the beauty of being immoral

By doing a virtuous action once and only once you are not a moral agent but merely virtuous by accident. in order for your virtue to shine through you must first suffer for it. Take the example of the brave man who acts upon the virtue of courage in order to jump in front of a bike in order to save a toddler from harm, the man is accidently brave as it would be an act of spontinuity and not habit; he would also end up with some disfigurement to his face as the reward for his courage.
In order to become moral there must be some consistantcy in your virtuous actions in order to habituate your virtue, this requires suffering and would put off most people who fall under the category of psychological hedonists. Let us return now to our brave man illustration; the brave man (to be fully brave and hold the virtue of courage in perfect balance) he would have learned to jump in front of every oncoming bike in order to save anyone in its path, not just the one off event of the toddler. by repeating this act several times he has come to become brave however during this period of habituation he would have suffered a number of disfigurements to his once unblemished face.
I doubt anyone out there would disagree with me if I was to say that the disfigured face holds beauty within itself (beauty within the person is another matter) yet the face would still hold the virtue of courage as it shares the same virtous faculties as the agent it belongs to. Instead beuaty remains in the unblemished face of the unvirtuous coward. Therefore beauty lies in being immoral.
Furthermore being moral requires us to endure pain and suffering which would require us to go against our nature as psychological hedonists, hence morallity requires us to act against human nature, show endurance, be motivated, suffer for out viirtue and abstain from earthly pleasures.
To conclude it is much harder to be moral than in it be inactive and remain beautiful but immoral.
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Posted on February 11, 2008, in aesthetical, ethical/political, philosophical and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. ♦♥♦ Jã©φû€∟‡∩€

    i can see where you are coming from with this richard, particularly the part about us naturally being psychological hedonists, however i think you are tryin to clutch at too many straws and tie them all togethr because they are not strong enough on their own. yes, we are psychological hedonists by nature, and yes it is hard to be moral naturally all the time and yes there is beauty withn a person aswell ason the outside, however, i dont see how it can be said that you are a beautiful person externally if you are immoral, and internally beautiful if you are moral, because, (scenario 1) what about a person (whom we shall call x) is in a room with a person who has a gun (y) and  x is with 5 other people, y is threatening to kill thos 5 people, but x stops him by killing him first, (scenario b) x is in a room with (persons)a,b,c&d and all 4 have guns pointing at person e, x kills a,b,c&d to save e.
     
    is x more beautiful in scenario a or b? in both scenarios he is killing to save, but bcus he killed 4 times to save 1, does that make him more moral, or internally beautiful than if he had only killed 1 to save 4?
     
    and bcus i am very confused by myself now
    i will stop,
     
    x
     

    • After spending much time pondering over this one, which was one of my early works and therefore written at a stage when my thoughts were still not fully formulated, I think I must agree with you to some degree.

      After going back over this I think that what I was trying to convey was two seperate points…although the second I left implicit and therefore got lost in the text…first is the obvious point that to be considered moral we need to suffer for our virtue and learn to be virtous by habit not accident.

      Now for the second, more implcit, point…we must learn not to judge the ugly for thier lack of external beauty but try and look deeper to find out as to whether this disfigurement was a product of some virtous action (think of a solider whose face has been horribly burned whilst fighting for his country) and also consider what virtues that person might possess within themsleves.

      Hope that makes more sense now.

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