In class, we studied the idea of morality in the online video lecture “Why Be Moral,” where we heard the fictional story of “Smith,” the successful cheater (Hettche, 2011). Smith was a man who excelled all throughout his life by cheating. First, he began cheating on spelling tests in elementary school, then continued cheating on into junior high. Many people thought that Smith’s cheating would surely catch up to him later on, but he continued to succeed with the assistance of technologies such as spell check. Later, Smith became a very successful businessman, using valuable skills that he obtained through cheating to find shortcuts and loopholes in the business world (Hettche, 2011). Although many people saw Smith as a very likeable, successful person, many of them did not realize what Smith had been up to all of his life. Smith may not have seen his cheating as wrong, and it may not have had any negative impact on him personally, but was Smith really living a good life? To some the answer to that question could be yes, but to a Virtue Ethicist, Smith was not living a good life.
According to Rosalind Hursthouse, virtues are what “make their possessor a good human being” (as cited in Athanassoulis, n.d.). To further relate virtue to the good life, Nafsika Athanassoulis states that “the good life for humans is the life of virtue and therefore it is in our interest to be virtuous. It is not just that the virtues lead to the good life (e.g. if you are good, you will be rewarded), but rather a virtuous life is the good life because the exercise of our rational capacities and virtue is its own reward” (Athanassoulis, n.d.). Simply put, to live a good life is to live a virtuous life, because being virt...
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...m tells us that through the pain caused by torture, and the act itself, torture is morally wrong. Kantianism tells us that by using the soldier as a mere means to make him reveal information, torture is also morally wrong from that perspective.
Athanassoulis, N. (n.d.). Virtue ethics. Retrieved from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Hettche, M. [mrh4456]. (2011, June 2). Why Be Moral? Investigating the Normative Question
[Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyNqQPlhPRU
O 'Neill, O. (1985). A simplified account of kant 's ethics. 44-50. Retrieved from
Pojman, L. (2002). Utilitarianism. In Ethics: Discovering right and wrong (pp. 104-133).
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Retrieved from http://courses.ncsu.edu/phi214/lec/601/wrap/pojman.PDF
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