Morality and its Necessity for a Functional Society

Morality and its Necessity for a Functional Society



Morality and its Necessity for a Functional Society

Regardless of the different predispositions of the moral theories, there is a concurrence that morality is essential for a functional society. The society is defined by its functionality, which relies on the effectiveness of different virtues (Plato, 2016). Additionally, the aspect that grants the virtues the ability to warrant the functionality of the society is their ability to attain the desired threshold of morality. Due to the agreement on morality, individuals endeavor to do and be good. Doing well relates to the actions rather than the individual while being good relies on the feelings of the participant. The doing and being are related through their effects on the targeted good (Plato, 2016). Through these facets, the individuals in their actions and perceptions create compassion or become transformative. As a result, the effects can generate and propagate the needed social change.

Yes, it is possible to be perfectly good by cause harm to an innocent person or people. The utilitarianism and consequentialism theories support this gist directly by providing all requirements to authenticate its rationality. This scenario presents a dilemma because of its paradoxical nature of entailing conflicting occurrences or outcomes in a single context. Consider the infamous trolley dilemma of killing a single individual and saving five other lives. This presents an absolute stalemate, and there is the need for thinking beyond the situation and consider the outcomes that affect our moral intuitions. In this context, it is apt to consider the distinction between doing bad things to someone and letting bad things happen to someone (Solomon, 2010). Consequently, this permits the introduction of the principle of the double effect that permits the indirect cause of harm for a greater good.

Morality is the predetermined code of behaviors for controlling the actions of individuals and being wicked refers to moral wrongness. A participant might have intended to cause harm by planning to execute an action that is morally wrong without any encouragement from others. Whether the action succeeds or not is not essential, but with wickedness, the desire to be morally wrong is the determining factor (Ahearn & Gathje, 2005). Therefore, an individual can be wicked even without causing any harm completely.

Wrong reasons can negate the good done by a person due to the resultant conflict emanating from the inherent moral value of an action. The disposition-based ethics maintain that the moral quality of an action depends on the will supporting the action. The theories such as deontology Kant’s categorical imperative, contractarian ethics, and the virtue ethics support the disposition (Solomon, 2010). Conversely, the consequentialists such as the care-based ethics and utilitarianism postulate that the moral value of an action depends on the outcome. It is apt to concur with the disposition based ethics because every action begins from the conception. Consequently, this has the greatest influence on the manner of the action execution and the outcome as well.

Yes, an individual can be a morally good but fail to enjoy a good life. A good life is an end on which all actions of human aim, living is the means of this end and requires food, shelter, and clothing (Ahearn & Gathje, 2005). The good life is the ultimate end to all humans, and it is not a means to any action and all actions that people engage in are destined to food life. Even though different people may have dissimilar construe to the good life, this is not a challenge because all desires are of a similar sort. Good life commands moral approval, and an individual who lives a good life exhibits all the good traits such as courage, loyalty, trustworthiness and generosity and honesty among others. Both consequentialism and utilitarianism theories uphold virtuous person as a preferable champion of good life compared to others such as power or wealth. In agreement to this, those who live good life spare some time for actions that benefit other people rather than devoting all time on their pleasures and selfish benefits (Ahearn and Gathje, 2005). Such people can suffer through torture or even death on behalf of others in the society. Therefore, good morals solely are not tantamount to good life due to the complexity of its requirements.


Ahearn, D. O., & Gathje, P. R. (2005). Doing right and being good: Catholic and Protestant readings in Christian ethics. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press.

Plato (2016). The Republic: Ring of Gynges. New York: Aegitas

Solomon, R. C. (2010). The big questions: A short introduction to philosophy. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College Publishers.