is ethical or what is unethical. Morals are just intentions based on an individual’s personal values and or beliefs. Referring back to what Aristotle stated about what is morally correct and or what is ethical or unethical is that “only in the middle ground between habits of acting and principles of action that the soul can allow right desire and right reason to make their appearance, as the direct and natural response of a free human being to the sight of the beautiful” (Web). Nothing else shapes or forms ethical values than what an individual knows and feel is right. The grand scheme of the nature of existence and the universe is how an individual leads their lives in a direction in which they can create a new reality of endless positivity that will serve positive benefits personally and socially. Each core concept of philosophy branches together to form a strong foundation in finding answers in which hundreds if not millions of individuals before us have questioned. Each have painted and provided important pictures in which each concepts of philosophy took and grew with in order to form a clear perspective in which we may be and become.
I conclude my series of blogs to show what we have learned about each core concept that has served and provided an importance to the subject matter of philosophy. Philosophy is based on reaching and finding personal answers to the nature of existence and why the universe came about. Each concept built upon each other in order to paint a clear picture to map a road for each individual to journey on in order to make clear sense of why they exists and why they are here. For example logic and critical thinking build the basis in which a foundation for metaphysics is able to grow and expand upon. The concept of metaphysics then branched out and epistemology arose. Epistemology then grew and branched out in order for the concept of ethics to take form. Philosophy not only narrowed the answers through each core concept but it also encouraged us to question it more. The sole purpose for an individual can be anything. The possibilities are endless. The creation of the universe could be an accident or it could all be just a dream. Philosophical theories about both natures of existence and the ever constant growing and expanding universe is such, it’s all endless. Philosophy with its core concepts only gave us a foundation to build on. So I leave you with this, question everything. Philosophy paved the way to question what was already set in order to form new questions. If the nature of existence and the universe have no limits then why should our curiosity be limited?