During complete human history, there have always been questions about our existence. Some people spend the whole their life without asking these questions and some others feel that there must be something more. The first question is who am I? followed by why am I here? And then what is the meaning of life? Finally, everyone wants to know, where am I going to? To solve these questions philosophers have come with some rules and guidelines which are called ethics. Read the article and I will explain some of these to you. I promise it will not be boring.
Of course, I am not able to answer these questions but with this article, I will try to make you think. Who knows maybe you will find a satisfactory answer of your own?
I guess no one is qualified to teach you the meaning of life. That is one question, you have to figure out on your own.
Over the last 2500 years, western philosophers have formed 3 main theories on how to live in an ethical life.
The First one is virtue ethics. Aristotle the Greek believed that there are certain virtues of mind like courage, generosity, wisdom; prudence; justice; fortitude; liberality and you should try to develop yourself by those virtues. These are all nice virtues and living life to develop them and extend them is certainly something which makes life more rewarding but is it enough?
Next one is consequentialism, the basis for judgment about whether something is right or wrong stands from the consequences of their actions how much utility or good it did accomplish or how much pain or bad it caused. Here, of course, the question is what is bad or what is considered to be good. There people who believe that we possess the basic knowledge about what is bad and what is good. For instance, it is bad to kill, right? In Roman time, the gladiators were forced to fight to the death and to kill each other in the arena. Didn’t these people know that killing is bad? I mean if we possess the basic now, they should have had these basic as well. As we all know this is not the case. I understand that these gladiators were forced to fight but what about the people who were sitting around the arena, watching and cheering? So, if there were definitive and absolute good or bad, one would be able to conclude if his or her action will result in the desired outcome or not.
Another example, lying is bad but sometimes, we lie to protect someone’s feeling. If a person has a bad haircut and we believe that it is ugly, we do not say that to the person. Usually, this is called a white lie, but a lie is a lie. You see even in this simple example we are unable to define if lying is bad or good.
Finally, there is deontologist that says, there are strict rules and duties which everyone must obey in a functional society. Being ethical simply identifying in obeying those duties and following those rules. Well, there are many societies where rules are obeyed. In a military society of second world war, German were following the rules and Germany was a functional society. Does it mean that everything which was done was ethically correct? I mean concentration camps, killing and plundering was a result of obeying rules.
People may think, this philosophy means following the good rules but again the question is what is good or bad? If we cannot define something which is considered to be good by everyone then, some may consider it as good and some others may consider it as bad.
I believe there are two things which will make a perfect society. The first one is the fact that everything comes from one source. Both good and bad come from the same source. There are no absolute except everything comes from ONE source. (The Law of one, The Lord, God or whatever you wish to call it.) There must be a beginning, it is illogical to believe that a creator has been created. He must have been there from the beginning. I am referring to a singular consciousness.
The second things which make a perfect society are, that everyone to be more in the services of others rather their own. if everybody thinks like this, we would have a perfect ethical society. This means if everybody is helping another person more than he’s thinking about himself life will be perfect.
Anyway, what is said above will not answer those questions we started with, but it will ease the pain, and make the life a bit more tolerable when one understands.
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