WHY SHOULD I BE MORAL? PLATO
•Meta-ethical positions -Nihilism -Absolutism -Relativism •Nihilists debate whether or not one can justify morality without appeal to religion •Certain people believe that one must appeal to God to support moral beliefs •Religious moralists argue that without God, life has no meaning and there is reason to be good or just •Secular moralists claim that morality is independent from God and religion.
•Blaise Pascal claimed that we do not need to have decisive proof of God’s existence in order to adopt a religious morality •Should we believe in God or not? •We can act as if God exists, or we can act as if God does not exist ...view middle of the document...
At least it is difficult to determine if some one acts morally when self-interest is involved
• Meta-ethical questions, such as “Why should I be moral? Should I sacrifice my selfinterest for those of others?,” are the origin of the egoism problem •Even religious moralists struggle with the egoism since most obey a moral law out of fear of eternal punishment, or desire for eternal reward •Socrates divides all goods into these three classes: -Things that are simply gratifying (Diner Food) -Things that are both gratifying and rewarding (Working Out/Reading a Book) -Things which we have to do in order to avoid something (Paying Car Insurance) •If just, or good, actions were of the first or second kinds, then there would be no problem of moral motivation
The Ring of Gyges Example
•Unlike Socrates' belief that justice is good in itself, Glaucon claims that justice is only a necessary evil •Glaucon starts off his argument by raising the issue of the ring of Gyges •Gyges was a shepherd that found a mysterious ring that allows anyone who possesses it to turn invisible •After discovering the power that the ring holds, Gyges decides to murder the King of Lydia, commit adultery with the Queen, and ultimately rule the land •As a result, Glaucon claims that if the just man was given the ring, there would not be...