Why Should I be Moral?
Social Contract Theory
- Hobbes' social contract theory sees morality as being in a our long term self-interest
- If we are moral people will treat us in the same way in return
- Morality is a contract in which we will all benefit
- Morality is a man-made thing so moral rules are whatever we make them
- Hobbes claims that without a social contract there would be a 'war of all against all' and life would be 'nasty, brutish and short'
- Straight forward, simple theory. We all understand contracts as a normal part of everyday life and so it seems reasonable to think morality works in this way too
- Social conVirtues fall between two vicestract theory explains why people have different thoughts on morality and different cultures have moral codes which differ
- Criticised by Kant's claim that the only moral actions are those motivated by duty. This means that an action done as part of a social contract is motivated by self-interest so ceases to be moral at all
- The contract is implicit and so not real. No one ever really agrees to the contract or can opt out of it. This means that it doesn't really seem like a contract at all
- Being moral through developing virtues and so become more fulfilled.
- Aristotle -
- Virtue is a disposition to behaving a positive way willingly with no ulterior motives
- The doctrine of the mean - , and through good judgement and reasoning we can establish the right balance. For example, courage falls between cowardice and foolhardiness
- Function of human beings is to reason and function makes us fulfilled. Only through reason can be flourish
- Eudemonia is the goal of life which is achieved through the development of our virtues and talents so we can flourish
- Three parts to the soul - Reason, appetite and will
- Each part of the soul has a counterpart - Wisdom for reason; temperance for appetite and courage…