In the age of civilization and religious warfare, the question of what is morally right and the quest for the perfect philosophy to cater to every man’s inquisition seem to be in greater dispute. Considering arguments of early philosophers, we shall deal with our query in consideration of some modern-day occurrences and based on humans’ legitimate need. First, deducing from Moral Absolutism, we are offered the concepts of good and evil. Moral absolutists regard actions as inherently moral (good) or immoral (bad).
Anchoring on natural laws, for example, we may see stealing as immoral. However, every circumstance is governed by conditions. For example, stealing to feed one’s family if viewed in accordance with Consequentialism and Kant’s Categorical Imperative could be morally justified as its end which is to be able to save one’s children from hunger and death justifies the means. In addition, Mill’s Utilitarianism may support this idea as it concerns what benefits the individuals rather than what benefits the world.
In the same way, moral relativists would support the view that the act of stealing is condonable because such may arise from one’s filial love and responsibility. In the point of view of skeptics, this act may also be forgiveable in the modern times as hunger and poverty become rampant while the government lacks the initiative to act directly on every man’s need. These and other philosophies when summed up could lead us to what is morally right.
Inferrring from the wisdom of the geniuses, we may arrive at the idea that morality is to act in accordance with the law, and in the interest of the common good, without being unjust to the majority at a specific time. This means that all our actions should conform with the laws of the state where we act, and should be motivated by our will to achieve the common good of the people residing in that state at a particular time. Time element is important which is why every constitution is revised as the needs require.
Essentially, we should bear in mind that civilization exists and transforms no matter how hard we cling to past philosophies and values. The assurance that our present actions are morally acceptable is truly uncertain with time. What may be morally acceptable today may not be the same in the next century but what holds true is the common good at a particular time. Above all these, I believe that at all times, respect for each other would assure us that what we are doing is morally right.
Honderich, Ted (2003). Consequentialism, Moralities of Concern and Selfishness. Retrieved November 22, 2007, from Determinism and Freedom Philosophy Web site: http://www. ucl. ac. uk/~uctytho/ted9. html Mill, John Stuart (1861). Utilitarianism. Retrieved November 22, 2007, from Metalibri Web site: http://www. ibiblio. org/ml/libri/m/MillJS_Utilitarianism_s. pdf Velasquez, M. , Andre, C. , Shanks, T. , & Meyer M. Moral Relativism. Issues in Ethics. 5, N2.