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What Would A Saint Do With The Ring Of Gyges?

806 words - 4 pages

I would argue that the definition of morality can vary depending on who is being asked, as well as certain situations. Susan Wolf argues that to be a moral saint is to have an undesirable lifestyle because the happiness of a moral saint lies only in the happiness of others. She states that “A person may be perfectly wonderful without being perfectly moral,” (citation). With this statement, Wolf attempts to address the misunderstanding that many people have about different cultures. However, Wolf fails to see how the definition of what is morally correct and what is immoral may vary from culture to culture.
My argument is that morality and immorality does not need to be at war with one ...view middle of the document...

To fully control one’s desire to pursue immoral activities one must demean such activities so that there is no competition between morality and immorality. With this Wolf questions whether a moral saint is truly capable of loving anyone or anything because a moral saint must drop everything else in order to pursue morality. This includes relationships that could get in the way of being prepared to help in a time of need, or recreational activities that could also conflict with timing as well as remaining unbiased towards any other person or party.
According to Wolf, a moral saint is dull and bland because he cannot have an ill sense of humor, rather he must always be extremely nice so as to not offend anyone. She asks her readers if this is the kind of individual that they would want to acquaint themselves with.
Wolf suggests two kinds of moral saints; the loving moral saint, and the rational moral saint. She compares the loving moral saint to a utilitarian and the rational moral saint to a Kantian, or rather someone who lives by a deontological way of thinking. This is because a utilitarian mind will seek after what will bring about the greatest good for the greatest number of people thereby showing a strong sense of love towards his fellowman. This is not to say that a rational saint cannot love his neighbor, but simply that a rational saint, or Kantian, performs duties...

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