Plato, Thomas Aquinas and Jeremy Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1549 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

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My own personal philosophy incorporates much of Thomas Aquinas's concept of a virtuous life. Whether or not one is Catholic like Thomas, I believe that in order for society to run as a smooth organism, individuals must choose to lead virtuous lives.

Though moral choices will always be in gray areas, I believe that people should be able to codify standards of moral behavior, as reflected in our laws. Many of our current laws reflect such moral dilemmas and compromises. For example, laws against murder reflect our society's belief in what Thomas Aquinas would call a "divine" law and are therefore considered just.

However, a person may kill in certain circumstances - during war, to execute a criminal or in self-defense. This reflects a recognition of Bentham's principle that behavior can also be moral when done for the greater good.

In conclusion, my own personal philosophy lies in between Thomas Aquinas and Bentham. Like Aquinas, I believe that the rules governing moral behavior should be codified in just laws. However, these laws should also recognize that individual consequences might necessitate seemingly "immoral" action, as when society executes a murderer. However, the underlying factor should always be the struggle to live a virtuous, just and moral life.

References

Annas, Julia (1981). An Introduction to Plato's Republic. London: Oxford University Press.

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Atkinson, Charles M. (1976). Jeremy Bentham: His Life and Work. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Plato, Thomas Aquinas and Jeremy Assignment

Gilson, Etienne. (1994). The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Translated by I.T. Shook…
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