PHI 107: Philosophy of Human Conduct
June 18, 2009
Why should the virtuous be made to suffer with the vicious? Although ethical theorists have different positions on how ethics are formed and determined, each agrees that there are rights and wrongs. Some ethicists believe the way in which a person behaves determines if they will lead a virtuous life. Their character is called into play which helps to determine if their intentions were truly good or bad (Waller, 2008 p.103). Depending on the character of a person, the end results should help determine if we get what we deserve.
As Pojman argues for a world in which, “the virtuous are rewarded and the vicious punished in proportion to their relative deserts,”I agree with him. Pojman explains that desert is “typically or paradigmatically connected with action, since it rests on what we voluntarily do or produce” (Pojman, 1999). The actions of the person are neither influenced by rules, duties, or determinations of how to act in a specific situation. A person who practices virtuous acts, those which help rather than hurt human flourishing, deserves to be rewarded for their efforts.
In Pojman’s example of Mickey Mantle and the kidney transplant, the idea of citizens who were on the donor lists long before he became a candidate being overlooked in order for him to receive a kidney first is appalling. Being the victim of any disease is awful, yet Mickey Mantle put himself in the position to develop liver problems through the actions he chose to partake in. The people ahead of him originally on the donor list, the ones who had liver problems through no fault of their own, deserved the right to be treated and given a chance to live their lives. Celebrity status should not automatically determine if one deserves a necessary procedure over a non-celebrity.
Living in a city where there is a constant stream of crimes being committed, the news seems to focus on the criminals...