Conditions for the implementation of moral duty. Types of debt
The question of the performance of an individual's moral duty depends on objective and subjective conditions, which allow differently formulate the requirements for its content and direction. Depending on the prevailing social relations and the corresponding social type of person, the idea of the efforts that a person who follows the specified path should change. Therefore, in different historical epochs the understanding of moral duty was not the same.
According to LA Seneca, the performance of moral duty is associated with a courageous attitude towards adversity and difficulties. "A virtuous man will stand firm in his high office and endure everything," the thinker observes, "no matter what happens, not only patiently, but willingly, knowing that all incidental adversity is in the order of things" . Nothing can distract us from the fulfillment of the demands made to us by our own "I", for if I surrender to pleasure, I must surrender both pain and hardship and poverty " . The power of the human spirit, exceeding all its possible unfavorable circumstances, was subsequently named stoic attitude to life (hence the notion stoicism). The ideal, grounded in the current flow of ethical thought, was to a large extent subsequently inherited by Christian morality.
Conditions can be more or less favorable to a person. However, under any circumstances, the final choice in favor of a moral debt is performed by the person himself. The process of adopting this kind of decision is connected with the transition from external duties, which in some ways have for the person a compulsory character, to the realization of one's moral duty, i.e. free will and self-coercion of the individual. Conditionally, we can distinguish two blocks of problems characterizing this process.
First block is due to the contradictory interaction of social, group and personal interests in the mind of the individual. The result of such interaction is always concrete, is determined by the ratio of the set of factors influencing the preference in favor of those or other values. It is expressed in a combination of three main components. It is the will, the presence of intention, the degree of intention. All of them characterize the subjective side of a person's fulfillment of the requirements of moral duty.
Will (lat voluntas) is the ability to rise above your immediate desires and your own interests, inner effort , subordinating our personal do not want and can not acutely emotionally experienced need and I should . Hence arises the idea of the strength of the will as a positive moral-psychological quality of the person. Will is what distinguishes a morally mature person from a dependent, dependent on someone else's opinions and assessments.
The will is associated exclusively with the voluntary voluntary assumption of duties, which from that moment are perceived as something of their own, forming the sphere of internal obligation. What is usually called a weak will, in practice manifests itself as inability and unwillingness to control one's desires and feelings, the desire to escape from the performance of socially necessary duties by any means. However, the lack of the will of the individual can be successfully replaced by a willful act emanating from the side of another person. In this case, we are talking about replacing the autonomy of our will with the authority of someone else's opinion. In extreme cases, one can speak of violence from an alien will.
Intention is a personal interest in performing certain actions and achieving a specific result, setting goals and choosing appropriate means. Absence of intention is a sure sign that there is no necessary link between individual and public interests. The reason for this may be insufficient moral and cultural development of the person himself. In a number of cases, people may even be completely unaware of the goals pursued, the result of which is not the result to which they initially counted. At the same time, the situation related to the inability, for example, of state bodies to explain to people the social significance of the policy pursued, results in people's indifference to the declared goals.
Degree of Intent shows how far up to what limit a person can go in fulfilling the demands placed on him. It directly reveals to what extent a person is ready to perceive social and group goals, as well as the underlying interests, as their own. In different periods of a person's life, intentions can change significantly. The integration of the individual into social structures and their adaptation to the conditions of activity affect how she perceives the expectations that are addressed to her and reacts to them.
The complete coincidence of interests is, rather, an ideal, extremely rare occurrence in reality, in which the behavior of an individual should correspond to the maximum extent to the pattern of the expected behavior from it. At the same time, for the overwhelming majority of people, the unequal perception of public interests is characteristic, therefore, the reaction to them can differ substantially. Characteristic in this respect is the following textbook example from A. Fadeyev's story "The Rout." Here the two main characters - Morozka and Metchik - are shown by the writer as a kind of antipodes. Their behavior in the finale of the work, where, acting in a similar situation, at the first price of his life tries to save his comrades in the partisan detachment, and the second thinks only of saving his own life, indicates a different understanding of his moral duty. At the bottom of this lies the limit that each person determines independently. Frost sees the partisans as the most expensive people for him, with whom his whole life is connected. They have common goals and a common destiny. On the contrary, for Mechik - these are people whom he ran into accidentally, and they have nothing in common.
