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Aristotle Kant & Levinas
Transcript of Aristotle Kant & Levinas
Choices & Ethical/Moral Dimensions
Choices are influenced heavily by personal intuitions.
Is freedom an essential characteristic of ethics?
Freedom is described as a person’s capability to make a decision without any pressure from the surrounding situation. This person would be able to do well and is also able to act on evil ways. It also assumes intentionality.
understanding of freedom
This understanding of freedom creates a clearer picture of how our actions predetermine our ethics and morals.
Aristotle Kant & Levinas
The highest good is happiness. Happiness is the condition of the good person who succeeds in living well and acting well. Humans find happiness in the community by being GOOD in the community and groups.
Levinas focused more on ethical responsibilities that require that one always thinks and acts for the other before one acts for himself. “An ethics of the face”, an idea he developed which claimed that the face calls us to be good and responsible. God touches us through the face of the other which helps be good.
Kant’s philosophies are mostly based on deontological ethics. It can summarily be described as a duty/ obligation based ethics because it acts on duty and rules. God is the aim of a moral life. On Law - God's Instructions (1950-1951), the moral law is God’s instruction which shows the rules that lead to heaven and the evils which lead away from God. People attain good in different ways. An act is good when we do a good deed but don’t want to (duty).
Kant, Levinas and Aristotle’s philosophies have several variations introduced to the Cathecism of the Catholic Church such as Determining Good and Evil Acts (1755-1756). In this it explains that an act is good when the object, intention and circumstances are all good. We cannot do evil and come from it. These three philosophers talked about creating a healthy and happy life from obeying your duty, being responsible for the community and doing good acts for the sake of duty. This is comparable, although a bit varied to Cathecism 1755-1756.
But morality always comes into play when people relate with each other.
Morality is a system of shared values which validates actions. Unlike science, morality has no formulas or patterns. It cannot be predetermined by a set of rules, such as a instruction book.
Making good moral decisions does not only involve acting on intuitions but also knowing the facts of the problem/situation, acting on your principle values and being sensitive to the different moral dimensions that surrounds it.
Some philosophers also took determinism and inferred that individual beings doesn’t have free will and should not be held morally accountable for their actions.
In fact, people decide to make a decision to do commit to do something or to not. For example, a person makes a decision based on their free will. This will make the person responsible for her/his actions.
Freedom lets us to do what we want without anybody influencing or forcing us to commit something or to not to.
. It means that we cannot blame a person for making us do something because in the end, it is our choice whether to do something or to not. Each individual is entitled to and is gifted with the conscience to do as she or he pleases.
This tells us that we should not be forced to do something we don’t want to do and is to take full responsibility for things we choose to do.
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Kant's philosophy coincides with this biblical verse. This verse implies to love each other and treat them as you would yourself. Kant taught us to be responsible for the other for that is our duty.