What is morality? Think Pair Share (within a group of four & come up with a standard definition)
Morality A set of norms or rules that determine the sinfulness or goodness of an act. (the goodness or badness of an act) To “be moral” indicates that you are acting in accordance with the norms or rules that make up morality.
What questions should we ask about morality? Morality is a set of norms or rules that determine the sinfulness or goodness of an act. To “be moral” indicates that you are acting in accordance with the norms or rules that make up morality. Questions:
Glaucon’s Argument -Once invisible, Glaucon argues, a person will do all they want knowing they cannot be caught. They will steal, murder, and cheat their way to power. They will pursue all hedonistic desires, having sex with who ever they want to. -However, Glaucon explains, since people do not have the ring they cannot act like this. -Because people do not want to be cheated or murdered they enter into social contracts with other people: you do not harm me and I will not harm you. -Thus people are moral or act moral because they have to not because they want to. This is a Morality of Obligation.
Socrates’ counter argument Socrates argues that a person acts moral not out of obligation but out of a desire for happiness A person will act virtuous not because they feel they have to but because they know that being virtuous is a better way and ultimately will lead to greater happiness than simply acting on spontaneous desires
What is Glaucon’s response? Glaucon responds by saying that a virtuous shepherd would become corrupt if given the Ring of Gyges
Socrates’ Response -Socrates retorts that if a virtuous shepherd with the Ring of Gyges started to steal, rape and murder, then the shepherd was not virtuous in the first place -We see that Glaucon believes that doing whatever you want is the good life and Socrates believes that being virtuous is the good life -The good life is a life that brings a person the greatest amount of happiness -Therefore Socrates argues that people are moral because of their desire for happiness – we call this a Morality of Happiness
Why be moral? Morality of Obligation Morality of Happiness
If we choose a morality of happiness… What do we need to ask about happiness?
Happiness What is happiness? How does one achieve happiness? Should one be concerned with only their own happiness or should they be concerned with others happiness? How we answer these questions will determine our morality
What is morality? We have answered this question from a purely definitional point of view – but this seems to be lacking – the goodness or badness of an act – ok –
What is morality? so how do we determine the goodness or badness of an act? Who determines it? How do we know they are right?...
When we think about it, Morality is Rules and Rules is Morality – in this sense everyone has a morality – humans live by rules Follow the rules – this is a rule Break the rules – this is a rule Watch what you eat – this is a rule Eat whatever you want – this is a rule Obey authority – this is a rule Ignore authority – this is a rule Don’t have sex before marriage – this is a rule Have sex whenever you want – this is a rule
-They very word “authority” seems to connote a negative response -It is quite common for people to argue that those who follow an authority are conformists – they allow the authority to dictate their lives
Authorities This is pure rubbish. All people conform to rules and thus to authority. Our rules and authorities may differ, but we still conform. -Example: Two Punks (Blue Mohawks, Leather Collars, Piercings, and typical Punk paraphernalia). -Punk is a countercultural way of life. (therefore defying “authority”) - However, there are lead authorities in the world of Punk – from Punk Rock Artists, Punk Clothing Line, Websites, Peers, and so forth. There are rules to being Punk. And all Punks conform to these rules – otherwise they are not Punks.
Authorities -So the essential question becomes Which authority will you conform to? Which rules are you going to follow? -Thus we return to the beginning: you will follow the rules and authority that you think will bring you the greatest degree of happiness
If you define happiness as… Pleasure you will have sex with multiple partners you will try drugs you will cheat on homework, tests, and projects you will get drunk at parties you will disobey your parents you will think Mass is pointless you will think that school is a waste of time you are essentially a follower of Glaucon – given the chance to do what you want when you want you’ll take it
If you define happiness as… Virtue you will sometimes feel obligated to do things you don’t want to do (nobody really enjoys midterm exams) but you will study and not cheat because you believe that to do the opposite will not bring happiness you will feel obligated to go to mass and there probably are times when you don’t feel like going yet during mass there are times you feel better about yourself and your life (giving of peace, prayer, etc) while this may sound like a morality of obligation it is not, for you are doing these things because you believe they make you a more virtuous person and thus a happier person in the long run
Authorities Choose two people or things (ex: magazines, tv) that are authorities, aka, have influence, in your life Write one paragraph ( minimum 6 sentences) about each authority Explain how they/it influence you and give examples.