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Journal and Homework
Some entries will just be to get myself writing, others will be copies of homework assignments that I feel are worth posting. Comments on typos and writing quality, as well as the content, are welcome. The ramblings aren't worth critique effort.
Why people are moral
Based on the "Ring of Gyges" by Plato and an excerpt from Hobbes.

.......There are many theories why people are moral. While the ideas of Hobbes, Socrates and Glaucon are similar, there are some important discrepancies between them. Hobbes thinks that morals are created by laws and are needed to progress. Glaucon, with a similar end-theory about the human race, believes that our fear of punishment keeps us under moral rules that were created through a rational idea of what was best. Socrates takes the approach, similar to Hobbes, that we need to be moral, but attempts to make his argument less pessimistic about human nature; along with a more essential instead of rational reason as to why. My own thoughts are also similar, but with marked differences. In short, this is basically about the variations of a rather similar theory as to why humans are moral.
.......Hobbes' theory of why people are moral is that it is the logical better compared to a lawless state. He explains that without laws that all humans abide by, mankind would fall into a state of disarray. This disarray, caused primarily by everyone just taking and destroying what they want to, would settle into a constant state of fear. What would be the point of going out to steal if you knew that when you got back everything you had previously would be gone? Thus, this disarray would morph into everyone trying to protect what they have. However, violence, theft, and lawlessness would remain. To lift the world from this state a leader would have to be agreed upon; a leader with complete power to decide rules and enforcement. There are a few things that this ruler wouldn't be able to do, such as remove someone's right to protect themselves. Hobbes believed that without someone denoting what is and isn't allowed, everyone would be at war with everyone.
.......Glaucon, the lad that dared to force Socrates to question his beliefs, suggested that humans would be immoral if they could do so without fear of punishment. He mentioned that the existence of moral behavior was a survival response out of fear of being cast out of society, and excluded. While that is a form of punishment, punishment itself was another reason; such as jail, exiled, killed, physically harmed, and such. I could even go as far as to say fear of the same happening to him or her, such as the concept brought up by Hobbes. Glaucon also mentioned a social contract, which would arise from the fear of the bad happening – a form of punishment. He put it interestingly, saying that the happy-feeling and reward of doing bad was great, but having bad done (such as being robbed) felt so bad that it outweighed the good feeling and reward of doing bad. (Stealing is fun and has rewards, but it sucks to get stolen from more than the fun of stealing from someone.) He went on to explain that this was why a social contract of not doing bad came in. If everyone agreed to not steal, then no one would be stolen from. The end result would be neutral, while before the contract, although nice, the end result was negative. In summary, everyone wants to do immoral things, but not having bad things happen, and that guarantee, was the more appealing choice; this is why, according to Glaucon, people act moral, even if he is correct that everyone would prefer being immoral assuming that they could do so without having immoral actions done onto them.
.......According to the story excerpt by Plato, Socrates was of the opinion that humans have to be moral; if not for any other reason, then for the reason of keeping one's soul in order and from chaos. To be moral is to do something for the end result, not for the glory, the reputation, or to just to do the thing. If you find someone's lost pet, but need to return it in person, that is for the thanks. If you have someone else return it, or don't mind being accused of stealing it as long as it was returned, then you did it just to be good. The theory is that if one were to be unjust, even if being just grants pain and suffering to his or her self, that person's soul would be out of order, the non-human and non-lion heads in control and in a bickering chaos. The lion(courage) would become a higher rank than the rational and logical thought(human) and that would result in rash, and ill-planned actions; rash, from the courage, and illogical and ill-planned from the rest of the heads. Basically, for the spiritual well-being of a human, it is required that they control the beast and chaos with rational thought and moral actions.

.......Many of the points from these three philosophers coincide. Humans are inherently immoral, it is necessary to be moral, and being moral is a facade; are at least some of the common points. While Socrates disagreed with Glaucon, he never disproved the 'inherently immoral' theory. In fact, his example of needing to control the many-headed beast agreed with it. He just gave a reason as to why it was more beneficial to be moral than immoral even if you are as miserable as imaginable while and because of doing so. Both Hobbes and Glaucon suggested that while a facade, behaving morally was a choice, at least when it began. All three stated a reason, or more, why being moral was required; if not for life and survival then for another important element, such as mental health. The similarities are rather interesting and distant given the different approaches, yet it is surprising how similar some points are.
.......I agree with Hobbes that there would be a lot of violence, discord, and fighting; however, I think that some organization and order would arise out of it naturally, without just a voted leader. My idea is more along the lines of the Lord of the Flies excerpt, but with the two groups coexisting by ignoring each other apart from occasional spats. People would group together with others of similar ideas, a few groups that just don't want to fight, and group that wishes to leave to a less populated area and merely survive, a few groups of people that just picked a group, for the sole purpose of fighting. I also think that even with being ruled there would still be war. While right now it isn't just one leader, one leader, even elected, wouldn't be liked by everyone, arguments would arise and the kingdom would just be too vast to work. Hobbes has some interesting points but I believe that he has gone to the extreme on some areas of his argument.
.......In my opinion, Glaucon gave up too quickly. 'Fear of the consequences', thus, if the hypothetical person have never considered the many headed beast, and was exempt from external punishment, she or he would still find it best to be immoral. By the time they would realize the beast thing the person would most likely already have become too set that being immoral was best, or the beast would already have overtaken the 'man', or rational side. Without the rational side at or near the top, it is doubtful that it would be able to have enough control or mental resources to realize that it has lost control due to immoral actions. The ending of the excerpt of Book 9 just seemed hollow to me. It truly seemed that Glaucon had just gotten sleepy and wanted to stop when Socrates was no longer interested in such.
.......Socrates, in book 2, seemed to be strong to his beliefs, but wasn't countering Glaucon's arguments very well. His main point was that of the many headed beast, which I already mentioned lead to a seemingly abrupt end to the passage. While it is understandable that when we become used to giving in and aiming for our desires in a blunt manner it will be difficult to revert back to facing them, and how to achieve them, from a rational point of view(the rational point of view that means some must be ignored); his argument was only that one, while Glaucon had to give many just to get that one in response. That one even left some of Glaucon's ideas unresponded to or even agreed to. Socrates’ side of the argument was weak, and the fair outcome would have been for him to lose if that was all he had.
.......So, why are people moral? Morality in and of itself is speculative, however, by countering that by adding assumed rules for the sake of argument and countering with speculation itself; the answer can seem less far off, even though it is still unreachable. The agreement the four people mentioned in the paper seem to have come up with, with only two meeting and limited information given about and from them all, is that people are moral through necessity; be it life, survival, acceptance, rewards, mental health, physical health or anything else that might be a possibility, no matter how abstractly so. Taking it a step further, it also seems to be the consensus from these four that humans have no innate desire for being moral; doing so is merely a means to an end, be that end happiness, order, calm or mental well-being. It is a rather frightening concept, that one of the more important pieces of our current lifestyles is so fragile, and frankly, non-existent. It would be nice if we were incorrect, but to the extent that being moral doesn't need a reason, not to the extent that there isn't a reason to be moral.


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Metalic_Noodles
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