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Moral Theory and Culture

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Submitted By lmwoodell
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Moral Theory and Culture
Culture is a way of life; it guides beliefs, values, and attitudes. It identifies who one is. It defines the nature of relationships, and individual practices. The decision and actions one take is based upon culture. It is culture that is the building block of one’s moral beliefs. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the “Classical Theories of Morality” and the relevance of these theories to cultural identity. Aristotle’s theory suggests that every action is aimed at some good and good is the object of these actions. Aristotle defines the good as happiness (Kucukuysal and Beyhan, 2011). Happiness and good are synonymous across cultures with living well. However, culture defines the meaning of happiness at different points in ones life. Ones perception of happiness can be quite different from another’s (Scalet and Arthur, 2014). For example, one may define happiness through wealth and success and another may define happiness, not on the material things they own but the family they have and the choices they have made through life. Aristotle also suggests happiness conforms to goodness of virtue (Kucukuysal and Beyhan, 2011). To be happy and good, one must make the right choices. Virtue is taught and learned. The ability to define happiness and decide what is virtuous is an individual choice based upon life teachings and experience. In order to make someone else happy, you must be happy with yourself. Life’s choices, treatment of others should be made with the best of intentions and cause no harm to others. Scalet and Arthur (2014) have suggested the quality of life is determined by activities and that a happy person will never do what is hateful and mean but will live life with dignity and always do what is best.
Kant’s theory suggests that actions determine morality and one must not only act in accordance to duty but for the sake of…...

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