Though there is no particular definition given to what philosophy is, philosophy has been agreed to be more of a method rather than being a theory or set of claims and ideas. Philosophy has varied from ages and has expanded and established regarding as to what is interesting or relevant for a certain era. Greek Moral Philosophy VS 21st Century Western Ethics Philosophy came from Greek origin. The word came from two compound words philos meaning friend or philia meaning lover and Sophia meaning wisdom. Thus from the Greek origin of the word we can acquire the simple meaning of philosophy, a wisdom acquired from a lover or a friend.
Yet on the other hand, though there is no particular definition given to philosophy itself people have accepted philosophy as more of method to make something clear rather than a theory to be accepted as to make something clear. On the other side, we can state philosophy as to be a human discipline concerning ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and logic. Ethics is defined to be the questions regarding how a man should live. Metaphysics on the other hand is defined as the essentials and existence of things in nature.
Epistemology is known to be as the genuine knowledge while logic is defined as the right principles of reasoning. As for Greek philosophy, we can say that even as early as the time of Socrates, Greek culture have already had its own story and had already reached its high peak compared to any other existing culture that time. From a series of migrations and invasions of other places, the Greek civilization has already reached its first high peak. A solid proof to what has been a great Greek culture is the epic Battle of Troy which was retold by Homer in his novels Iliad and Odyssey.
These myths have been very symbolic as for us to further understand what Greek culture has been during that time. These myths have been so symbolic because they have survived the series of invasions that have happened in Greece during that time. Also from this era happened the downfall of Athens and this setting gave inspiration and cultural context for writings of Plato and Aristotle which have also been very important considering the Greek Philosophy. The Greek moral philosophy may come from various sides and views of different people and even by different nations.
Yet there have been many ways which have been provided for us to make it easier to understand what Greek moral philosophy have been. To be able to know the standard foundations of having a good moral conduct, concerning individual and even peer and social behavior also including actions concerned with your government, then we will be considered good not only based from who we are with but based from what people see from us. (Anonymous) This means that from knowing what should have been the right thing to do someone may learn may learn his role as an individual and as a citizen of the state.
From knowing your role individually and as a citizen of the state then you will be good not only for your peers but for all the other citizen who belongs to your state because you can interact properly with your peers as an individual and interact with other citizens from your state as another citizen of the state who knows what is it to be done. From these actions you will then be judge as a person of good moral not just based from whom you are with but based from what you are and what you can do to your peers and to your state.
To be able to learn the philosophy of critical thinking will give us the ability to have a better reasoning and with this art we cab be better in communicating with other people. (Anonymous) This means that everyone should know very well how to think not just depending on what he is seeing but depending on what might happen next. It states that we should know how to read between the lines because not everything that we are seeing is as plain as it was laid before us. By practicing critical thinking, we can now have a more proper reasoning on something that is happening around us.
We can have a proper judgment on that particular phenomenon that is happening around us. From critical thinking we can now be able to reason out ourselves with proper judgment and with ease compared to those who just reasons out their selves depending on what is happening around them. We should be able to know why such relevant events happens and what it is for. From this we should develop our skills of having a critical thinking. (Anonymous) This is like what the previous statement have said. Everyone should know what lies beneath and should not believe directly on what they see.
This statement says that we should know why these events are happening and what these events are for before we may come up to such a reason we derived from our own. From these actions we can further develop our critical thinking and then avoid false speculations and on the other hand, we can come up to a more proper reason on why such events have happened. Make sure to have an analysis based from proper reasoning and make sure to have your actions guided by it. (Anonymous) This statement may not be as easy to do as it has been stated. This statement says that we should know the right reasoning depending on what we have done.
But before we reason out ourselves, it would be a lot better if we take precautions regarding on what we plan to do before we actually do it. To guide ones action means we should have proper knowledge on what we should do in order to support ourselves in case something wrong happens. By having proper knowledge and following proper precautions regarding what we need to do then we could make ourselves safe from something unjust to come along the way. Always having a logical analysis means we should be guided by proper reasoning in analyzing something that is relevant to us at the moment.
We should consider everything it takes to acquire inner tranquility and happiness by our own will. We should take note that having inner happiness will then help us to have a proper reasoning yet we must not force ourselves to have it because we might lost it as we force to have it. (Anonymous) This statement says that acquiring inner pleasure can help us to think better and analyze better and from these we can have a proper reasoning to the relevant issues concerning us. On the other hand, through proper meditation we can be delighted and we can further be at ease on thinking on how we should reason out ourselves during that time.
Yet as we try to meditate without the pleasure we think we should have been having at the moment then it will only ruin our concentration and on the worst case scenario, instead we should have been meditating then we will lately realize that we are just stressing ourselves from thinking what we need to do in order to acquire the pleasure we should have while meditating and being stressed facing the act of reasoning will not be essential to anyone. Always seek what should be good not only for yourself but for what is good for the majority of who belongs to your associates and to your society.
We should take note that the good should be based from the longest time of pleasure over pain based from the utilitarian principle. (Anonymous) This statement is based on the utilitarian principle which greatly believes in pleasure over pain ratio. The statement says that we should be able to acquire the greatest good for our own as an individual, for our peers being a part of it and for our society as we play a role to it. As an individual we should know what we need to acquire the greatest good based from our needs and could have been based from the situation we are into.
As a part of a peer we should know then what we need to contribute to our peer and to have greater interactions between peer members. As a part of the society we are into then we should know our role and what we should do to for our society to maximize what we can give into it and in return we can maximize what we can get from our society. Yet the greatest good that we need should benefit us not just for a moment of time but for a long term. As the statement have said it, the greatest good we are pertaining to is the good which is measured for the greatest long-term balance of pleasure we can get from it over the pain we can get from it.
