Deciding Right from Wrong - Essay Example

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This paper "Deciding Right from Wrong" briefly analyses the rights and wrongs with the help of some ethical theories formulated by some eminent scholars and philosophers. Since the evolutions of the human being on earth, the history of the right and wrong started…
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Deciding Right from Wrong
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Download file to see previous pages The rights of some people are the wrongs of other people. For example, keeping more than one wife is a sin or a wrong thing for Christians whereas Muslims find nothing wrong in it. Based on individual perceptions, many scholars and philosophers tried to segregate between the rights and wrongs with the help of some ethical theories. “The concepts of ethics fall into two main categories; notions having to do with morality, virtue, rationality, and other ideas or standards of conduct and motivation; notions pertaining to human good or well-being and the "good life" generally” (Slote, n.d, p.2). The killing of enemies in war is perceived as the right thing even though the killing of innocent people is perceived as a wrong thing. Moreover, capital punishment is accepted as a morally right thing by many countries whereas some other countries reject capital punishment, purely on moral grounds. In other words, some people believe that killing of an antisocial element is good for the rest of the people in the society and hence such killing should be made legal, considering the future wellbeing of the other people. Most of the countries give capital punishments to terrorists because of the above notion. However, some people are of the view that taking the life of another person cannot be justified under any circumstances because of the immense value associated with human life. In their opinion, we are only creations and only the creator has the authority to make any modifications in our lives. Moreover, the killing of criminals will deny them the opportunity to correct themselves. Some of the Muslims have the belief that the killing of enemies of their religion is a sacred act. In short, the killing of people is justified under some circumstances by some people whereas others object it under any circumstances. In other words, moral theories associated with the killing of other people are widely different in different places. “The categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant, tells us that we may not use or mistreat other people as a means either to our own happiness or to that of other people” (Slote, n.d, p.2). Moreover, Kant argued that "Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law"(Categorical Imperative, n.d). Kant believed that moral principles were applicable universally. In his opinion, it is impossible to have a moral principle right at some places and wrong at other places. Nobody knows from where we come and where we go after death. As per the Kantian theory, the human being has a special role in the creations and hence moral principles with respect to human cannot be applied to other living things. However, Kant strongly criticized the segregation of good and evil based on personal beliefs or religious beliefs. In his opinion,"Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end”(Categorical Imperative, n. d.) “Utilitarian consequentialists regard pleasure or the satisfaction of desire as the sole, intrinsic human good, and pain or dissatisfaction as the sole, intrinsic evil or ill, and they conceive our moral obligations as grounded entirely in considerations of pleasure and pain” (Slote, n.d, p.3). Utilitarian always analyze things based on the utility of the outcome. They believe that the moral validity of an action is determined by the outcome of the action. In other words, capital punishment can be justified under utilitarianism since such punishment will give. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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