Ethics William J. Bennett Assumes Essay

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Friendship can be the core of all ethical understanding. When we care about our friends, we are willing to learn about them, and listen to them. We stop thinking only of ourselves, and care about others for no other reason than we like them. With family, we do not have to like the person to feel responsible for them. With friends, we make a conscious choice, and that act is powerful. Friendship takes courage, which is the next ethical topic discussed in the Book of Virtues. It is important to have the courage to tell other people how I feel, and to be completely honest with them. Courage means having the courage to cut people off, such as when they are unhealthy for me. For example, if I am trying to do better in school but my friend is trying to talk me into going to a party, I have to have the courage to say no. If I say no, it means I am taking responsibility for my actions.

Although the entire Book of Virtues is meaningful for me, the chapter on honesty is the one I need to learn from the most. I have had trouble with honesty in my life. It seems like, I can lie and get away with it, and thereby avoid problems. I want to tell people what they want to hear, which to me is more important than the truth. Bennett shows that honesty is important even if it means shocking people or assuming the consequences. Telling the truth is difficult sometimes, because it might mean getting into trouble or getting punished. This is where taking responsibility comes into play, because it is important to be mature enough to face up to the facts and deal with whatever punishment or consequences arise.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Ethics William J. Bennett Assumes Assignment

I appreciated what Bennett stated about honesty, as being "developed, and exercised in harmony with others," (Bennett 600). This puts honesty into perspective. It is not about me. Honesty means thinking of other people first, and then worrying about myself. If I am honest, other people can trust me. As Bennett states, "honesty is a fundamental condition for human intercourse and exchange, for friendship, for all genuine community," (600). If any of these things are important to me, then I will learn how to be honest in my daily life. This is as true for white lies as for big lies, in which I might experience severe consequences. It is better to learn how to be honest by wanting to be a good person, rather than by trying to avoid punishment or consequences. This is why concepts like loyalty, courage, and friendship are also discussed by Bennett. If we are loyal to our friends and even to all of humanity, we will not want to lie. If we have the courage to accept the consequences for our mistakes or our deliberate manipulation, then we will also not be afraid to lie. If we have friendships that matter, we would certainly not want to lie to them.

Reference

Bennett, William J. The Book of Virtues. New York:… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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