Second block is associated with the need to already in practice make a choice in favor of a moral debt. The real passage of this phase includes, firstly, the opportunity to make a choice, and secondly, the individual's ability to consciously choose on the basis of taking into account the correlation of public and personal interests, good and evil, proper and essential.
Moral choice - is a way of realizing moral freedom, acting as a mechanism and an indispensable condition for man to fulfill his moral duty. The problem of moral choice arises, when it is necessary for a person to prefer a certain line of behavior or a concrete variant of an act. It appears when an individual realizes his actions, so that the unity of goals and means, intentions and deeds, the motive and its consequences is ensured. Inaction under certain circumstances also acts as a form of choice. Man as a subject of morality by its very nature is doomed to constantly remain in a state of choice.
Moral choice in the broad sense of the word is the correlation of different value systems, the decision in favor of one of them. For example, a person decisively breaks with his former faith, becoming a different, often oppositely oriented, position. Throughout the last century, United Statess have repeatedly found themselves in a situation of choice. A turning point in this sense was the exposure of Stalin's cult of personality (1956) and the final destruction of the Soviet totalitarian system at the turn of the 1980s-1990s. In both cases, many people had to take a fresh look at their previous lives, the values and ideals that they unconditionally followed. What was previously a debt, in fact, such was not. In ethical literature this kind of situation is explained on the basis of a distinction between real and imaginary debt.
Real the moral duty is directed at the real good, which has unconditional positive value. Neither time nor changed circumstances are able to shake the assessment of the actions of people who defended the Motherland. It was this motive that guided the overwhelming majority of those who went to defend Russia in the battlefields of the First World War in 1914. In 1941, the same goals were pursued by soldiers who reflected the fascist aggression against the USSR. Concerning the former for many decades of Soviet history, it was claimed that they were deceived by the tsarist autocracy and defended their anti-popular interests, while the second in post-Soviet history was said to have defended Stalinism, but in both cases they could fulfill their patriotic duty.
Execution of imaginary debt has an illusory benefit, which does not have any real basis. Unfortunately, we have to state that a lot of people live in their own invented world. Most often this is promoted by social conditions that form a certain type of person from the earliest childhood. A story of a Soviet children's writer is indicative. A. I. Panteleeva Honest Word & quot ;. It tells how a late summer evening the author met on the footpath of a park of a weeping little boy. The boy said that he played with other children in the war, he was appointed guard and instructed to be a guard. It's been a long time, probably forgot about him or just joked. However, he continued to stand on the post, as he gave his word of honor that he would not leave. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, the writer stopped directly on the street the commander of the Red Army, who in the literal sense of the word and freed a small guard. It is not difficult to guess that such a situation was typical for the country in which everyone was preparing for the forthcoming big war, where a powerful system of propaganda and upbringing was aimed at this. AI Panteleev proudly concludes: "A boy who has such a strong will and such a strong word, will not be afraid of the dark, will not be afraid of bullies, he will not be afraid of more terrible things."
The above case may seem very innocent. Although it concerns only a small boy, however, it is far from a private one, affecting more general grounds. The ideological results, which were expressed in a certain way of thinking and mass behavior of people, found a visible embodiment in the realities of Soviet society. Let us take such a well-known example as occurred in the Soviet Union in 1936-1938. processes over the "enemies of the people". The exceptional plausibility of them, deceiving rather sophisticated people (among them were representatives of the progressive left-wing intelligentsia of Western countries), was that the defendants confessed to the most varied crimes allegedly committed by them. Much, of course, was explained by the torture of political prisoners, as well as by fear for the fate of relatives and friends. However, there was another one.
Fanatic adherence to the idea plays in some cases a cruel joke on those who blindly believe in it. Explaining the phenomenon of the reservations to which the veterans of the Lenin Guard publicly exposed themselves in open trials, the writer V. Serge sees this as another example of serving the idea. "No one should, can not resist the party without going over to the enemy," one of the heroes contemplates in the Lubyanka prison cell, urging his old comrade to confess to non-existent crimes. "... We must go to the end." We are created to serve this system, we are his children ...
