• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

are reason and emotion equally necessary in the justifying a moral decision

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying a moral decision? Ethics is defined as motivation based on the ideas of right and wrong. It is plausibly the only area of knowledge that clearly summarizes the moral decision of mankind. Reason is the process of consciously using good sense and sound judgement while making a decision. Reasoning takes place when the pros and cons of a situation are weighed rationally and then a decision is taken with little or no room for error. While reasoning, emotion is the variable, which poses a great obstacle. Emotion is a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and lovei. But emotion, being more chaotic than reason i.e. more unpredictable at times can cloud a person's judgement whereby he or she loses emotional control and maybe not know all the facts so as to react appropriately whereas reason is more logical. Justification is defined as a statement in explanation of some action or beliefii. It plays an important role in explaining our emotions and the probable reasons behind them. ...read more.

Middle

It was her rationality on the other hand which made her decide that the man's behaviour was unacceptable and thus he had to be reported. Thus giving rise to the fact that emotion and reason at the same time can be crucial in making a decision. Take the example of a panel member on the jury panel of a court. Their main purpose is to judge the case presented before them logically with reason. Then they weigh the different aspects of the case with the facts given to them and then deliberate a verdict, with reason given the highest regard during the entire process. The outcome: the defendant has been convicted and is justly given his due punishment. This is a clear cut case of reason being used to make a decision where a rational and correct decision has been taken. But let's involve emotion into this situation. Suppose one of the jury members lost one of his close relatives because of a murderer, he would naturally be blood-thirsty for revenge. Thus, he would have his mind set on punishing the criminal, even if the defendant had the slightest chance of being innocent or being acquitted in the name of self defence, the emotion of that particular jury member would be enough to ruin all the hope for the defendant. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example of a context in which it seems right to lie is this: you are a citizen of Nazi Germany, 1940. You are hiding a family of Jews in your attic. The German police come to your door and ask whether you know the whereabouts of that particular family of Jews. This seems a clear case in which preventing harm seems more important than telling the truth. A contrary case might be the following: Imagine that an acquaintance of yours reveals that she has committed manslaughter and that she's very remorseful about it. You are called into court to testify. You know that if you tell the truth, she will go to jail (i.e. suffer a harm). The remorse she shows suggests that she will never commit another crime if she is not sent to jail. Our instincts probably tell us that you should nonetheless tell the truth in such a case, even if it seems likely to do more literal harm than good. This decision might be made on the grounds that truth telling is part of supporting a system of justice that we think overall fair and very valuable."iv . i http://www.thefreedictionary.com/emotion ii www.wordreference.com/definition/justification iii http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/morality.htm iv http://www.ethicsweb.ca/guide/moral-decision.html ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Free essay

    Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?

    The idea is that only one aspect can prevail, usually the belief is that emotion should be suppressed and reason should be focused on. Problems are solved by reason and emotions are seen as the barrier that obstructs the path.4 Emotion tends to be seen as a problem for knowledge

  2. Reason And Emotion

    Applying this to the previous statement, Kant would say that it is morally good to donate to charity due to reasons such as "It would continue the survival of human species", or "It would stabilize the equality between people" etc.

  1. Capital Punishment and why it should be abolished, with particular regard to the Human ...

    I therefore believe that even though people may claim that it's better for criminals to be executed as they did harm, a life sentence is more viable as the emotional grief experienced by innocent families, especially ones who don't have support financially is not necessary.

  2. Seeing James the Red Engine cry, prompted me to ask whether a machine could ...

    The aim of the machine is to make the interrogator guess that the person is in fact the machine; the objective for the person is to help cause the interrogator to guess correctly. Turing believed that in the future it would be quite conceivable for a machine to trick the interrogator more than seventy percent of the time.

  1. The Lion King Ass.

    Also he would not have to fight his own family member over a kingdom. 5. Who is the person who stirs the greatest feeling in Simba? The person who stirs the greatest feeling in Simba for the good is Nala because he loves her a lot and because they were also best friends.

  2. Discuss the view that we cannot justify absolutist moral rules in a multi cultural ...

    However it is important to not that there are also arising problems from a relativist view: To illustrate my first weakness I will illustrate the culture of the Inuit?s. Inuits leave their elderly out in the snow to die; thus they freeze to death.

  1. Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?

    Perhaps the best example of when it is difficult to justify a decision could be during a test when you're sitting next to someone, who wants your help. This is probably the most important test of the term, and the person sitting next to you, your best friend, doesn?t understand

  2. Are reason and emotion equal in justifying moral decisions?

    decide never to be a polygamist due to all the negative experiences endured by him in his polygamist family. For the first decision, emotion influenced emotion as the parents? beliefs influenced the child?s conscience whilst for the latter decision, the child?s decision was influenced by experience which involves reason and emotion.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work