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Moral philosophy: Moral and immoral actions

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  1. Introduction
  2. Accepting a system of morality and acting upon it
  3. Contractarian morality and de facto morality
  4. The Contractarian outlook on morality: Insufficient because of semantic reasons
  5. Freedom as the highest esteem in our language
  6. Sacrificing liberty for equality
  7. Conclusion
  8. Works cited

Morality is a difficult concept to even define. At its heart, it is an attempt to determine the correct way to act. Of course, the difficulty in this is that we must deal with the idea that people do not agree upon what constitutes moral and immoral actions. From here the main problem is to discern if and how we are able to decide upon moral and immoral actions. There are many different approaches that various philosophers have taken. In considering moral philosophy, the philosophers Gauthier and Narveson have stated that the Contractarian outlook on morality is the only rational basis for morality. I personally feel that the Contractarian outlook supplies us with a strong basis for morality, though I would not go so far as to say that it is the only rational way to approach morality.

[...] It involves both empiricism and rationality, as does most anything. We cannot come to the most advantageous system through one or the other, but we also must realize that we are unable to find the most ideal system; it is always changing as the definition of morality changes throughout the ages. In ancient Greece, older men slept with young boys, but this wasn't considered immoral. Greece, which helped define ideas which would eventually turn into the social contract, had a social contract in which our modern society would find to be absolutely immoral. [...]

[...] If they feel as though they are in danger of losing their food and shelter, then they might feel as though turning to actions which break the social contract might be the better alternative. As such, we can still allow for people to attain their maximum work efforts and still ensure that people feel secure enough to not encourage the breaking of the social contract. To maximize the social contract, we must allow for people to maximize their own status will still ensuring the basic necessities for everyone without the same advantage. [...]

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