The reason why people follow the requirements of an imaginary debt, most often lies in the sphere of ideology. Distorted ideas, beliefs, feelings and readiness to follow them at all costs are largely the result of appropriate upbringing. As a fair comment, "moral debt can mean the phenomenon of" imposed duty, "the justification of coercion, the Jesuit form of manipulation by an individual ... . The experience of the twentieth century shows that the situation described in the greatest degree characterizes the realities of the totalitarian system, which is interested in controlling not only actions, but also thoughts, feelings, and the spiritual world of man as a whole. In fact, we are dealing with a bilateral process: the state appears to be interested in forming a certain type of installations among the population, in turn, a significant part of people will atrophy with the passage of time the desire to take responsibility and make a decision. People already simply need someone to make a decision for them; they lack both the need and the ability to implement moral choices.
The manifestations of real and imaginary debt, of course, are not confined exclusively to the political sphere, but can also take place in a number of other areas of public life. It is common for a person to be deluded, but one should always keep in mind the causes of this error - it is arbitrary, and therefore random, or it is a malicious result of the influence of an alien will.
A special case is the relationship between the empirical and the actual human moral duty. Between them, there is almost always a certain contradiction, which, under certain conditions, becomes a conflict. Empirical debt are moral requirements that flow directly from the everyday practice of communication of the individual with other people. It is determined by the existing relations: the wider their range, the more diverse the circle of obligations accepted by the person in relation to the surrounding people. This is, for example, the nature of the parental debt and, accordingly, the debt of children towards their parents. In the same vein, one can consider the requirements that a person must adhere to in dealing with friends or a loved one. As a form of manifestation of empirical debt, one can consider professional duty, which drives people in various spheres of social life and activity.
Specifically, the moral duty is due to the fact that its demands go back to the simplest and at the same time most difficult to implement principles of humanity, humanity, kindness, the foundations of morality itself. Our moral duty consists, first of all, in always and under any circumstances being people, whatever it costs. With such a statement of the question, the sphere of human responsibility for what is happening in his relationships with the surrounding people, in various spheres of his activity, in the life of society as a whole is substantially growing. It is permissible to consider that the moral duty presupposes "an indiscriminate favor to all reasonable, and in the limit - to all living beings" . This is the way, for example, the question of the criteria of the proper human in morality, formulated in the ethics of reverence for life. The peculiar interpretation of the problem in question is contained in the fantastic novel of the Polish writer Stanislaw Lem "Solyaris" ; and the film of the same name by Andrei Tarkovsky.
The problem of the correlation between empirical and moral duty is expressed in the fact that in real life their demands may differ far enough. So, in the activity of a lawyer, there may be a conflict between claims arising from his professional (sometimes official) and moral (purely human) duty. Characteristic in this respect is the act of a well-known United States lawyer who devoted most of his life to the bar, Sergei Arkadevich Andreevsky (1847-1918).
In 1878 a member of the People's Will party, Vera Zasulich, attempted to encroach upon St. Petersburg governor FF Trpov. The reason for the assassination was that earlier, on the orders of the latter, a student was imprisoned in jail. The indignation of the actions of the mayor among progressive people was exceptionally high, which affected the degree of sympathy for the act of the girl who assaulted him. A member of the civil service, SA Andreevsky, was appointed to represent the prosecution at the trial in the Zasulich case. However, like many, he was convinced of the injustice of what was happening. Therefore, refused to speak at the trial and resigned. Becoming a well-known and successful lawyer in the future, SA Andreevsky became famous for the fact that his appearances in court distinguished the brightness and artistic quality of the images he used.
The problem of moral duty, in fact, is a personal problem of the person himself. It can not be replaced by obligations imposed from without, contrary to our will and convictions. In the realm of duty, a person deals with his own inner world, which is the result of all of his previous efforts. Man builds himself, because of which his microcosm always has pronounced individual characteristics. He himself formulates requirements for himself, fulfills them and bears personal responsibility before his conscience. It is the conscience that is the moral authority that allows the individual, evaluating the perfect, to control one's own actions. Therefore, the action of a moral duty is always considered in unity with his conscience. Thanks to the presence of the mechanism of conscience, it becomes possible to correlate the various requirements imposed on a person by some form of moral duty, stopping the choice on the one that has for him an unquestionable moral priority.
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