Morality Essay

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Immanuel Kant Pages: 4 (1192 words) Published: March 11, 2013
Surpassing Limits-A Question of Morality

Surpassing Limits-A Question of Morality
There are times when humans are faced with a situation in which the morality of the decision they make is difficult to judge. What is right morally for one individual may be thought of as unethical for another. In this particular scenario, an intellectual man who goes by the name Bill Jackson comes from a very poor family and does not have the money required to be able to go to medical school. Desperately in need of money, he decides to steal from his wealthy, but mean and miserly aunt, whose money is not used for any good cause. She is known as a “gold digger”, as she had married a much older man, whose wealth became hers, after his death. Bill only intends to use the money for educational purposes; however, his way to obtain the money is immoral. Now, Bill is on a philosophical trial tried with robbery. In such a situation, determining right action is difficult; however, one must not forget that stealing is considered a crime. Therefore, Bill must be punished for his deeds. According to virtue ethicists Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas’ approach of a good person, Immanuel Kant’s definition of right action and the Buddhist perspective on life, Bill Jackson has committed an immoral, unjustifiable and unethical act.

Before considering the perspective of a virtue ethicist, it is important to first understand the meaning of virtue. Virtue is defined as “moral excellence; conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles” (dictionary.reference). A virtue ethicist would generally question the essential qualities of a good person and according to them; a good person makes moral choices guided by their good character rather than by weighing the options. There is a strong emphasis on the role of character in making moral choices. In this situation, Bill makes a choice to steal which is not considered moral in anyone’s eyes. Furthermore, Aristotle states that “to be a...

Cited: Catholic District School Board Writing Partnership (Ontario), & Ontario. (2002). Philosophy: questions and theories: Course profile, grade 12, university preparation. Ontario: Queen 's Printer for Ontario.
Reason. (n.d.). Virtue | Define Virtue at | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Retrieved November 3, 2012, from
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