Naturalistic Ethic Essay

Naturalistic Ethic Essay

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Naturalistic Ethic


Even though there are several schools of Naturalistic ethic, they all have one major quality in common – recognition of Nature as the main guiding force of our lives. Naturalists try to understand Nature and how Nature and humanity are linked together. Adherents of Naturalism try to convince people to shift their attitude toward the need to follow the laws of nature as a principle of moral conduct. There are three major schools of Naturalism. The first school strives for “returning back to nature” in order to enjoy a simple life and find out the truth by communion with nature, which is considered to be the teacher for all people. The second school recognizes that the Nature has inner soul. For example, stoics believed that Nature possesses rational (comprehensible by human mind) and positive divine power and all events in people’s lives are predetermined by it. Thus, people should give in to their fates and react in a positive and rational way toward unforeseen circumstances because everything happens for a reason and for the best. The third school advocates evolutionary theory as the basis for ethical conduct. Followers of this theory argue that people should learn their behavior from the evolutionary model of natural world. Darwin’s law of survival of the fittest was applied to social context. The ethical conduct is considered to be right when people or government do not interfere to help weak “species” survive. As a result, the most developed, smart and enterprising people will prevail and as social evolution progresses, they will form a superior society.

As opposed to Naturalism, the ethical theory of duty occupies a completely different domain. Immanuel Kant, the major advocate of this ethical appro...


... middle of paper ...


...ity of cases (e.g. for our purpose of establishing universality). In other words, an almost-universal law is a law that would be universal if a negligible set of cases were ignored. That would seem to resolve the situations where universal moral laws contradict one another as those situations should be few and far between compared to the totality of all possible cases. That is not to say that the negligible set should contain few situations, period; only a minute part of all possible situations. This also seems to resolve the case of self-sacrifice, which, even though it looks moral in many situations, cannot be universalized. It may be argued that those many situations are still within a negligible set compared to the totality of all situations in which it is theoretically possible to practice self-sacrifice, and thus self-sacrifice as a universal law is not moral.

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