Ethics and Emotions

Essay by aznrocks September 2006

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I think the question "who is more morally upstanding?" will never have a right answer because no matter what the intention was, they both put out their hearts to help other people. The text mentions that our feelings are too inconsistent for us to depend on as a moral guide, and I truly agree with it. Through the Huck Finn example, Huck is using his affection with Jim as a guide to his act, and at the end his feeling has turned him into a thief. Even though, he didn't steal anything for himself, but he has committed in a morally bad act. Which ones are basis for ethics? Feelings or reason? This is the question where Hume and Kant opposed each other in their writings. Kant believed ethics come from reasoning versus Hume strongly argued that ethics is based on our feelings. Feelings have two kinds: subjective and objective.

Subjective feelings are feelings that a person is influencing the other to feel the same way. Objective feelings are feelings that are so strong; result in misleading a person in assuming that everyone else's is wrong. Besides feelings and reason, intuition is another vision to ethics that is being applied. Intuitionism is process in which we can recognize of what is wrong or right when we can see a clear picture of the situation. Intuition, like feelings, can also be wrong and changeable as people mature and gain different experiences.

Psychological Egoism is when a person is oriented towards his/her own welfare, and the object of every one of his voluntary actions is some good to himself. If someone gives away the last piece of bread to someone else, it is because they want to look like a better person, due to the fact that they would give away the...