ARE REASON AND EMOTION EQUALLY IN JUSTIFYING MORAL DECISIONS? This essay will deal with the topic of how reason and emotion justify the moral decisions. Therefore, in this case it is assumed that moral decisions can be justified. Justify itself means to give explanation for or to give reason for something. It is assumed also that reason and emotion are the two tools of ways of knowing used to justify moral decisions. Thus, these both will have explanation of how they can justify moral decisions and whether these both have the same role in the justification or not.
Firstly, moral decision is the thing which is decided to be a right thing. In this case, it is assumed that moral is not anything that is good, but it is anything right. What is right does not mean it is good. For the example, people will know that killing actions are bad. However, killing dangerous bacteria for health is not a sin; even it is the right thing to do.
Therefore, it is not an immoral action to kill the bacteria. The different between to decide the decisions using bad and good sides or to decide the decisions using right or wrong sides can be seen from that example.
Thus, to know whether the decision is a moral or immoral decision is to decide whether the thing is right or wrong. Secondly, emotion can justify moral decisions. Emotion is people’s unconscious direct reaction of something happen. It decides moral decision by how the person reacts of something. For the example, I just noticed that my little sister just lost my favorite dress. The first things which came out of my mind were sad, angry and mad with her. I wanted to punch her but actually the thing I did was just by scolding her. I could not punch her that I just could not.
At that time, I put a pity on her when I wanted to punch her. In this case, my emotion at that time decided to do the right thing, which was not to punch her and by only scolding her was the right thing. Another example, I know it is a sin to cheat on other people’s work. One day, there was a pop quiz. My best friend cheated on my work. Knowing that she asked help from me, the first emotions came out from myself were glad and sympathy. Thus, I let her to cheat on my paper that I decided it was the right thing. I did not angry that according to my emotion at that time, helping my own best friend is a right thing.
This shows how emotion justifies moral decisions; it is based on the one person’s effort on something. Thirdly, reason can also justify moral decisions. Reason is the explanation of why things happen and it justifies moral decision by using explanation of why that decision is to be the right thing, and why the other one is wrong. For the example, it is known that free sex is totally not a right thing. Hurting is a sin and free sex means hurting our own life. It is because to do free sex, it can cause a lot of bad causes (diseases (like AIDS), or even abortion).
It also will ruin the person’s future if she/he does free sex. Thus, reason here justifies a moral decision; in this case it justifies that to not do free sex is a right thing, which is a moral decision. Although both emotion and reason are different in justifying moral decisions, both of them are important. Without reason (uses emotion only), it can lead to serious problems for a person to justify whether that thing is a moral decision. Emotion is sometimes unreliable that it based on one person’s emotional reaction. What the person thinks it is correct, the person will not think of other reasons.
For the example, there is a child who always cries for help to do his homework. Because her mother put a pity on him, her mother always helps him. She thinks that she does the right thing that if she does not do his homework he will continue crying. She does not think about the consequences that she justifies moral decisions only based on her emotion. She does not consider the reason that if she always does his homework, it will only put the child on troubles; the child will be very dependent, because it gives him incentive to be lazy.
Emotion is more unreliable than reason that it based on one person’s perspective on something. However, although emotion is not reliable enough, we cannot reject it to be one of the tools to justify moral decisions. Emotion and reasons are sometimes connected in justifying moral decisions. Whether the action is ethical or not, is useful to decide moral decisions. For an example, abuse is an unethical and even a wrong action that it gives pain to the victims in either physically or mentally. The first emotions came out must be pain, sad, heartbreaking and hurt.
Thus, if it is connected to the reason, abuse is considered as an unethical and immoral action that if using deductive reasoning, the effects to the victims must be not good; it hurts the victims mentally and physically. Besides, although reasons can explain almost anything, emotions are actually needed to decide something, or if not, the decision can be imbalance with the nature. Like for the example, it is not logical if a 3 years old baby is jailed because he stole a cosmetic product from a supermarket that he does not know anything yet. If using reason only, the baby did a wrong thing.
However, all things in this world are not the same. Things which are decided have to be fitted with the nature. Emotion works better in that case. Using emotion, the baby has to be released that he does not know anything yet and he will cry if he is separated with his parents. Jail will not work. In this case, emotion works better to decide. However, people have different perspectives of deciding how emotion and reason can justify moral decision. Two examples of ways of knowing are logic and knowledge. Logic is how the person thinks and all logic has assumptions.
Knowledge is what people know. Knowledge might come from experiences, authority from experts, or even their studies. Both assumptions and knowledge set the human mind. Using knowledge and assumption, people use their logic to create new knowledge. All people should have different knowledge that they experience and study differently. Therefore, they also have different assumptions about what is true. For an example, people who have different religions mean they get different studies or even personal experiences from their own religion. These set their mind to believe their own beliefs.
People from Moslems have the studies from their religion that they can do polygamy only if they can be fair. Besides, Christian people are told not to do divorce. For Christian people, whatever the reasons are, polygamy is always a sin. In this case, moral decisions for each person are different; that thing might be good for him, but not for her. Thus, in order to know which one is more important, it can be determined by which has fewer consequences. In this case, deductive reasoning can help in weighing which has fewer consequences. To scold a child when he/she wrong can make the child upset.
If they use emotional reaction, their first reaction must pity the child. Deductive reasoning will think about that if the parents do not scold the child, the child can think that what he/she did is right, and it can be worse. But if the parents scold the child, the child will only be upset for a while but he will know that it is wrong and will not do the mistake again. In this case, it is easier to decide which one has less harm by using reasoning. For the conclusion, reason and emotion are both important in justifying the moral decisions.
Nevertheless, emotion is sometimes unreliable that it only based on one person’s perspective and that person’s reaction of something. Reasoning is more reliable that it weighs the consequences. Although both emotion and reason play different role in justifying the moral decision, they both are connected. Emotion encourages people to do their “next actions” but reason is the one which helps the person to decide whether the person will do or will do that “next actions. ” They both have the same important role to justify moral decisions.
Cite this Are Reason and Emotion Equally in Justifying Moral Decisions?
Are Reason and Emotion Equally in Justifying Moral Decisions?. (2016, Dec 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/are-reason-and-emotion-equally-in-justifying-moral-decisions/