The America n dream

The term American Dream was initially coined y the author James Adams in the book The Epic of America. In that book, Adams defined his America as a country where everyone had an equal opportunity to succeed, a land where life is fuller and more fulfilling for everyone and where the opportunities available would be awarded to a person on merit and hard work.

According to this definition of the American dream, all people are supposed to have an equal chance in life. The philosophy of the American dream is based on the belief that all human beings are equal as stated in the declaration of independence. Accordingly, professional success and the quality of life lived by every American should be based on their hard work and the fairness in the sharing of resources. The society is therefore not supposed to have any social classes or bureaucracies. There is also not to be discrimination against any person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, sexuality, political opinion or any other reason whatsoever.

In my opinion, there is a need to redefine the context of the American dream. In the first place, the dream is based on social ideals that the United States of America as a nation and as a society has not been able to achieve. As a land that initially prospered on slave labor, the American society has a long tradition of racial prejudices that has continued to plague it even up to this day. The civil rights movement was all about the realization of the rights of the minority. Minorities, especially the African American community has continued to suffer discrimination both in the society and at the workplace. With these prejudices still prevailing, the American dream as its originators saw it will still be tantalizingly out of the reach of millions of citizens of modern day America.

The American socio-economic and political system continues to be affected by bureaucratese and the resultant patronage.  As a result, opportunities and resources are not shared equally between all the people. Obviously, some population groups have had a bigger share of the fruits of this nation than others. Some communities, for example, have better educational and social facilities than others and therefore have a better chance of making it in life.

Sometimes I think that the importance of material worth of a person is given too much weight in terms of determining the quality of life. Living the American dream is supposed to guarantee each citizen a life of liberty, having the freedom to choose the kind of life they want to live and living it to the fullest regardless of what they own. That has not been the case. Racial discrimination, sexism and place of origin have been used to alienate some citizens from mainstream society. Gay rights have not been fully granted, the rates of unemployment have been rising by the day, taxation and the cost of living is rising exponentially. With terrorism increasingly becoming a threat top the safety of all Americans, there have been reports of violation of the rights of Muslims accused of participating or aiding terrorists. Seriously with such burdens on our shoulders, the American dream is going to remain or become nothing but a pipe dream to most American families.

Moral Relativism

Moral relativism is a theory which states that morality varies between individuals and cultures (from period to period) and that there is no such thing as objective right or wrong. It has two forms ethical subjectivism and cultural relativism. Ethical subjectivism states that morality is relative to individuals while cultural relativism holds that it is, in essence, relative to culture. Moral relativism denies the existence (or even possibility) of moral absolutes  of the objective moral truths that apply for all people in all places at all times.

Morality is relative because the essential bases of moral structures are based on convention. In an abstract sense, there is no such thing as absolute goodness or badness  there is only goodness or badness within a specific context, within the bounds of convention. Thus, an action may be good for some individuals but bad for others, or good in one culture but considered but in another.

Because morality is relative, so are the founding conventions. From individuals to individuals, culture to culture, conventions are more or less different. This is not without purpose. The conditions which govern social dynamics differ from individuals to individuals and from culture to culture. As such, the adaptive mechanism should reflect those conditions.

There are, though, universal morals. In all cultures, murder is a taboo. The existence of societies depended on the harmonious union of groups and individuals. Murder is viewed as an evil act primarily because it disrupts the natural foundation of the society. However, murder is in itself a natural rejection mechanism. It is not founded on convention (rather by necessity). As such, the existence of moral absolutes cannot be confirmed. Indeed, social scientists do not recognize even the strangest speck of absolutism.

A Critical Look at Legal Realism

The central tenet of legal realism is that all laws are made by human beings and therefore subject to human imperfections, irrationalities, and frailties. Legal realists shared one or more of the following ideas

Indeterminacy of law. Realists believed that the law cannot determine the actual results of legal disputes. It is possible that a judicial decision may have been determined by extra-judicial factors

Interdisciplinary approaches to law. Realists believed that a psychological, sociological, and anthropological approach to the study of law is necessary in the resolution of legal disputes. An interdisciplinary approach puts more clarity and substance to many legal issues

Legal instrumentalism. This is the belief that the law should be used as an instrument to achieve social progress and balance competing individual or group interests. In short, the law should cater to the needs of the society (and therefore should never be irrationally restrictive).

Proponents of this view advance two broad claims 1) the law is indeterminate, and hence, the judges must often draw on extralegal considerations to resolve disputes presented to them, and 2) the best definition of law is operative definition of political action. In its orthodox sense, the law is the set of rules, regulations, and policies which govern the actions of individuals within or outside the state. Legal realists define law as restraining actions tied intrinsically to real-world outcomes of particular cases. In short, a law is a derived reflection of empirical consideration  whether such empirical consideration is a repetitive or closed event.

