Philosophers and scientists have always wondered what morality is. This question includes topics such as the universality of righteousness, the acceptability of immorality, each individual’s ethics, and many others. It can be said that there is no common morality since ideas about what is right and what is wrong are always changing under the influence of time, nature, culture, religion, and gender. The purpose of this essay is to present a personal interpretation of morality through a piece of art, as well as to justify these theses and the author’s vision using academic sources.
Personal Interpretation of Morality
It can be assumed that there are as many interpretations of morality as there are people in the world. A chosen art that better summarizes the author’s understanding of ethics is a picture of a forest with a quote by Robert Frost (“Two roads diverged in a wood,” n.d.). The quote is “two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” (“Two roads diverged in a wood,” n.d., para. 1). It means that good and righteous persons are the open-minded ones and those who are not afraid of the challenge of walking the hard path.
Justification of Interpretation of Morality
The first part of the phrase describes the ethical dichotomy that most people face in their lives. This moral dichotomy is whether to choose the easy way or the hard way to achieve specific goals. From a philosophical point of view, it is a choice between psychological hedonism and stoic ethics. Psychological hedonism is “… the idea that human motivation is a function of the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of displeasure” or, put differently, pain (Williams et al., 2018, p. 204). Stoic ethics is about the principle of “following nature” (Stankiewicz, 2017, p. 57). It means that people should explore and accept various facts about the natural and social reality they live in, no matter how harsh they could be.
The author of this work chooses the less traveled road and believes that morality lies in stoic ethics. It is because those people who adhere to the “following cause” principle explore things and are not afraid to overcome the hardships of life because they accept them as they are (Stankiewicz, 2017, p. 57). The unique experience makes their worldview more objective, which means that these individuals are good and virtuous. Those who prefer psychological hedonism deliberately limit their ability to learn something because they avoid unpleasant experiences or are afraid of failure. Therefore, their viewpoint is subjective and biased, which makes them less righteous. It is what makes all the difference between these two groups of people.
This work presents the author’s understanding of what morality is. A picture of a forest with a Robert Frost’s quote was used to represent it. The author believes that there are two categories of people, namely psychological hedonists, and ethical stoics. The fundamental difference between them is their attitude towards the approach to the cognition of the world. The author believes that those who explore the unknown and those who are not afraid to face challenges and hardships are moral. It is because their worldview is more objective due to their many experiences and knowledge. It is worth mentioning that two academic sources support the thesis.
Stankiewicz, P. (2017). Modern stoicism and the responsibility for the global polis. Studies in Global Ethics and Global Education, (8), 54-62. Web.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost. (n.d.). Travelmath. Web.
Williams, D. M., Rhodes, R. E., & Conner, M. T. (2018). Affective determinants of health behavior. (Williams, D. M., Rhodes, R. E., & Conner, M. T., Eds.). Oxford University Press.