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Ethics And Moral Development According To John Rawls And Victor Frankl

1300 words - 5 pages

American philosopher, John Rawls, and European philosopher, Viktor Frankl, are highly regarded for their philosophical intellect. While Rawls work focused on the theory of justice, Frankl’s work were in the direction of finding meaning in life. Although, their works took to varying directions, a distinct correlation can be found in their work as it pertains to ethics and moral development. Rawls, in his works speaks of the four roles of political philosophy, which include:
1) Practical – The discovery of basis for reasoned argument.
2) Orientation – To help people orient themselves within their social existences.
3) Political Possibility – Workable arrangements where support can be gained from real people.
4) Reconciliation – Calming rage and frustration.

These four roles of political philosophy neatly encompass our position in society and the available choices we have when it comes to ethical choices. Additionally, Rawls offers insight into equality, liberty, and the way to reach international tolerance, (Wenar, 2013). Given we live in a free society, there will be disparate worldviews. Citizens will have opinions on religious belief, will hold personal conceptions of right and wrong, will value differing pursuits, and will hold differences on interpersonal relations. Although such differences exist Rawls suggests, “citizens want to live in a society in which they can cooperate with their fellow citizens on terms that are acceptable to all”, (Wenar, 2013, p. 7).

To accomplish a society of reasonable citizens, it is necessary to understand diversity and varying worldviews and accept varying explanations. Doing so requires the skill of relying on life’s experiences, class, and upbringing. When individuals have a solid foundation of ethics and moral development as a society we are not irredeemably dogmatic, self-centered, or in a perpetual desire of power, rather we have the capacity for mutual respect, toleration, and social cooperation.

The very basis of society’s structure will profoundly affect the lives of the people. Such structure plays an important role in an individual’s relationships, goals, character, personality, and attitude. When there is a sense of justice within a liberal society individuals are more prone to implore desirable ethics, thus resulting in an individual’s ability to make ethical decisions (Wenar, 2013).

In Rawl's book, Theory of Justice, he provides guidance as it pertains to individual conduct, also referred to as Natural Duties. Among these duties are the following:
1) “Duty not to be cruel,
2) Duty not to injure or harm the innocent,
3) The duty to help one another,
4) The duty of justice,
5) The duty of mutual respect”, (Garrett, 2005, p. 1).
These natural duties make up the requirement for moral rules, which governs the conduct of society. Essentially when Natural Duties are followed, typically there is a tendency to enact the appropriate use of acceptable...

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