To get the greatest good we need then we must then endure the pain we will be encountering along the way because we know that at the end of this journey it is our greatest good, which we have been looking for a long time, which will find us then. We should be concerned to others and not only to ourselves. We should learn to give others what we can give according to their needs and on the other side, avoid getting hated and don’t give hatred to others (Anonymous)
This statement says that as an individual or even being a part of a peer or the society then we must act as a blessing to other individual, peers or even societies. This statement just states the act of humility and sharing what we have to others especially those who are greatly in need of something we can afford to give. This is because of the thought that by showing others how much we care and how are deeply concerned to them, we are just giving them hope to move on even if they are suffering from agony.
We can fill their agony with our care and through this we can help build a great nation where everybody cares to each of everyone on it. Unlike having a competition where people try to overshadow each other with their own strength against others weaknesses which causes a lot of negative effects to the people who belong to these kinds of societies especially to those people who greatly need others help to stay alive in such kinds of societies where competition reigns.
The big difference of a society where people try to live for each other and a society where people try to overpower each other is the attainment of the inner pleasure. By living for other people you will attain inner pleasure for your own and so thus the people you are helping for his own while as you try to overpower somebody then you may attain a pleasure for your own as you might say it while somebody suffers equally from your actions.
Be contented in doing good to others and observing what other people have done good to others Discourage promoting what can cause evil to others. (Anonymous) This statement says that as we try to do good to others we are already doing something good for ourselves and in case that there are situations where we can do something good, by just being contented on what others have done good may be a lot of help rather than trying to help and something good while in fact it is our efforts in the wrong place which is doing something bad to others.
On the other hand, we should avoid causing something bad to our fellows because as we do something wrong to them we will soon realize that what we have done wrong is eventually coming back to us by a couple of times in near future. Do not support any rules and judgment who promotes exploits of other classes. We should know that we must justify according to our logic not based from what others could have been. (Anonymous) The statement clearly says that we should be aware that too much of personal interests can ruin any good relationship to even our closest of friends.
Also we should avoid too much thinking of our own will. We must think according to what should be good to the majority and not only for ourselves and we should not support any rules and regulations which are discriminating other people especially people who belong to the same culture though different class. Statements above are some of the guidelines for us to better understand what has been the Greek moral philosophy. Yet philosophy still depends upon the situation and the relevant issues which should have been covered.
Also we should take note that philosophy of any nation changes as the generation changes yet the latest generations still base its philosophies to the old times and just relate it the present time. Like what the 21st century, or could be better if we say the present day, western ethics has been now. The 21st century western ethics have been greatly affected and are deeply based on science and modern technology (Toulouse). The present day western ethics have been depending its reasoning from the theories and facts they have proved.
There are a lot of western people during these days who are depending there judgment and reasoning to the technology and gadgets they have. One example could have been the release of the “lie detector test” for a time. Using the modern gadget they are able to say whether a person is stating a lie or not, yet using this gadget still have a lot of what we can say deficiencies and could not be as effective as it may be as we try to see whether a person is stating a lie or not by our instincts and based from what we think is right logic.
The present day western ethics have different approach on every relevant event that is frequently happening to them. Yet, for most of the instances, they depend their reasoning depending on the facts and proofs they have and most of the time, as they fail to prove such events based from different evidences they have, they tend to be more willing to conduct further experiments regarding the situation just to prove that their hypotheses are right (Toulouse). The history of the western ethics comes from the time of the sophists until the end of the 19th century.
During that time, the western ethics shows three constant themes. First, is the disagreement whether the ethical judgments are truths about the world or just the reflections of those who wish to become. This means that there are disagreements whether is ethical judgments are true or whether it is only true to those who want to believe it is true or for those only who want to accept it as truth. The second theme is the disagreement of whether to show that it is one’s interest to do what should have been good or is it that doing good is the necessary thing to do.
And the third theme is the mere fact of what is the real standard for what is right and what is wrong. But now, in the 21st century, some Professors look at every relevant event regarding the use of ethics during this present day as such ethical reflections must be geared towards particular situations in solving such problems and relevant issues and on the other hand ethics can not solve all relevant problems during the time (UNESCO).
These means that on 21st century western ethics, the use of ethics is lessen and the more acceptable proofs are those which are based from science and modern technology. Though there are still western people who use ethics mostly during their everyday routine, we can not take away the fact that our reasoning will be most probably to be accepted if it is based from modern technology rather than ethics which we have inherited from the past.
And though ethics of the old ages are still being taught at schools and universities, we can still say that these ethics which are being taught in the universities are just mere introductions to what real ethics of the past times have been and at the end the ethics being taught at the universities are still the present day ethics which are based and dependent on modern technologies and is supported by various experiments and other conducted activities to prove such claims are right for a particular reason.
Yet on the brighter side as we support the use of ethics of the past times, there are still relevant events during these days that science and modern technologies are not able to solve. And for these to be solve, the philosophy and the ethics of the past ages are still what we need to solve such problems that science and modern technologies are encountering.
Yet these should be done not to solve the problems of science and technology but to show that human has still imperfections yet we can construct morality to define human fulfillment in relation to nature and to people around us even considering the society where we belong (UNESCO).
Anonymous. The Decalogue: Greek Moral Philosophy. The Decalogue contains the essence of the Greek philosophers understanding of the moral life. Toulouse, Gerard. (1999). Ethics Enters the 21st Century. Scientific Societies and Ethics. UNESCO Headquarters, Paris (2001). Ethics for the 21st Century. (pp. 4-10).