Proponents of this view argue that it is not concerned with what the law ought to be but rather to describe what the law is. The law is simply what is ordered by a lawmaker. Judges are not lawgivers and therefore their actions, while belonging to the field of law, are subsumed under legal practice.

Legal Realism vs. Radical Feminism
Radical feminism is a theory which states that society is organized into a set of complex relationships based on an assumption of male superiority. The essential goals of radical feminism are as follows 1) challenge and overthrow the patriarchal system, 2) oppose standard or socially accepted gender roles (oppression of women), and 3) restructuring of the society. In its abstract sense, patriarchy means the consorted dominance of males in the economic, social, and political affairs of the state. It is, in general, the source of all problems in the society. Radical feminism emerged out of the failure of liberal feminism to affect policy changes in the 1960s. Some women viewed liberal feminism as an outgrowth of patriarchy, and as such, a matter for abandonment.

Legal realism in some respect is superior to radical feminism. Here are some of the reasons
Unlike radical feminism, legal realism draws efficiency from hard-scientific facts. Indeed, it neither assumes nor prescribes political action. From the point of view of realists, political action without legal-scientific basis is not legitimate. The assumption of male supremacy in radical feminism is also problematic in the sense that it is not based on observable result of legal action

Radical feminism, while opposing socially accepted gender roles, is set to destroy the principle of gender equality by prescribing more power and position for women. In short, the legal basis of action is invalid or politically unsound as radical feminists do not believe in the efficacy of existing legal frameworks. Legal realism offers the best possible solution for this dilemma because it allows flexibility in the interpretation of existing laws

From (2) legal realism is indeed more flexible than radical feminism. Radical feminism often offers unrealistic and unclear solutions to existing problems. Legal realism can lead to acceptable legal decisions, if certain criteria are qualified and explained without bias

Consensus can be effectively reached under legal realism than in radical feminism. Note that the goals of radical feminism are almost uncompromising (creating two antagonistic camps)

And, legal realism, by its conservative nature, allows a cautious and methodological examination of facts relevant to certain legal dispute. This is almost impossible under radical feminism. Any issue which violates existing goals is deemed unacceptable and relegated to the position of undesirable.

In a sense, legal realism is inferior to radical feminism in three respects.

It does not recognize macro-realities  in this case, the reality that women are an oppressed group. Indeed, some of its critics argue that it is male-biased, that is, its focus cater only to the needs of males

Legal realism wholly lack initiative and swift political action. A legal dispute is often resolved by means of legal efficiency. As such, appendage issues are never tackled in their entirety. For example, realists argue that there is a clear line which separates who supra-related issues. The resolution of an issue can roughly lead to the resolution of another equally important issue

And, the realist view of politics is both cynical and conservative. It prevents political action from naturally occurring. It dreams and studies without the necessity for political action. Indeed, in the history of the West, it is often political action which institutionalizes social change.

Legal Realism vs. Utilitarianism
According to proponents of utilitarianism, it does not matter what kinds of acts individuals perform or what are the intentions considered so long as the effects of those actions are generally positive. The central tenet of utilitarianism can be summed up as follows pursue an action which will maximize individual or group happiness, taking into consideration the ratio between benefit and cost. An action which maximizes the good is a rational action. Individuals are encouraged to pursue such action. A strain of utilitarianism states that the greatest utility is that which benefits the greatest number of people with the least perceivable cost. Today, a significant number of laws are crafted based on this principle. Taxes, for example, are charged to individuals who derive most of the utility from state services. In some cases, tax exemption is imposed to encourage individuals to spend. In economics, this is called positive externality. The aim of these policies is to bring the highest utility for the greatest number of people.

Clearly, legal realism is superior to utilitarianism in several respects
Legal realism does not depend on the efficacy of number games. For example if a ruling results to the vindication of a criminal and such ruling is legally valid, then it cannot be theoretically overturned by the majority (this is of course hypothetical  in the real world, everything is possible)

Utility or happiness is not the sole criterion of legal sufficiency. As stated earlier, a legal dispute has psychological, sociological, and anthropological dimensions. In a sense, utilitarianism is essentially restrictive
The definition of utility varies from one setting to another. Indeed, groups define utility in an ambiguous manner

Under legal realism, the tenacity of a ruling depends on the perception of the receiving public. This is not the case with utilitarianism. It is often the immediate effect which shapes perception of acceptance
Utilitarianism is lacking in the sense that it fails to incorporate events which cannot be measured by acts of utility. This is not the case under legal realism. It is flexible enough to incorporate related causalities.

