Monday, September 23, 2019

Hiroux's Basic Principles of Morality Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Hiroux's Basic Principles of Morality - Essay Example When we evaluate the United States through the lens of Thiroux's basic principles, we find a country that is striving for moral idealism and compromising to satisfy reality. When considering the United States, it needs to be defined as a culture and society of people, religion, and laws. It is not the canyons, mountains, and buildings. The morality of the United States extends to the people, their laws, and the philosophical underpinnings of the constitution. Giving a moral standing to the inanimate objects within our borders would go beyond the traditional boundaries of the moral universe (MacNiven, 1993, p.204). When we apply Thiroux's five principles, we examine the people, the law, and the principles as they are applied to the people in our own country and around the world. When evaluating a situation or a people for its ethical nature it is critical that we have the truth. Honesty, one of the five principals, is the foundation that morality is built upon. Our major religions embody the principle in the ninth commandment of 'thou shalt not bear false witness'. It is reflected in our expectation of truth from our leaders and courtroom testimony. However, the US is inundated with false and misleading advertising, and our country goes to war based on a deception. In the US, honesty is generally valued only so long as it is in our own self-interest. In the long term, the self-interest of corporations and politicians can become the illusion of honesty (Mansbridge, 1990, p.151). While the US embraces honesty as a concept, the principal is often overrun by self-interest. A fundamental moral principle is the sanctity of life and the belief that we should celebrate life and accept death (Thiroux, 2007). The United State's Declaration of Independence expresses the similar belief when it says that one of our inalienable rights is our right to life. This moral principle is reflected in our laws that prevent assault or murder, as well as the fundamental respect for life that is practiced by our mainstream religions. Still, abortion laws, lack of child health care, and militaristic adventures call into question whether this is a guiding principle of the US or merely words to strive for. Here we see our principles overlapping and contradicting one another. Freedom of choice and a right to privacy impede the idealism of the value of life in regards to health care and abortion (Thiroux, 2007). It is also argued that military action serves to save a greater number of lives than it takes. No system of laws or government has a greater respect for individual freedom than the democracy of the United States. Once again, the principles are valid only within a well defined context. If questioned, many Americans would express the feeling of exploitation and slavery to the economic system. Personal freedom is only attainable if the freedom is in itself moral. The United States has made incremental progress towards individual freedom, though we do not have the absolute freedom to do as we please. Our morality may be at odds with someone else's value system. Henry David Thoreau (1892) said, "The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual" (p.151). While the United States has the ideal of a universal morality, our diversity challenges our individual freedo

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