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Ethical philosophy is also known as moral philosophy is a brunch of philosophy that entails both classifying, protecting and making recommendations about the concepts of what behavior is wrong or right. Ethical philosophy tries to address issues such as the outcomes and the basic standards in which the actions of man can be judged as to whether they are right or wrong. Every human being has a responsibility to carry out himself or herself with total respect to himself and everybody else and as to this should be mindful of others too. Ethics tries to explain that every person woman or man has a responsibility to carry out themselves with total decorum and at levels accepted in the society. Socrates and Baruch Spinoza an ancient and a modern philosopher respectively tries in their philosophical works to give account on ethical philosophy trying to express views based on their understanding on what society would treat as good or bad. In this work, we will analyze the relationship of these two philosophers about ethics.
Socrates and Baruch Spinoza are great philosophers who in their works elaborately expressed their views on ethics. Socrates believes that one develops ethics through maturity, wisdom, and love. Socrates was a teacher of ethics and acceptable standards of conduct. He firmly believes that the most significant issue philosophy had to address urgently was the manner in which people should live their lives, the acceptable behaviors and how people should peacefully and wholesomely coexist in the society (Kant, 1994). Baruch Spinoza a European philosopher viewed ethical philosophy by theories of virtue in human beings, the role man plays in nature and the way they relate to God. In his work, Spinoza uses a different metaphysics in which he gets concepts to address issues related to ethics. According to him, the judgment of what is evil and good was dependent on human nature and their desires and beliefs. Ethical philosophy is thus one very educative sector that has been widely accepted to be very informative and educative as through it people across the globe are guided regarding acceptable conducts as well as to uphold human virtues.
About the ethical values, both Baruch Spinoza and Socrates attribute ethics to knowledge. Spinoza in an attempt to prove that human beings are part of nature and not an empire within empires as many would put it brings out a sense of ethical implications. He attributes knowledge to the respect of God and by this Spinoza tries to give an account as to why God is supreme and thus need to be respected by man (Kant, 1994). As per this the respect and worship of God is an ethical act. Socrates, an ancient philosopher, argues that one of the most important ways to be a good and moral citizen is by being knowledgeable. In this respect, Socrates states that the way to acquire knowledge is to engage in meaningful dialogue with others and nature. Both these philosophers classify ethics to be governed by individual knowledge despite having divergent views on the source of the same culture.
The two philosophers also have a relation in the manner by which they categorize virtue as an ultimate source of ethical conduct. Virtue is a behavior showing very high moral standers that are far much better and acceptable in the society. Spinoza argues that morality is a clinical ethics that acts as a basis of human happiness. Spinoza argues that virtue is the most straightforward gift from God to enable human being appreciates and understands nature (Kant, 1994). Socrates in his work equates knowledge to goodness making them have a similar impact in enhancing ethical behaviors. The two philosophers Socrates and Spinoza agree with their pieces of work that virtue is a source of happiness inhuman. According to them for on to be happy you must acquire virtue. Under the same, they also believe that no one can, in particular, do staffs that can harm or affect others as with knowledge and virtue one is in a position to understand the value of life.
About nature, both the philosophers Socrates and Spinoza have been seen in most instances of their writings to be parallel to one another. They argue that everyone has a responsibility to respect nature (Kant, 1994). They know the respect of nature as an ethical manner to appreciate the surrounding that is part of our life. According to Baruch Spinoza, the regard to nature, that is to say, the protection, care and appreciation of the environment around them is summing up to the respect of God. According to Spinoza, there is no much ethical behavior more exceptional than the respect of God. According to Socrates, he views nature as a source of knowledge in that people can engage and acquire knowledge from their interaction with the environment they are in. With the acquisition of knowledge, one can act in an upright and a moral way.
It is thus important to note that what is viewed as good or bad is solely dependent on one’s judgment of the situation. According to Baruch Spinoza, there is no clear distinction between what is right and bad and such decision is dependent on the environment and about the perspective of the society (Kant, 1994). He further states that these decisions are based on the models or set standards we have put in place. From the Socrates perspective, a decision on what is ethical and not ethical is as result of our understanding of our environment and the society and attributes this fact to the acquisition of knowledge. He significantly states that when people are knowledgeable, they are capable of understanding what is evil and righteous and by that can give directions as to the same.
In conclusion, it is critical to state that both the ancient and modern philosophers as to this effect Socrates and Baruch Spinoza relate in their piece of works. The only difference is the context in which they prove these facts. Ethical philosophy is one area that affects the human race the world over as it gives guidance on what is considered good and evil. Ethical philosophy has a central role to guide on the best of ethics. Baruch Spinoza attributes moral philosophy to the respect of God and nature while Socrates tries to understand ethical philosophy regarding acquiring knowledge through dialogue with people and the environment. A decision on what is precisely acceptable and considered right and what is unacceptable and highly regarded as wrong is purely made based on the context of the act. Ethical philosophy, therefore, addresses the manner in which people should live and conduct themselves.
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