Legal realism is also inferior to utilitarianism in three respects 1) utilitarianism is a broad theory of social relations (unlike the former which is merely a specific legal view), 2) the latter demands political action while the former restrain, and 3) happiness or benefit is the major basis of legal ruling (which many realists fail to understand).

Legal Realism vs. Critical Legal Studies
Critical legal studies is a framework derived from the Frankfurt School. According to critical legal theorists, the law do not completely determine the outcome of legal disputes. To put it bluntly, the law often does not bind substantive rules to particular decisions in a case. Some theorists argue that the law itself is an instrument of the ruling or wealthy class.

The superiority of legal realism to critical legal studies is based on the following facts
One cannot really determine the actual intention of the lawgiver. If CLS is correct, then it can specifically show both the cause and outcome of a law. In legal realism, this is possible because multiple disciples are used in the study of legal predicaments

It is often difficult for CLS theorists to show that legal materials are inherently contradictory. In legal realism, such opinion is relegated to the position of indifference because the resolution of legal disputes depends on the legal framework itself

Legal realism takes into account equitable flexibility while CLS disregard the notion of a possible equity
The same case can be said for reliability. CLS theorists often argue that legal frameworks are not reliable in general. Now, how can a court of law resolve a case if its base of action is not even reliable
Other areas of jurisprudence (like international law) are partially ignored by CLS theorists. Realists incorporate this into their mainstream thinking.

Legal realism is also inferior to CLS in three respects 1) history shows that some societies crafted laws based on the interests of the ruling class (legal realism fails to take this into account), 2) the discourse of inequality is quite silent among realists, and 3) maintenance of social space is a topic ignored in legal realism (while magnified in CLS)

The prima facie difference between legal realism to contemporary legal perspectives is essentially based on focus and urgency. Clearly, in some aspects legal realism is superior to these theories while in some aspects inferior.


Moral relativism refers to the theoretical standpoint that avers moral values differ between individuals or cultures. Moral relativists posit that the absence of moral absolutes confirms that values considered wrong by one society may be perfectly right in another. This viewpoint suggests that crusaders against the slavery trade were wrong to oppose a practice supported by certain societies. As a bastion of moral conduct, the Catholic Church has championed the need for moral absolutism in order to preserve a just and moral society. However, within their ranks, the clergy are challenging the papal rule requiring priests to remain celibate. The current push to allow priests to marry and have families supports the view that moral relativism is the preponderant theory with regard to morality.

From a biblical point of view, killing a human being is an evil thing and harsh penalties are imposed on any person who commits murder. Although most nations have laws that adopt this viewpoint, the Muslim Sharia law supports vengeance and allows relatives of a victim to kill the murderer. Thus, even in the event that morality was a matter of convention, different cultural and ethical practices would ensure different applications of the same value system.

Moral absolutists argue that judging other societies by their moral standards has improved humanity. Western support for democracy has reduced the incidence of wars globally and contributed to peaceful development in most nations. Respect for human rights and the setting up of legal mechanisms dealing with crimes against humanity have reduced cases of impunity by world leaders.

In conclusion, moral relativism mirrors the global situation today. People will always interpret certain actions in their own way and arriving at a consensus on morality issues is very difficult. Moral absolutists find it impossible to impose their lifestyles on others without being accused of infringing on the rights of freedom. Thus, tolerance as exhibited by moral relativists seems the best route to follow to achieve moral harmony.


Reasons for Platos refusal to escape, and his respect for the law.

Crito is a is a dialogue that was documented by Plato who was a renown Greek philosopher. The conversation took place between Socrates and his long term friend, Crito who was very wealthy. The dialogue seems to address the issue of justice, injustice as well as the manner in which a person should act to prevent injustice. The setting of the dialogue is the prison cell where Socrates was being held. The main objective of the visit by Crito to the prison was to find a way and means of financing the escape of Socrates from the prison where he was being held as he was risking being killed. Socrates was an Athenian and he had been falsely accused by Meletus, a fellow country man that he was corrupting young people in Athens because of not believing in the God everybody in the city did. The dialogue entails a discussion to weigh the morality associated with escaping. Socrates attempts to consider the rules set by the state and the duty of a citizen within a given state. Crito had a strong feeling against this execution as he knew that Socrates was being accused on a false basis.

Crito had made arrangements to aid Socrates escape and also he along with other friends had organized an arrangement for him to be exiled. They felt that if Socrates was killed, that would show that his friends did nothing to help him. Crito engages Socrates in an argument by reasoning that it would not be fair for Socrates to help his enemies in managing to unjustly accuse him and lead to his death. Crito also argues that it would not be fair for Socrates children as they will be fatherless for no just reason. All these were in an attempt to convince Socrates to escape. Socrates cites the law as the reason why he is not opting to escape. Socrates equates disregarding the law to a child striking his parent. Socrates feels that he should find a way of convincing the law to let him free than breaking it by escaping from prison. He feels that an individual within a state has an obligation to abide by the laws of that land. He felt that for more than seventy years of his life he had always abided by and followed the rule of law and in no case was he prepared to depart from the Athenian law at that point in time.

