Civilized Societies Develop Rules and Laws That Term Paper
- Length: 7 pages
- Subject: Psychology
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #89825192
Excerpt from Term Paper :
civilized societies develop rules and laws that its members are expected to follow. The rules are in place for the purpose of cohesive living among the community and for the most part they have a positive impact on the society that they govern. In this scenario the rules and laws are not followed and in fact are completely disobeyed, yet the person who violates the societal norm not only gets away with it, but he is rewarded for his actions by being elected as a leader and ruling in power for the remainder of his life. Two well-known philosophers bring to light some understanding about how this could have happened.
In the scenario a man named John murders a mean and ruthless person who has lied and cheated his way to the top. The victim is so rich that others in the community are forced to go hungry while he continues to gain more wealth. John believes that this victim is a cornerstone of the society suffering and if he kills him and donates the man's money to charity it will even out the score and restore a peaceful, more equal and cohesive environment for those who remain. He not only commits the murder, but when he is found out he is elected to a position of power and spends his life making choices and decisions that benefit the community. When he finally dies the members of his community mourn his death and believe they have lost a valuable piece of their success and society.
One well-known philosopher, Immanuel Kant, structured a philosophy that would explain the ability of John to get away with murder and be admired in the process. According to the basis of Kant's beliefs human truths are realized through the analysis of fact. The society in which John lives in has been suffering for a long time, in part because of the habits and greed of the miser victim. When John kills him and donates the money to charity, which benefits the society, the analysis of his actions reap the conclusion of benefit. This conclusion allows the society to rationalize John's actions and accept them as truth for benefit.
Propositions, according to Kant, can also be divided into two other types: empirical and a priori. Empirical propositions depend entirely on sense perception, but a priori propositions have a fundamental validity and are not based on such perception. The difference between these two types of proposition may be illustrated by the empirical "The house is black" and the a priori "Two plus two makes four (Kant's Philosophy (http://www.connect.net/ron/kant.html)."
This way of thinking applies perfectly to the benefit from murder mindset. Factually the man becoming dead benefited the society that he had lived in and this benefit voids any conceptual belief that John should be punished for the man's death.
The facts become the benefit of the death of the victim and that fact equals a positive experience from his death. This benefit is one in which the facts overshadow the death and the fact benefit actually becomes the fact. Whereas the death used to be the fact, the analysis and perception of the benefit of the death, then changes the benefit into the fact which makes it acceptable that the man was murdered. This is along the lines of Kant's philosophy of analysis and perception of fact becoming reality.
In addition, Kant provided the world with an ethical blueprint that included the fact that it is the final authority on morality.
Kant described his ethical system, which is based on a belief that the reason is the final authority for morality. Actions of any sort, he believed, must be undertaken from a sense of duty dictated by reason, and no action performed for expediency or solely in obedience to law or custom can be regarded as moral (Kant's Philosophy (http://www.connect.net/ron/kant.html)."
This belief of Kant's excuses the actions of John's in the murder of the wealthy and greedy victim.
This belief provides an excusable rationale for the murder to occur. The ethical and moral belief that the victim was causing an entire society or community to suffer, according to Kant, provides the excuse for the murder. Because the murder resulted in the benefit of society the murder is ethically allowable.
Another philosopher also provides a reasoning for John being able to become an admired pillar of the community after committing murder.
Jean Rousseau spent his early life being rejected. His mother died at birth, his father left him and eventually he became a wanderer spending times with various jobs and families (Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) (http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/r/rousseau.htm).It is not a surprise that he developed many philosophies about the inequalities of life and society. He was accused of theft once and tossed into the street, he was deserted by his father after his mother died and he lived in an era when who one was counted almost more than what one did or accomplished. He grew a philosophy out of that anger that threw him into fame and it was based on the inequality of life. This life philosophy he worked with can be used to explain how John was able to commit murder and get away with it. Because the victim was greedy and allowed others to suffer because of his greed, the society became unequal. He was reaping all the benefits of the wealth he attained and it was causing many to go hungry. The philosophy of Rousseau dovetails with the acceptance of the society that John benefited when he committed the murder of the victim.
His entire philosophy in this area was built upon the encouragement of uprising. If one did not believe in the rules of the society in which one lives one should rise up, refuse to obey and fight against the rules to get them changed according to Rousseau. This belief is also something that goes along with the death of the victim. John saw that the victim was causing unrest and pain in the society that they both lived in. The more money the victim acquired the more power he got and the more power he got the more money he was able to attain. It became a vicious circle from which only the victim was benefiting and the cost to his community for his progress was great. John saw that the one man was causing many to suffer and this understanding allowed him to apply Rousseau's beliefs to even the score and level the playing field. Just because someone has power it does not make them right according to this philosophy and this was exactly the belief by which John killed the victim. When the killing was done and John donated the victim's money to charity he became more respected than he had been before. The people saw that he was a helper. However, it was not long before John realized he had to have some power to be able to continue to affect positive change. He then became an elected chosen leader of the people and he used the power that position gave him to build a stronger and better society to live in. Everybody benefited from his works and both philosophers beliefs would apply positively to the work of John. When John was found out for what he had done he had already begun performing positive things for the community and the community applied Roseau's philosophy for forgiving him and Kant's beliefs for acceptance. The benefit that they had received because of the death had become the truth and the fact while the actual cause of that benefit became very small and unimportant.
Both philosophers were dysfunctional in much of their thinking but they each had beliefs regarding the ethics of society as a whole. The need to be equal and the rationalization of the murder can be understood if one applies the philosophies of these two men to the scenario.
The most important aspects of the scenario are the facts that the community was suffering and John did what he did to benefit the society as a whole. In addition it is important that John continued to use his abilities and newfound power for the good of his society so that he did not become the very man that he had killed.
Rene Descartes (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/Mind/Descartes.html)
As the mental health field continues to evolve there are many who call it a sciece. There are others however who believe that the field of mental health can never be referred to as a science because of its very attachment to the field of philosophy. One of the most famous philosophers in history, Renee Descartes, proposed that the field of science is based in math, while the field of psychology is founded in philosophy therefore the two can never be similar.
Descartes was a French mathematician who spent his life proving the exacting nature of math and science. Science is something that can be proven without a doubt. There…