Different views of Morality





Different views of Morality

Hume’s argument that morality is “just sentiment” may not be convincing or agreeable if we dwell on that simple line alone. But if we will delve deeper into his claim, his view is sensible. Hume wanted us to understand the meaning of the term “sentiment” philosophically, not literally – which of course, means emotion or feelings. For him, morality depends on the “mental feeling”, that is, judgment through sentiments. He said that morality is subjective and cannot be objective because what our senses see in a particular instance does not guarantee such acts based on known standards. For Hume, this standard known fact on inflicting physical injuries as bad or evil acts does not ensure that all instances like this are automatically wrong or immoral acts. Dig deeper, investigate further, and probe. After doing this, consider how your emotions or feelings, then judge the action through that, not through the action’s known standard fact.

Hobbes’ claim that good and evil are matters of taste is that the judgment of morality is a matter of an individual personal faculty of making discerning judgments based on individual’s ability and experience. It is not about the tongue’s taste to different flavors, instead, on the individual’s sensible faculty or mental capacity. Implicitly, this claim of Hobbes also includes the emotional state that goes along with the practical judgments.

Kant’s concept about morality as a form of duty is restricted to the issue of ethical standards, and it does not necessarily apply to the universal concept of morality in all acts. Meaning, Kant is concerned about morality by doing or performing the action and not morality by judging the show (Phetti). For him, the morality of an act depends on every individual’s right intention. Meaning, an effort is morally reasonable only if that action proceeds from the individual’s belief or view, or desire. It is not because somebody has urged him to do it or because he is obliged to do it for reasons provided by others and not by himself. For short, Kant dwells on a concept of morality by free will.

Let me quote a case where Kant’s morality principle may be extended. If anyone decides to donate something to a patient in need, say, blood, the board of a hospital, will first do questioning the person who will contribute to see if he decides about it for himself (Home).. He believes that it is an excellent activity to do and because it precedes his free will and that it is his right intention or just that he was obliged by another family to do so.

Kant’s assertion that all self-interest-driven acts are morally meaningless is another way to say that moral good deeds must be absolute. If we place limits on our choices, they lose their spiritual importance. If we are doing a morally good act, even if we perceived it as our right intention, but it is not unconditional, meaning we impose some conditions to it that will, in turn, be given for our good. We are not upholding a perfect morality (Gayer).

Kant’s claim that all actions motivated by self-interest are morally pointless is another way to suggest that morally positive behavior must be total. They lose their sacred value if we narrow our choices. Whether actions with conditions lack moral worth or not would depend on a person’s emotional state that goes along with the sensible judgments that person has.

Aristotle and Mill also regard gratification as the focus of divine conduct. Their views on enjoyment as the focus of moral action, though, differ. According to Aristotle, eudaimonia, or ultimate gratification, may be achieved only when individual acts based on his exemplary character, proper judgment in a particular situation, right conduct or suitable carrying out of action, good judgment, and adequate conviction (Ashammakhi). However, before acquiring all of these “rights,” one must first understand the golden mean. This golden mean, on the other side, is a topic for another debate. What is critical for the time being is that we understand Aristotle’s focus on seeking happiness is by doing a moral act inspired by a person’s good character, rather than by the utility, convenience, efficiency, or consequence of a behavior.

Evaluating their perspectives, I would suggest that Aristotle’s is more centered on an actor or the agent of how one can do things. At the same time, Mill’s is more focused on how the most significant number of people would profit from a person’s activity. Their points of view are essentially opposed. Mill has laid out a very general definition of satisfaction as the object of moral action, but he has not laid out the methods or techniques for achieving it. As a result, I believe that combining these two ideas would be beneficial.

Kant’s moral philosophy that responsibility is about correct will rather than moral obligation is the most convincing to me of all the philosophers mentioned above. Decisions about moral actions must begin with our own beliefs, views, and intentions, not with others’ beliefs, thoughts, and preferences. Let us, in a nutshell, inspire our free will. However, let us not ignore that it is often beneficial to listen to someone from time to time. Still, in the end, it is our will that determines the outcome.

Work cited

Ashammakhi, N., et al. “Aristotle, 20n35, 21n38, 22, 239, 247 Arnall, AH, 70, 76 Aronson, J., 233n54.” Emerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in Bionanotechnology 101 (2008): 255.

Home, Henry, and Lord Kames. Essays on Principles of Morality and Natural Religion. Liberty fund, 2012.

Guyer, Paul. Kant and the experience of freedom: Essays on aesthetics and morality. Cambridge University Press, 1996.Rousseau, Henri, Frank Elgar, and Jane Brenton. Rousseau. Ballantine Books, 1975.

Pettit, Philip. The birth of ethics: Reconstructing the role and nature of morality. Berkeley Tanner Lectures, 2018.