Some lessons I learned from ethics-Kevin Tseng-C4

In the class about ethics I had in this semester, the professor had us to study some books, one of them was called “ Etica para Amador”. Sounded like a spell, didn’t it? Actually it was Spanish. “etica” means “ethics”, “para”, means “for” and Amador is a name of a fifteen-year-old teenager. It was written by a father who wanted his son to live a better life. What it wants to tell us is that living ethically is very important for our personal welfare

Why do we need ethics, why do we need morals in our daily life? A common explanation is because without morals, the whole world would be in a chaos. Therefore, every individual should obey the moral rules if they care for their self-interest.1.拆句,不要插句子2.練停頓). (停頓) I don’t like this explanation. It sounds like we are forced to be moral. What if I say being moral is actually following the guidelines that lead you to a happy life.

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle talked about virtue ethics(德行倫理學). He argued that a person behaving morally was practicing his/her practical wisdom(實用智慧). Every complete person all had the ability to practice it, and the practical wisdom was critical for an individual’s happiness.

From this perspective, when we are trying to consider what makes our lives better, we are already stepping out the first step to practice the practical wisdom. Now the problem is(停頓) how? Because we are born to have a free will, we can choose whatever kind of way of life. Things have its pros and cons, we have the freedom,(停頓) but the freedom makes us easy to make mistakes. Are there any instructions or tips for us to follow? From the book, yes, there are. Let me call them the tips toward a happier life and introduce them to you in the following part of the speech.

First, is the diversity of the composition of life. We should never measure our life in simple one or two dimensions, like being wealthy or not. We are all born to pursue happiness, to pursue what we want. But whenever you find that pursuing something makes you hard to taste other kinds of happiness, you should be cautious. The lost may never be regained.

Second, not to be near-sighted, nor look too far. Being near-sighted means you can only see the small merits that are not far away from you, but neglect the overall merits from the perspective of the whole life. We can often see the examples of this kind of people on the news. Those who corrupt or sell defect products may earn an incredible amount of money in a time, but as a long run, when they are caught and turn out in jail, they are actually bumblers. I think we are smart enough that you can avoid the previous kind of mistakes. But be careful not to look too far. I ‘ve once heard of an ambitious classmate who wanted to be a scientist winning the Nobel prize. To attain his dream, he read papers, did experiments in labs and in order to save time to study, he gave up his interest to eat gourmets. He turned out to be unhappy, because what he could see was all about the future, but not the most precious “now”. Remember the complexity I’ve mentioned before, when you find a dream making you hard to taste other happiness, the dream is no longer a dream.

The last one, is about the importance of the two-directional interaction. To be specific, how you treat others is the way others treat you, how you possess a thing is the way the thing possesses you. This is really interesting, and it suggests that although we are all pursuing our own interest throughout our lives, but it should be done in a smart way. If we care only for ourselves, then we may lose the most precious thing that can be given only by people. Furthermore, then our lives would be filled up much by the worrying about our own gain and lost. A smart people would choose a smart way to make his or her interest, that is “the enlightened-self interest(開明利己)” Put more attention from yourself to others will gain your interest both in the substantial world and in your mental world.

I’m going to end my speech. Now take a look at this book again, can you feel the magic power and the splendid light emitting form it? Etica para Amador, Hope all of us can find our own way to live happily.


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