Rationalist Ethical Theories



Ethics are a system of principles that help us tell right from wrong, good from bad. Ethics are important in guiding us in the choices we make in our everyday life. Without ethics, our globalized world would be even more chaotic than it already is. Businesses would fail, our economy would shrink, crime would increase. In other words, we live in a world of laws based on ethics.

Most work done so far on Global Ethics builds upon various observations of already existing ethical theories. Utilitarianism, the most authoritative form of consequentialist ethics founded by J. Bentham, is based on the principle of utility which states to “always act so as to maximize the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people.” In other words, an action is right if it produces the “greatest good for the greatest number”. J. S. Mill also supported this foundation of morals and legislation.

What I found particularly interesting here, is the idea that our happiness combined together determines whether an action is right or wrong. Even though, it has been criticized for several centuries due to the fact that it creates a problem of justice by excluding minorities’ opinions, doubt about consequences, subjectivity, and further justifies illegal acts (e.g. torture) to attain the happiness of others, I do support utilitarianism as the best ethical theory learned so far. I believe that it provides a democratically valid morality which expands overall happiness, and further promotes humanitarian acts by putting other people’s happiness as first priority. I strongly agree with this because I believe that we should not act selfishly in life. While life is rather short, it is important to do good, think about others in society and be warmhearted.

A relevant example is to think to what extent should people be allowed to pollute our environment? Our modern world uses more and more disruptive technology that still causes harm to our surroundings and health. For this reason, I believe it is important to find the right balance between the economic good it creates with the wrong it does to our future generations. I would not say that you should not pollute at all or pollute as much as you wish, which are the two extremes, but rather use the utilitarian approach by thinking about your neighborhood.

My Global Moral Philosophy

“Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right, than to be responsible and wrong.” -Winston Churchill 

Throughout our lives, each one of us develops, expands and outlines their personal moral philosophy. Depending on diverse factors such as age, level of education, social background, or culture, people adopt different personal philosophies.

As for mine, up until today, I have experienced a lot of different events, in both my private and social life. Personally, at this stage, I think that the journey towards my global moral philosophy is still ongoing, but as time passes, I am able to shape it with confidence following my own beliefs.

So far, I was able to gain knowledge on diverse rules of behaviour based on ideas about what is morally good and bad, but most of all, I learned how to make judgements for myself depending on the various situations I confronted myself with.

For me, the most important is to keep a positive mind set no matter what, as well as to treat people the way I would want to be treated. It is all about being respectful to each other. So if one asks me what is the right thing to do morally, I would answer without any doubt, treat everyone equally and with respect. At the end of the day, it is the simple things that matter the most; holding the door for someone, giving up your seat on the bus to those in need, saying thank you, being polite and generous. The more you believe in yourself, the more people will appreciate your traits.

Each one of us may have different views on this, but this is the way my parents and my surrounding environment have instructed me to be. Many of these moral decisions that I choose to make every day just come naturally.

I believe the world would be a better place if we could spread some more kindness, recognise the humanity of other people, and respect their dignity.

Welcome to my blog

Hello bloggers, and welcome to my page.

I am currently a full time Business Student living in Belgium. This whole world of writing reflection journals, and sharing ideas and beliefs on social media is something completely new to me. I have always wanted to start my own one, but, surprisingly, I never really found the inspiration to do so. However, I am extremely grateful because throughout the years, I have been able to develop my own passion for writing, especially when it comes to subjects and matters that interest me.

This semester, I am taking a particularly interesting course named “Global Ethics”, in which the Professor inspires us to write small blog posts every week on topics that are related to ethics, moral decisions and norms. Personally, I find this extremely interesting because it further encourages us to critically assess the different topics discussed in class, as well as develop our own arguments, and further be able to expand them. I love the idea of being able to explore external sources, and to be able to relate them to our basic mindset about global ethics.