The Moral Insight
The moral insight occupies a very important place in Josiah Royce’s philosophy. Actually, Royce tried to prove that the moral insight is the basis of ethics. It is the first thing that should be analyzed before researching ethics. It is necessary to stress that today Josiah Royce’s “moral insight” is interpreted as “moral point of view”. Unfortunately, this interpretation is not often paid attention to in the contemporary society. It is known that Royce tried to explain the moral insight by means of a connection between self and a neighbor. He was sure that people would be able to lead another and more peaceful life if they were less selfish and loved their neighbors as themselves. To me, this thought means loving and respecting all the people who surround us.
I think that love and respect, good relations with everyone are key factors that help an individual to achieve his/her goals. If people were not so much embarrassed by their neighbors’ success and the good life, they would have more time to improve their own progress. Scholars from different fields have already proved that selfishness and envy influence human health greatly. It means that demonstrating bad attitude towards others is not just impolite, it is also harmful to any person who behaves this way. That is why I think that Josiah Royce was right when he was trying to put the moral insight into the top of ethics. This notion is really very important and deserves much attention. It is my firm belief that if people at least tried to live in accordance with moral insight, there would be less wars, conflicts, and violence in the world. Misunderstanding of ethics and improper attitude towards other people are the major reasons why the world is so cruel and selfish today.
The moral insight may change people’s attitude towards the things that are going on around them. As a rule, we have a wrong point of view upon other people (neighbors) due to our background, education, or experience. The contemporary world is so complicated that people prefer viewing each other as competitors, not the ones who are able to help each other in different situations. This point of view was introduced by parents and numerous violence scenes shown on television every day.
It is practically impossible to find any good movie without offences, conflicts, rape, etc. This is the representation of people’s point of view upon the world, and this is the way to treat neighbors. It is not the method suggested by Josiah Royce. It is the one created by the constant confrontation that takes place in the contemporary world. There seems to be no love demonstrated towards neighbors. There is only anger and irritation that someone earns more than you, someone has a more loving family than you, and someone has got a rise sooner than you. Therefore, the moral insight of the modern world differs from the one suggested by Josiah Royce in the nineteenth century.
In his works, Royce emphasized the importance to treat a neighbor unselfishly. I am sure that this behavior would change the situation in the contemporary world for the better. Peace and democracy cannot be achieved only on papers and agreements. Every person should be involved in the process. The best way to do this is to pay attention to ethics and the moral insight. The changes in this field are the best guarantees of peace and democracy.
It is my firm belief that only correct ethics is able to restore our society and teach it love neighbors and the whole world. A person is a social being; he/she has his/her own feelings and dreams. Everyone has the right to be loved and respected by the society he/she lives in. However, it would become possible only if all the people in the world had correct moral insight. Of course, it is impossible to make everyone behave in a certain way. Nevertheless, something should be done in order to change the situation for the better.
At least, an individual or a neighbor should be treated as a bearer of information, someone who has special traits of character, someone who is able to teach some important information. This is already much better than viewing everyone as a rival. It is not ethically correct to do that. Moreover, it is known that all improper attitudes demonstrated towards another person will return in some time and cause unpleasant situations. Therefore, it is much better to establish friendly relations with a neighbor than try to surpass him/her. Every day there will be someone who is better, and constant attempts to get more success than other people may deprive a person of the ability to admire life and value its beauty.
It turns out that Josiah Royce’s moral insight is a very important notion. It is the basis of ethics and the field that is able to change the life of the entire world for the better. In fact, the moral insight gave birth to the rule saying that one should treat others the same as he/she expects to be treated. Loving a neighbor is a guarantee of success in life and it is also a good way to prevent numerous problems with health. Therefore, the moral insight is the notion that influences a lot of spheres of human life, and it is impossible to disagree with this fact.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that Josiah Royce’s point of view upon ethics and the moral insight is relevant to the contemporary world. Although people today are more rivals than neighbors, it is still possible to change the situation for the better if everyone pays more attention to his/her moral insight. The contemporary world reminds of a battle where everyone is intended to survive and win a price. This line of behavior destroys peace and democracy. It is impossible to call our society a successful one if there are constant struggles for power, money, and even love affairs.
How is it possible to survive in the world and live peacefully when even the sources of entertainment are full of violence and confrontation? The best way to do this is to find the root of the problem. I think that it is a bad morality and improper moral insight. This becomes clear when we see how people treat each other and try to achieve their goals by hook or by crook. Nobody thinks of others, and this should be changed as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to refer to the thoughts of great people, who have created the ways out of this complicated situation long time ago. Josiah Royce is one of these people.