To Know What is Right
December 7, 2015
Dr. Roland Ehlke
Objective moral values; we all have them; we all know them; we don’t always all obey them. Objective moral values are a standard of morality that is part of humanity and known by every human being from Russia to the United States. A question on whether objective moral values actually exist has been raised for centuries and is still asked today. Aristotle has written much on morality and the idea of an objective moral standard. Aristotle’s thoughts and ideas on an objective moral standard apply well to the Christian idea of objective moral standards and are necessary in our modern society today.
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics he writes in Book VII on moral strength and moral weaknesses. To begin Aristotle explains what makes someone morally strong or morally weak and how to treat each type of individual. Already there is an objective feel to his morals, “Moral strength and tenacity are qualities of great moral value and deserve praise, while moral weakness and softness are base and deserve blame.”1 Aristotle is very strict on how to measure if a human is moral or immoral and very opinionated on how to treat them day in and day out. After stating his somewhat controversial claim on moral strength and weakness Aristotle begins to point out some problems he has observed in relation to morality.
Aristotle clearly explains many different problems with morality but only one relates well with the idea of if there is an objective moral standard or not. Aristotle presents a problem on how one could have the knowledge of an objective moral standard and still be morally weak. Having knowledge of an objective moral standard would mean that humanity indeed has an objective moral standard built in. Aristotle presents his problem in relation to knowledge:
The problems we might raise are these. How can a man be morally weak in his actions, when...