Morality and Government

•December 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment

We as a society have a complex way of social living compared to other species on this planet. In order to keep this society working their must be a govening body to oversee that things are going smooth and maintain order. Under the social contract that Hobbes talks about it is most important that the government abides by such moral standards like the rest of society. If anything, the govenrment is held to a much higher standard than the rest of society because it is the model in which the rest of society hould follow. If not then the whole system would fall apart due to a corrupt hypocrtical goverment that would not be able to maintain order becuase no one would take it seriously. Thus the govenment must abide by the same moral standards that are expected from the rest of the society that is being governed.

Hobbes & the State of Nature

•December 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I agree with Hobbes over his statement concerning human  nature and the finiteness of world resources. Since not all of the basic resources are unlimited, there will be a time in which humans will be reduced to horrific wars over such bare essentials. Fighting for food and land has been pretty much the backbone of wars in non-civilized times, and in some instances recently. As time and technology progress, weapons will become more advance. Thus making a war for food and other essesntials the worst thing imaginable due to the destruction capabilities.

Most Appealing Etchicist Topic

•December 10, 2008 • 1 Comment

During the course of this class, I have found Mill to be the most appealing so far. This is because of his utilitarian theory. The thought an action that increases overall happiness is good and vice-versa. I truly believe in that position that Mill states. If an action that brings forth happiness therfore it is good, simple as that. The part of the theory that I dislike about it is that this concept does ask a little too much of the individual to be selfless, but other than that I firmly agree with Mill’s concept.

Aristotle on Murder

•December 9, 2008 • 1 Comment

By Aristotle’s view on virtue, he would not condone the action of murder. This is because it goes against the the concept of moral virtue. It is within the the individual to make sure that they maintain “execellence.” By maintaining an execellence of their moral virtue is to do what is considered to be right. By comitting murder, the individual is doing something that is morally wrong.

Social Contract

•December 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

When dealing with the social contract  I feel that everyone is a party to it no matter what. When you are born into a society you automatically are governed and must act under this contract. The reason for this is because even without your knowledge of the contract, you are being given certain rights and freedoms that bestowed upon you through it. Therefore it is one’s duty to conduct themselves in the manner that society’s social contract calls for. This even goes for children as well. Because without such a social contract, society will be thrown back into a primative state of nature.

Extra Credit

•December 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

For the extra credit assignment I read “An Eye for an Eye: The Morality of Punishing by Death” by Stephen Nathanson. The author presents the issue of whether or not it it is morally right to punish murderers by sentencing them death. The author’s thesis statement is “The arguement from desert has a broad appeal, and death penalty opponents need to show that it is mistaken if their position is to be taken seriously. In order to show this, death penalty opponents must make a convincing case for the truth of at least one of the following statements: 1) people who commit murder do not deserve to to die, 2) even if people who commit murder deserve to die, it is wrong for the state to execute them.”

One way that the author is persausive in his arguements is that he gives an example of the double jeopardy law. If a murderer does get aquited of the crime then later admits that he did do it, then the courts cannot try him again for that crime. They can convict him for purjury but that would not constitue being sentenced to death. Since he is a murderer then morally he would deserve to die, but since he got away with the crime even going through trial, this shows that there is a defect in our legal system. Thus the government cannot give this person what they deserve morally. Also he points out that not all murders necessisarily mean if the guilty is convicted they will get death penalty. Some offenders get certain terms of imprisonment or life in jail. These sentences are decided at the discretion of the judges within the boarders of the law that would allow for such sentences. Meaning that if one person is convicted of murder and sentenced to death and another person is convicted of the same but senctenced to life in jail, then the governmental legal system has failed to give this person what they deserve. There would be a sense of unfairness with these sentencings. Also Nathanson provides a study conducted by William Bowers. The study showed that there was higher number of death sentences handed out in the case where the killer was black and the victim was white, where the scenario is vice-versa the death penalty sentences were much lower. This proves that other factors such as race play an big role in determining that the offender gets sentenced to death or recieves a less harsh sentence.

One arguement that was not persuasive in Nathanson’s essay was when he explained that a reason for not giving someone what they deserved conflicts with other obligations that one has. Nathanson states “according to which executions actually cause homicides . If this hypothesis is true, it provides the government with a powerful reason not to execute convicted murderers, even if they deserve to die.” Nathanson later reinforces this by adding “the reason is that the government’s policy of giving murderers their just deserts would be carried out at the cost of having innocent people lose their lives . Faced with a choice between giving murderers what they deserve and protecting innocent lives, the government ought to choose protectionof innocent people over execution of the guilty.” I disagree with this statement because I view this as a form of protection. By executing a convicted murderer, the govenment is protecting the rest of society from this monster. If this person was given a lesser sentence such as maybe ten to twenty years in jail, when this person is released ther is still a chance that this offender could repeat such actions that landed them in jail in the first place. Some people do not necessarily reform while being in prison, no matter how much counsiling these people may recieve. By executing these offenders the govenment would make room in overcrowded jails. This would allow the govenment to make stricter laws and longer prison sentences for crimes other than murder. By ridding society of murderers through the death penalty the government could crackdown harder on these other crimes as a benefit to society as a whole.

Rationality and Self Love

•November 13, 2008 • 1 Comment

Kant touches on the idea of self-love and rationality in his theory. He comes to the conclusion that any rational being that has self-love would not commit suicide due to this factor. I dissagree with his idea because any rational being that is enduring long term life-debilitating pain on a daily basis could be capable of doing such an action. This is because out of the self love that they have for themselves they would not want to go through life enduring such intense pain. They would take a rational approach to the situation by weighing the pros and cons of continuing life as they know it which may involve them not being able to do much because of their life debilitating pain or ending it thus ending the pain that they are facing.