Evil Is Ignorance.
If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance.
Moral philosophy “ethics” was the study of goodness right and wrong, beauty, justice, and virtue.
Moral philosophy has birthed the social sciences, but still includes value theory (including aesthetics, ethics, political philosophy, etc.).
Value theory is the major branch of philosophy that addresses topics such as goodness, beauty, and justice. Value theory includes ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of law and more.
Ethics, or “moral philosophy”, studies and considers what is good and bad conduct, right and wrong values, and good and evil. Its primary investigations include how to live a good life and identifying standards of morality. It also includes meta-investigations about whether a best way to live or related standards exists. The main branches of ethics are normative ethics, meta-ethics and applied ethics.
A major point of debate revolves around consequentialism, where actions are judged by the potential results of the act, such as to maximize happiness, called utilitarianism, and deontology, where actions are judged by how they adhere to principles, irrespective of negative ends.
Socrates studied under several Sophists but transformed Greek philosophy into a unified and continuous project that is still pursued today. He aimed to study human things: the good life, justice, beauty, and virtue.
Plato, Socrates’ most important student was Plato. Some central ideas of Plato’s dialogues are the immortality of the soul, the benefits of being just, that evil is ignorance.
Aristotle, Plato’s most outstanding student was Aristotle. Aristotle was perhaps the first truly systematic philosopher and scientist. Aristotelian logic was the first type of logic to attempt to categorize every valid syllogism. Aristotelian philosophy exercised considerable influence on almost all western philosophers, including Greek, Roman, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic thinkers.
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The branch of philosophy axiology comprises the sub-branches of ethics and aesthetics, each concerned with values.
As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions “What is the best way for people to live?” and “What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?” In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality, by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice, and crime. As a field of intellectual inquiry, moral philosophy also is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, and value theory.
Three major areas of study within ethics recognized today are:
01.) Meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, and how their truth values (if any) can be determined
02.) Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action
03.) Applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated (or permitted) to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action
The word ethics relating to one’s character.
Meta-ethics asks how we understand, know about, and what we mean when we talk about what is right and what is wrong.
Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking.
Virtue ethics describes the character of a moral agent as a driving force for ethical behavior and is used to describe the ethics of Socrates, Aristotle, and other early Greek philosophers. Socrates (469–399 BC) was one of the first Greek philosophers to encourage both scholars and the common citizen to turn their attention from the outside world to the condition of humankind. In this view, knowledge bearing on human life was placed highest, while all other knowledge were secondary. Self-knowledge was considered necessary for success and inherently an essential good. A self-aware person will act completely within his capabilities to his pinnacle, while an ignorant person will flounder and encounter difficulty. To Socrates, a person must become aware of every fact (and its context) relevant to his existence, if he wishes to attain self-knowledge. He posited that people will naturally do what is good if they know what is right. Evil or bad actions are the result of ignorance. If a criminal was truly aware of the intellectual and spiritual consequences of his actions, he would neither commit nor even consider committing those actions. Any person who knows what is truly right will automatically do it, according to Socrates. While he correlated knowledge with virtue, he similarly equated virtue with joy. The truly wise man will know what is right, do what is good, and therefore be happy.
In Aristotle’s view, when a person acts in accordance with his nature and realizes his full potential, he will do good and be content. At birth, a baby is not a person, but a potential person. To become a “real” person, the ch￼Publishild’s inherent potential must be realized. Unhappiness and frustration are caused by the unrealized potential of a person, leading to failed goals and a poor life. Aristotle said, “Nature does nothing in vain.” Therefore, it is imperative for people to act in accordance with their nature and develop their latent talents in order to be content and complete. Happiness was held to be the ultimate goal. All other things, such as civic life or wealth, are merely means to the end. Self-realization, the awareness of one’s nature and the development of one’s talents, is the surest path to happiness.
Aristotle asserted that man had three natures: vegetable (physical/metabolism), animal (emotional/appetite) and rational (mental/conceptual). Physical nature can be assuaged through exercise and care, emotional nature through indulgence of instinct and urges, and mental through human reason and developed potential. Rational development was considered the most important, as essential to philosophical self-awareness and as uniquely human. Moderation was encouraged, with the extremes seen as degraded and immoral. For example, courage is the moderate virtue between the extremes of cowardice and recklessness. Man, should not simply live, but live well with conduct governed by moderate virtue. This is regarded as difficult, as virtue denotes doing the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, to the proper extent, in the correct fashion, for the right reason.
Socrates, as portrayed in Plato’s Republic, articulates the greatest good as the transcendent “form of good itself”. The good, Socrates says, is like the sun. The sun gives light and life to the earth, the good gives knowledge and virtue to the intelligible world. It is the cause of goodness in people and actions, and it also is the cause of existence and knowledge. The pursuit of and love of the good itself (rather than any particular good thing) Socrates thought was the chief aim of education and (especially) of philosophy.
Natural law ethics: Education is needed for humans, and is their right because their intellectual nature requires developing.
Twentieth century: Reflections on the Holocaust, such as those of Hannah Arendt, led to a deepening appreciation of the reality of extreme evil. Also in reaction to the Holocaust, rights theories, as expressed for example in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, asserted the inalienable moral rights of humans to life, education, and other basic goods. Another response to the atrocities of World War II included existential reflections on the meaning of life, leading to approaches to ethics based on “the situation” and personal interaction.
What’s the Right Thing to Do?