The System of Ethics
Mrs. Warren can ethically justify herself to Vivie by making her realize that she took the profession, not for self-interest, but because she had to make ends meet by giving her a good life and quality education. The profession of Mrs. Warren might have started due to the circumstances that did not offer her any other means of preserving as much independence as possible. However, we can see that after she has met her desires, she still goes on handling the prostitution business so as to live a life that is relaxed and conventional. As a result, Mrs. Warren ends up getting trapped in the business of prostitution and eventually loses the freedom she was initially pursuing. The drive of Mrs. Warren to provide necessities for her daughter, as well as shelter her in favor of the truth can be justified ethically (Shaw 5-11).
The system of ethics that works best in light of all the circumstances of the case is situationsm. The love that Mrs. Warren had towards her daughter and herself compelled her to break morality commandments and rules since they are simply contingent while the love for her family is the unshifting absolute. Therefore, situationsm is compelled to acknowledge the perception that the ending offers justification to the means. Altruistic nature plays a major role in this case. Prostitution affects women negatively, presenting them with emotional breakdown, rejection and loneliness. However, Mrs. Warren’s profession provided the means for their survival (Shaw 14-23).
The flaws in Mrs. Warren’s thinking is that she tried to conceal her dark past and keep her profession a secret since she did not want to strain her relationship with Vivie. Vivie states: “…I should not have lived one life and believed in another,” (34). She wanted her daughter to have a clean without deception and hypocrisy. By Vivie knowing her mother’s profession, she would develop hatred towards her. On the other hand, Mrs. Warren was certain that the profession could provide her with financial freedom gains and independence measure that could help her to move away from poverty oppression, but failed to realize that sex exploitation in women is the factor that reinforces the oppression of women by the society (Shaw 23-34).
The theory of relativism states that the major variant is that intellect of morality: ethical principles, customs, and mores might vary from culture to culture. In “The Lottery” by Jackson, the villagers’ lottery blind acceptance has permitted murder of their fellow villagers. Every year ends with a brutal murder, a peculiar ritual which suggests how tradition can become dangerous. For instance, Warner, the old man is extremely faithful to the custom that he worries that the people will revisit primitive times. In spite of the brutality of murdering innocent victims, everybody in the village stills follows the tradition. There is nobody among the villagers who can express disgust or fear freely or openly towards the tradition, but instated,villagers feign enthusiasm. This indicates that the majority of people do not have the courage to disapprove the lottery as they fear the rejection of the society, and as a result, they go on sacrificing their happiness and conscience. For instance, Mr. Summer’s failure to make a replacement of the lottery black box for the draw is an indication that the villagers fail to defend their beliefs. Jackson sates: “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset tradition as was represented by the black box” (Jackson and Reg 28).
The examples fore mentioned above helps to validate the theory of relativism in general. This is because for villagers, tradition gives them enough reason to justify their killing. The best example is the persecution of Tessie. The parallels between the society and sacrifice made in Jackson’s story and our own society are simple to draw since every injustice, whether it is based on sex, race, religion, appearance, geographical region, sexual orientation, economic class or family background are basically random. Those villagers who got persecuted became “marked” due to a characteristic or a trait that they cannot control, for instance, they became the wrong race or they came from the wrong region of the village. Therefore, like the villager in Jackson’s story blindly uphold tradition and murder others like Tessie since it is what their tradition required them to, human beings in real life persecute other people without asking themselves why, a kind of persecution that is universal (Jackson and Reg 31-57).
The principle of altruistic nature holds that no man has the right to exist for the sake of his own. In other words, the only thing that can justify his or her existence is the service offered to other people, whereby personal sacrifice is their highest duty, value, virtue and moral. The best example of character that has an altruistic nature is Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth struggles to make certain that her husband achieves his desires. Lady Macbeth’s acts are selfless and attentive. She plays a noble role and gains respect just like her husband. In spite of the love she has for her husband, she is more determined to see her husband become King so as her husband and herself can equally benefit, an aspect that led her to conclude immediately that in order for her husband to be king, King Duncan had to be killed. Lady Macbeth goes to the extreme of consulting with the witches, in spite of being an ambitious, worldly and bold woman. Lady Macbeth’s altruistic nature compels her to put faith in the words and appearance of the witches. Therefore, Lady Macbeth ends up believing and putting faith in magic and witchcraft. On the other hand, the altruistic nature of Lady Macbeth compels her to put the ambition of her husband first and becoming extremely disloyal to King Duncan, an aspect that makes the King not to follow the counsel of Lady Macbeth as eagerly and speedily as she desires (Shakespeare 13-34).
It can be agreed with Ayn Rand argument that altruism make succh people immoral and weak. Lady Macbeth altruistic nature compelled her to resolve in believing in the prediction with reference to the witches about the next King being her husband. Even though, the witches never suggest the use of crime for her husband to become King, Lady Macbeth resolves to convince her husband to eliminate every obstacle that could stop him from becoming the King, and as a result, King Duncan is killed. In spite of all the accomplishment, the altruistic nature made Lady Macbeth’s manipulation and lies increase to an extent that led to her insanity and death (Shakespeare 37-66).
Among the three ethical theories, objectivism, will to power, and relativism, the most valid theory is objectivism. The theory of objectivism implies that there exists no superior moral objective than that of achieving happiness. However, it is impossible for human beings to get happiness by whim or wish. Essentially, it needs respect that is rational for the reality facts, inclusive of the facts regarding human needs and nature. Happiness in people demands that people live following objective principles, inclusive of respect and moral integrity for other people’s rights. Objectivism provides optimism that the whole universe is there for happiness and achievement of every human being. Therefore, irrespective of customs and traditions in the society, every human being possesses the potential to a life that is fulfilling, rich, as well as independent (James 17-23).
The theory of objectivism maintains that facts will always be facts and reality is absolute, regardless of the desires, fears and hopes that people may have in the society. The world is always independent of the minds of people, and therefore, people’s thinking ought to respond when their ideas are true and of practical significance of living their lives, pursing their values and protecting their rights. The theory rejects the thought that reality can be ultimately determined through social convention, personal opinion or divine decree. The beliefs and ideas of an individual do not create reality, nor can they change reality. It is either such ideas correspond to reality facts or fail to correspond to them. On the other hand, norms and ideas of a culture or society that have been accepted have no impact on reality’s nature. It is either they comport with reality facts or they fail to comfort with them (James 26-31).
The tenets that I agree on most are honesty, justice, self responsibility, productiveness and independent thinking. This is because they view the reality of the nature of people’s means of knowledge, means and nature of survival, and proper social system and morality. The theory of relativism is the least valid. I disagree with the diversity of customs, beliefs, morals and traditions. This is because universal moral standards can exist even in the diversity of beliefs and moral practices that vary in various cultures. The world can acknowledge differences in culture among beliefs and moral practices, and deem those that are morally wrong and morally right (James 40-63).
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