Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Moral philosophy quiz answers (5 and 12)

I'm going to group two together here because I think the balance between passion and reason is crucial. To my way of thinking, no one without strong passions is capable of being virtuous. So here are questions numbers five and twelve:
 5. VIRTUOUS LIFE To be virtuous/live morally, we should primarily make moral distinctions according to:
    a) our passions, desires, and sentiment.
    b) our reasoning that is used to achieve our will.
   c) our inherent knowledge (what we know without experimentation).
    d) our empirical knowledge (what we know with experimentation).
    e) our intellect in general, but not to achieve desires.
    f) religious revelation and spiritual reflection.
    g) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
      What priority do you place on your selection above? High    Medium    Low  

12. VIRTUOUS PERSON A virtuous person can be described best as:
   a) Strong, powerful and passionate
   b) Strong, powerful and rational
    c) Humble, restrained and spiritual
    d) Humble, restrained and rational
    e) Caring and loving
    f) Concerned with others, yet very rational
    g) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
      What priority do you place on your selection above? High    Medium    Low  
 There is no contradiction here. We make moral distinctions rationally but they have to be driven by our passions. Not our "natural" passions but the passions that we have cultivated in ourselves. The right passions are a lot like oysters, they are an acquired taste.



  1. I chose the same answer for #5 with the same priority. For #12 I chose d) with High priority. When Augustine was asked the three things necessary to get into heaven, he replied "the first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is humility."

  2. Humility is important but I think passion is even more so.

  3. Yes, its good to be passionate, but it was the "powerful" part in a) that I had an issue with.

  4. I think the implication is powerful as in effective at getting things done not powerful as in having lots of political or social clout. That may still be at odds with some interpretations of humility but I think the two can coexist.

  5. If you use powerful in the sense of effective or competent at getting things done, then I don't think a) and d) are mutually exclusive, they can co-exist and I can agree with both. I read it more in the sense of powerful politically or power over others, which I don't think can co-exist with humility.