Moral System


Moral System Essay, Research Paper

The installation of a moral system is vital in every society. Yet, every moral

system must deal with the major conflicting general moral issues:

Consequentialism versus Non-consequentialism; Self versus Other-Interestedness;

Act Utilitarianism versus Rule Utilitarianism; and Emotion versus reason. When

all four areas are combined and examined there are conflicting views that must

be resolved. First of all, there is the issue of Consequentialism and Non-consequentialism.

Consequentialism is best described by utilitarianism, where decisions are based

on the consequences of the outcome of the decision made. On the other hand, non-consequentialism

is best described as an ethical theory that is based not on the consequences of

the action, but on some " higher" moral standard that is placed upon

them. Examples of non-consequentialism are Kant’s Duty Ethics and Divine Command

Theory. The conflict between the two is whether to do what is best according to

the outcome or follow what one feels as the "higher" moral standard

would require them to adhere to. Personally, I would resolve this area by

choosing the consequentialist belief as my tool for judgement because I feel

that people need to think about the consequences of their actions because if

they don’t then it will cause havoc in the society. Thus, I feel that

consequentialism is the proper solution in this area. Secondly, there is the

conflict between Self versus Other-Interestedness. The concept of self is best

described as being selfish and only caring about oneself without worrying about

what might happen to others. While the concept of other-interestedness is

basically putting the needs of everyone else over your own (this is similar to

utilitarianism). The big conflict is that most people are going to choose

themselves first, but if this were a perfect society the people would worry

about everyone first. If people would think about it, then they figure it out

that they are included in everyone. Therefore, in this area I would solve the

problem by choosing the theory of other-interestedness. Next, there is the issue

of the act utilitarianism versus the rule utilitarianism. The act approach to

utilitarianism is that a person should perform acts that will bring about the

greatest good for the greatest number. On the other hand, the rule approach to

utilitarianism is that people establish and follow rules which will bring about

the greatest good for the greatest number. The major conflicting moral issue is

whether or not there is freedom involved in the decision making process. Act

utilitarianism gives unlimited freedom, while rule utilitarianism gives

virtually no freedom, but rule utilitarianism gives structure and stability to

the society. The best way to solve this area would be to have rule

utilitarianism and act utilitarianism combined so that you have rules to give

some structure to society but have the ability for the people to be allowed to

express their individual freedoms in the society. Thus, I feel that a

combination of the two is the best way solve this area of the moral system.

Finally, there is the issue between reason and emotion. Reason is described as

thinking about what the outcome of the decision would be, then making the

decision. The theory of emotion is reacting to one’s emotions without thinking

about the possible outcome of the situation. In this situation one has to side

with reason because if not the society would have people reacting to their

emotions all the time which could chaos and would not fit into a utopian

society. All of these four areas combined would help in establish an upright and

proper moral system when applied correctly. I feel that the decisions that I

made earlier in this essay are the proper ones needed for a good moral system.

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