For this forum, choose one of the following topics to respond to for your initial post. When you respond to your peers please respond, if possible, to a learner who has posted a contrary view on the topic you selected and then, at a minimum respond to at least one learner who has posted on the topic you did not select.
Topic A: Eastern Ethics and Natural Law
Eastern meets Western. I will discuss Aristotle and Confucius, which seems more reasonable? Aristotle and Confucius have the similarity that aimed at developing morality, and they differ on how individuals exercise moral values. Also, the same with distinguishing between right and wrong behavior. The virtue ethics of Aristotle and Confucius are distinct in how two philosophers approach morality. But for me, I will go for Confucius. The philosophical ideas of Confucius represent the philosophy of the East, and he emphasizes beyond to include cultivating the relationship between people. Confucius does not explicitly state the concept of reasoning in human beings; his theory of the Golden Rule is consistent with reasoning. For instance, treating people the way one would expect to be treated involves reasoning. He aims at fulfilling one’s potential through enhancing relationships.
But I would also like to discussion a broader knowledge as regards to the Eastern system in general. The Eastern systems constantly instill moral values through education which can either be taught in schools, holy places, or in the community by the elders. The Eastern system includes Islam. A religious practice carried out by the countries in the Eastern part of the world. Islam is a vital religion that has followers called Muslims. The leaders of Islam help their followers live in the right way and do the right things to praise their God. Muslims have strict rules that allow them to do what is correct so that later they will receive eternal life. They believe in living a decent life where they teach people to leave a holy life. Muslims believe that for their prayers to be hard, they must be clean physically been from where they will conduct the prayers. They pray without shoes and wear long dresses as they believe they will hear their prayers. As their culture states, the women are always covering their heads and wearing dresses referred to by the Muslims as holy or decent and presentable. The eastern systems are mostly not reasonable as they do not teach the reality of life. The system sometimes does not give its followers the freedom to practice what they feel is right.
Comparing the Eastern system, which is Islam, to Aristotle’s virtue theory, there is a big difference as Aristotle’s virtue theory gives people a chance to explore and learn the world. The Virtue theory states that it is the quest to understand and live a life of moral values. People do what they feel is correct, but they must have moral values. The deeds that they carry out must be respected and presentable. The virtues included courage, justice, fortitude, amongst others. People were supposed to consider the virtues in everything they were doing. Through the virtue theory, one could reason and do the right thing without being followed or under pressure. In Islam, one could be directed on what to do and wear on certain occasions, not giving people the freedom to think. That is why Aristotle’s virtue theory is better as one could reason and make a good decision since everything is based on moral values.
Hello classmates and Professor,
For this week’s discussion post, I’ve decided to choose Topic A: Eastern Ethics and Natural Law. For the Eastern system, I decided to pick Buddhism compared to Aquinas Natural Law Theory. Buddhism is one of the world’s major religions. It originated in India in 563–483 B.C.E. with Siddhartha Gautama, and over the next millennia, it spread across Asia and the rest of the world. Buddhists believe that human life is a cycle of suffering and rebirth but that if one achieves a state of enlightenment known as Nirvana.
Siddhartha Gautama was the first person to reach this state of enlightenment and is still today known as the Buddha. Buddhists do not believe in any deity or God, although supernatural figures can help or hinder people on the path towards enlightenment. The Buddha taught about Four Noble Truths. The first truth is called “Suffering (dukkha),” which teaches that everyone in life is suffering somehow. The second truth is “Origin of suffering (samudāya).” This states that all suffering comes from desire (tanhā). The third truth is “Cessation of suffering (nirodha),” it says that it is possible to stop suffering and achieve enlightenment. The fourth truth, “Path to the cessation of suffering (magga),” is about the Middle Way, the steps to achieve enlightenment.
Thomas Aquinas, much like Aristotle, wrote that nature is organized for good purposes. Unlike Aristotle, however, Aquinas went on to say that God created character and rules the world by “divine reason.” Aquinas described four kinds of law. Eternal law was God’s perfect plan, not fully knowable to humans. It determined the way things such as animals and planets behaved and how people should behave. Divine law, primarily from the Bible, guided individuals beyond the world to “eternal happiness.” Aquinas wrote most extensively about natural law. He stated, “the light of reason is placed by nature [and thus by God] in every man to guide him in his acts.” Therefore, human beings, alone among God’s creatures, use reason to lead their lives. This is natural law.
I would have to go with Aquinas Natural Law Theory if I were to have someone follow a plan to formulate a more morally acceptable behavior. Some will say that Buddhism is flawed in a sense, but I believe it’s how people interpret and practice it that can be mistaken. Aquinas Natural Law it’s based on reasoning, and it allows almost everyone to follow its principles.
History.com Editors. (2021, September 15). Buddhism. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/.amp/topics/religion/buddhism
natural law | Definition, Theory, Ethics, Examples, & Facts. (2020). Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/natural-law
Daoism or also referred to as Taoism is a religion and accent philosophy that originated from China. The basic ideology of Daoism is human life is really only a small part of a larger process of nature, only human actions which ultimately make sense are those which are in accord with the flow of Nature. Dao or tao is defined as the way of the universe. Daoism teaches that everyone should live in a state of peace within the universe, and the energy found in it as well. Within Daoism, chi’i or qi is the energy that flows through the universe. Chi’i or qi in a sense act as a guide to peace, and is the life force within everything. Daoism introduces balancing forces, such as “Yin” and “Yang”. Which are opposite forces and how they are interconnected and complementary to one another.
The theory of virtue in ethics highlights the portrayal of a character and virtue in moral doctrine, rather than focusing on one’s obligations or preforming as a means to bring about meritorious repercussions. People who tend to be virtuous are someone who has faultless character attributes. These attributes stem from ordinary inner features, but need to be cultivated; nevertheless, once fixed, they will become balanced. For example, someone who is compassionate over their lifespan is a virtuous person. Due to the fact that it is their personality and not because they want to optimize their value, obtain assets, or because it is their obligation.
I will have to side with Aristotle’s virtue theory. The reason being is because not everyone in the world will think and make decision based on a spiritual perspective such as the Daoists. Others will make decisions based off who it will benefit, or just the person’s perspective. Aristotle’s virtue theory is based on an individual’s character.