Moral or Immoral?
Would a just man steal? This is a dilemma. The basic question that this boils down to is if people are good merely for the reputation or for actual moral values that they might have? I believe a truly good person would not steal for the latter, or from their own values. This is based on the idea that not all-good deeds are rewarded. It is true that if you are never given credit for doing good deeds, you might start to tire of doing them. I do not believe that the person would necessarily start to steal. They could instead stop going out of their way to do good for other people. Instead they might only do so when convenient. This does not imply a life of evil however. This just says that they will do good deeds when convenient. Not necessarily commit bad deeds when convenient. I believe that this is true based on the facts that bad deeds are convenient for us almost all the time but we resist most of the time. I could easily take my roommate’s Abercrombie and Fitch sandals home if I wanted to, but I do not. You may be thinking to yourself that we need to cooperate to make living possible. What if he did not know? Then there is nothing stopping me. It would be very easy to tell him that maybe it was the people down the hall who borrowed them and never bothered returned them. The only thing stopping me is my own morals and values that tell me that this is wrong. It is not a good action. My second evidence of proof also stems from my own life. I have a long distance girlfriend. She knows no other close friends on campus besides me. If I did happen to cheat on her, she would never know. What stops me then? My reputation won’t be hurt it I don’t tell her. It would be easy to do this, but my own sense of right and wrong stops me. It would not be right for me to such a thing to her. There is nothing else stopping me besides my own values.
It is true that if you are blamed for actions you did not commit, you are more likely to do them in the future. What would stop you? But, I believe that the mistake in this idea is that we do good purely for our reputation. It has to do with my own sense of self-worth and will. I do not get a sense of pride or joy from immoral acts, and thus I try to avoid them whenever possible.