Theories of Justice and Moral Behavior

By Dubas, Khalid M.; Dubas, Saeed M. et al. | Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues, July 2014 | Go to article overview

Theories of Justice and Moral Behavior


Dubas, Khalid M., Dubas, Saeed M., Mehta, Rajiv, Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues


INTRODUCTION

The Importance of Moral Behavior

The concepts of moral behavior, ethics, and justice have been addressed by psychologists, economists, philosophers, profits, and others. The fundamental principle of morality is that it must be useful for the society. A more moral society is more successful than a less moral society. In the former society, people will be able to work better through better collaboration, attain higher satisfaction, and face fewer social problems than in the latter society. Moral virtues strengthen individuals and their societies. Non-virtuous people are punished while virtuous people are held in high regard. Hume (1777) wrote "If usefulness, therefore, be a source of moral sentiment, and if this usefulness be not always considered with a reference to self; it follows, that everything, which contributes to the happiness of society, recommends itself directly to our approbation and goodwill. Here is a principle, which accounts, in great part, for the origin of morality; And what need we seek for abstruse and remote systems, when there occurs one so obvious and natural." Similarly, Arrow (1974) notes "Certainly one way of looking at ethics and morality, a way that is compatible with this attempt at rational analysis, is that these principles are agreements, conscious or, in many cases, unconscious, to supply mutual benefits.... Societies in their evolution have developed implicit agreements to certain kinds of regard for others, agreements which are essential to the survival of the society or at least contribute greatly to the efficiency of its working. It has been observed, for example, that among the properties of many societies whose economic development is backward is a lack of mutual trust.... And it is clear that this lack of social consciousness is in fact a distinct economic loss in a very concrete sense, as well of course as a loss in the possible well-running of a political system."

The Role of Reason and Reasoning versus Instinct and Emotions

Discussing superstition and justice, Hume (1777) states: "Those who ridicule vulgar superstitious, and expose the folly of particular regards to meat, days, places, postures, apparel, have an easy task; while they consider all the qualities and relations of the objects, and discover no adequate cause for that affection or antipathy, veneration or horror, which have so mighty an influence over a considerable part of mankind." He goes on to further say "But there is this material difference between superstition and justice, that the former is frivolous, useless, and burdensome; the latter is absolutely requisite to the well-being of mankind and existence of society."

In search of the foundations of morals, scholars have often debated the relative importance of reason and sentiment. Hume (1777) notes:

"There has been a controversy started of late, much better worth examination, concerning the general foundations of Morals; whether they be derived from Reason, or from Sentiment; whether we attain the knowledge of them by a chain of argument and induction, or by an immediate feeling and finer internal sense ..." "... I am apt to suspect, they may, the one as well as the other, be solid and satisfactory, and that reason and sentiment concur in almost all moral determinations and conclusion. The final sentence, it is probable, which pronounces characters and actions amiable or odious, praise-worthy or blamable...; that which renders morality an active principle and constitutes virtue our happiness, and vice our misery; it is probable, I say, this final sentence depends on some internal sense of feeling, which nature has made universal in whole species. For what else can have an influence of this nature? But in order to pave the way for such a sentiment, and give a proper discernment of its object, it is often necessary, we find, that much reasoning should precede, that nice distinctions made, just conclusions drawn . …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Theories of Justice and Moral Behavior
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.