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Evil, Monstrosity and the Sublime

Question 1

The author seeks to understand the cause of evil, the reason the human beings suffer, God’s role in the suffering and how human beings perceive the suffering and evil. There is difference in the reasons the human being suffers. The author relies on four theories to explain why the human being suffers; scriptural, mythological, metaphysical, and anthropological (Kearney 83). Further in the article, Kearney is keen on the impression that people have regarding how evil is manifested in the world. The theories try to explain questions such as why people suffer more than others, why innocent people suffer and on what level justice is served. He tries to explain this citing different theories. He incorporates modern theories to try understand the evil that is prevalent in human life. Kearny portrays the monsters that exist on the same level as God (Kearney 86). Because both are indistinguishable and unspeakable, he sees them as equals. The author farther portrays divinity, spiritual transcendence and sublime nature as mere subconscious thoughts awakened momentarily.

Question 2

The article seeks to answer the question on the origin of evil but instead leaves the reader confused between the various theories he proposes. The four theories propose different arguments on the origin of sin. Kearney is of the opinion that, “If the divine becomes sublime to the point of becoming sadism it has, in my view, ceased to be divine,” (Kearney 95). In his practical understanding, Kearney claims that it the responsibility of a human being to avoid evil (Kearney 103). Thus, the question of what is right is lost on the allegation that the good and evil are equal. It is therefore, impossible for the human being to distinguish between good and bad, especially because the ethical decisions made are as a result of our understanding of the sublime and divinity associated with God (Kearney 100). The article however, is critical in pointing the reader to specific areas to read and focus their ethical opinions on (Kearney 100). The article implies that the reader should exercise caution in judging situations to allow ethical decisions. The article, in pointing out that the human beings suffer sins that they may not understand, frees the reader of guilt over situations and circumstances they had no control over (Kearney 104).

Question 3

This article is important in answering the question on the reasoning behind ethical decisions. The article leads the reader to believe that the ethical decisions made are based on beliefs of morality; the opinion on good and evil (Kearney 100). Out of fear of retribution and justice, the decisions made are based on fear, “evil is not a substance implanted in the universe but a punishment,” (Kearney 85). From the article, the most significant lesson is that it is our responsibility to resist evil. However, the ability to resist evil is from experience and out of fear of the repercussions (Kearney 105). Also, the forgiveness of sins is beyond human understand and capability (Kearney 106). Even Christ could not forgive the people sacrificing him and so he asked God to intervene and forgive them. The article further creates the desire to know more regarding religion and root of evil. The “sacrifice of some scapegoat” as God occasionally requested questions the goodness about Him. Sacrifices are closely related to evil practices and God demands them too.

The Philosophical Basis of Ethics

Question 1

The author seeks to explain the evolutionary theory on ethical decisions. Winslow identifies morality as the main determinant of ethical decisions made. From his definition of morality, these decisions and opinions are based on social experiences (Winslow 315). However, he adds motive behind some of the major decisions. The motive is considered usually in regard to the end goal desired by an individual (Winslow 315). To grow from this simplistic ethics, Winslow recommends that people recognize the impacts of their deed in the society. He emphasizes looking past the decision to its consequence. Winslow also believes that the world changes as man’s integrity changes hence we should not base our decisions with respect to how our ancestors did (Winslow 317). The author also believes that ethical decisions are as a result of either the habits or adaptation to situation. He focuses on adaptive ethical decisions because they are independent of the past and consider the consequences of the individual decisions.

Question 2

This article proposes that the human mind makes decisions with respect to changing times (Winslow 312). Winslow also believes that it is the social responsibility of every one “to recognize the public good in the exercise of his powers,” (Winslow 16). Hence, he proposes that when solving cases as such when approaching a prostitute, the ethical approach is changing the social responsible for her choice of life (Winslow 322). This theory is important in the modern world because it reduces cases of victimization. However, Winslow suggest that historical theories used to make decisions be disregarded (Winslow 317). Though he proves the importance of this approach, he disregards the need for people to borrow methods in the ancient generations. Also important in looking back at history is analysing the mistakes the ancestors made and learning from them. Winslow claims that, “moral necessity for education is not an ideal of intelligence,” in making ethical decisions (Winslow 317). This claim is far mislead because through education one acquires the diversity and experience that Winslow recommends as the growth factor in ethical decisions.

Question 3

This article provides insight on the ethical decisions making process and the influences involved in making decisions. Dwelling on the effect of reconstructed habits, the paper shows the importance analysing the situation as opposed to making decisions based on the past. Winslow is intent on changing the focus of ethics from the past to the present, “we must emphasize the interests it jeopardizes,” (Winslow 317). The article shows the importance of exposure and being mindful of the consequences of my decisions. This article helps me understand why I need to be sensitive towards other people’s feelings by looking past my motives and gain in the arguments (Winslow 315). The example of the prostitute emphasizes understanding of other people’s predicaments, “Instead of merely scourging an abstract sin,” (Winslow 322). The situation teaches to me leave prejudice when arguing with people and instead be sensitive. From the article, I have learnt that I possess power within myself. Also, morality is an opinion that is determined by past experience or due regard of the future.

Works Cited

Kearney, Richard. “Evil, Monstrosity and The Sublime.” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 57.3 (2005): 83-108. Print. <file:///C:/Users/Dell/Downloads/Richard%20Kearney%20-%20Evil,%20Monstrosity%20and%20the%20Sublime.pdf>.

Winslow, Hall. “The Philosophical Basis of Ethics.” International Journal of Ethics 18.3 (1998): 311323. Print. <>.



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