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SOCI 4080C Week 1 Morality and Social Responsibility

Growing up, I learned about the importance of morality and ethics in shaping one’s life and decision-making. These principles, which influence our actions, were explored by prominent thinkers such as Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. Their perspectives provide valuable insights into the concept of morality. In this paper, I will discuss their theories in relation to my cultural identity, examining how they align or diverge from my values. Furthermore, I will explore the impact of cultural identity on social responsibility.

The three ethical perspectives we studied this week encompass 1) The Nicomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics by Aristotle, 2) Immanuel Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals, and 3) John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism Theory. Aristotle’s moral theory centers around virtue and advocates for a virtuous life as the path to happiness (Parry, 2014). Kant’s moral philosophy is based on a system of moral principles that apply the Categorical Imperative universally across time and cultures (Johnson, 2019). Kant’s theory focuses on the inherent rightness or wrongness of actions. Mill, on the other hand, grounds his moral views in utilitarian principles, asserting that happiness is the ultimate desirable end (Brink, 2018).

SOCI 4080C Week 1 Morality and Social Responsibility

Personally, I find that Kant’s theory aligns more closely with my cultural identity. My upbringing has deep roots in the church, where I have been taught to live according to moral principles and the consequences of our actions. The core principle of treating others as you would like to be treated resonates strongly with me, as does the consideration of the outcomes of our decisions. As a Christian, I adhere to the Ten Commandments, which share similarities with Kant’s theory regarding the moral rightness or wrongness of actions. By following these commandments and obeying the laws of the land, one can strive to live a moral and ethical life.

Cultural identity encompasses beliefs, values, customs, and narratives that define specific groups of people. It significantly shapes individuals’ sense of social responsibility and the causes they advocate for. For example, an African American woman might perceive fighting for equal rights for African Americans and women as part of her social responsibility.

SOCI 4080C Week 1 Morality and Social Responsibility

As human beings, we all have a social responsibility towards each other. Understanding the Golden Rule, which emphasizes reciprocity and treating others as we would like to be treated, is essential for fulfilling these social responsibilities in ways that benefit society.

References:

Parry, Richard (2014). “Ancient Ethical Theory.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Retrieved from: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2014/entries/ethics-ancient Johnson, Robert and Cureton, Adam (2019). “Kant’s Moral Philosophy.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2019 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Retrieved from: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2019/entries/kant-moral Brink, David (2018). “Mill’s Moral and Political Philosophy.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Retrieved from: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries/mill-moral-political

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