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Two Different Versions of the Moral Saint

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Susan Wolf presents two different versions of the Moral Saint in order to show that a perfectly moral person does not live a desirable life. A saint is someone who lives a perfectly moral life according to a given ethical system, and “a necessary condition of moral sainthood would be that one’s life be dominated by a commitment to improving the welfare of others or of society as a whole” (Wolf). Is a Moral Saintliness even a humanly possible? Susan Wolf’s description of a Moral Saint is virtually a fictional being. The requirements, characteristics, and skills she attributes to being a Saint are impossible to obtain without also participating in activities Wolf deems nonmoral or inappropriate for a Saint to engage in. These nonmoral activities are essential building blocks to becoming the Moral Saint that Wolf wishes us to imagine. Human beings have psychological needs that Wolf does not consider or seem to understand. Wolf essentially creates a fallacy and then proceeds to argue against it. When you consider the Moral Saint that Wolf has created, and pair him with the moral dilemma of The Ring of Gyges, you will discover that Wolf’s version of a Moral Saints is not attainable, no matter how innate his moral goodness.
The first Saint she calls the Loving Saint and states that his happiness “would truly lie in the happiness of others, and so he would devote himself to others gladly, and with a whole and open heart” (Wolf). In other words, the Loving Saint does what is right because he truly loves being moral for its intrinsic value. Wolf compares the Loving Saint with the Utilitarian who believes in doing what will make the largest amount of people happy. The Loving Saint is happily moral therefore, will bring bringing h...

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...n be perfectly achieved.

Works Cited
Diener, Sam. "A Pacifist Critique of Gandhi." 1 September 2006. PeaceWork Magazine. 10 March 2014 .
Fitz-Claridge, Sarah. "Why Mother Teresa Was Evil." 30 May 2000. Sarah Fitz-Claridge. 10 March 2014 .
Mill, John Stuart. "Utilitarianism." Gendler, Tamar Szabo, Susanna Siegel and Steven M. Cahn. The Elements of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 77-80.
Plato. ""Glaucon's Challenge" from The Republic." Gendler, Tamar Szabo, Susanna Siegel and Steven M. Cahn. The Elements of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 217-220.
Wolf, Susan. "Moral Saints." Gendler, Tamar Szabo, Susanna Siegel and Steven M. Cahn. The Elements of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 220-232.