Socrates felt that in any case if he had to break from the prison then he did not deserve to live in any other state as he considered himself to be an outlaw. He also felt that in the event that he died, the judgment upon him in the underworld would be harsh as he would be considered to have broken the laws of the land where he came from. Socrates felt that any law that had been authorized by the state had to b obeyed regardless of whether they were good for the individuals within the state. He expressed the opinion that by virtue of an individual being in a given state, he is bound by the social contract of the state to abide by its laws. In this dialogue, a distinction is drawn when we consider the legal system at that time. The system is unjust since it is trying to punish a man out of false allegations.

Socrates accusers and the legal system appear to be very unjust and as such it becomes very difficult to justify the refusal of Socrates to escape when he was well aware that the punishment was nothing less than execution. Socrates was a man who did not believe on the general belief of the people but instead relied on his own conscience and knowledge to determine if an action was moral or not. He believed in the idea of reasoning and not just following the masses. In this context, the very law Socrates had spent his life safeguarding and adhering to is the same one that dictates that he has to die for a mistake he did not commit. Generally, the masses were calling for his execution and they appear to be very different from this law. They feel that the law will treat them differently.

Crito and the residents of the state did not have any respect for the law yet they accuse Socrates for not having any regards for the law. Crito was very able and willing to finance the escape of a guilty person. This means that the law is selective in this context and does not seem to treat the rich and the poor alike. Crito is ready and willing to help his friend escape the legal system of the land, the same law they all say they respect so much. The idea that following the law would render the children of Socrates fatherless tries to imply that as long as one becomes a parent he can be exempted from certain legal matters. I really agree with Socrates on the basis of the reasons he gave for his actions. He has a sheer respect for the legal system and is prepared to die for the law. He does not want to be influenced by the ideas of the people, not even his very close friends.

Put in the shoes of Socrates, I would be in a sort of dilemma. With all due respect for the legal system and the rule of law, how do you face a punishment for a crime you did not commit This is worsened by the fact that the punishment in this context was execution. I respect Socrates decision but on a personal level I would not hesitate to escape. My reason for escaping is that there is no fruit for being killed for a legal system that is compromised. Where is the justice if an innocent man is supposed to be executed Money is able to salvage a convict sentenced to death Then what forms the basis of my respect for the law even to the point of death That is the reason why I will not be a victim of a compromised system.


Thesis Statement

The tenets of the book would have been slightly different if the author had adhered to more fundamental aspect of the assumptions and theories.

1. In the beginning of the text, Rachels tries to explain two minimal conditions necessary to hold an ethical theory to be right.  The attempt itself is very heroic, with many definitions existing, and none of them covering all the aspects needed. With the help of the example of Baby Theresa who was born without the auxiliary functions of the brain, she states the case of the inadequacy of ethical laws. She also uses two other examples. Then she puts forward the dictums that ethical judgments must be backed by sound reasoning and morality requires the impartial consideration of all the parties considered.  This according to her is the minimum conception needed for moral decision making.

These two factors are really very important and are the very minimum needed. Consequently, I would completely agree to it.  But, for a text book that is to be followed by children in the philosophy classes, it needs to be more objective.   It is subjective and depends on the judgment of individuals as to what is impartial and sound reasoning.  What impartiality is, cannot be expressed easily for every situation as, every dogma or theory of morality has its roots in certain cultures and certain backgrounds which would certainly have an influence on the norms laid down. Likewise, he who negates these laws also would have certain arguments based on the culture in which he is brought up. What I mean to say is that Cultural Relativism may be applicable to the person who is trying to judge an instance. So also another factor is to be considered. Ignorance as far it goes may play on the persons who interpret the moral law.  For, each situation must be interpreted in itself, and misinformation may lead conclusions of the interpreter in the wrong direction.

2. The Divine Command Theory states that What God commands is what is morally right what God forbids is morally wrong.  Here God is the Creator, the all-good One. It means to say that a life where there is no good and bad consequences in the afterlife people have less reason to be good.  The values in peoples lives are always based on some sort of meaningfulness. Consequently, if there is no meaningfulness in this life, there would be a lack of values, and a world without God would be a meaningless world.  This means the concept of ethics should not be based on any personal set of feelings but on Gods law.  It is this view point of DCT that comes under fire from Rachels. Rachels is trying to bring out the fact that the American concept of ethics is based on what the clergy and religious officials think. They even influence whether a movie is to be given a U or PG-13 or PG-15.

Rachels objects with What about atheists  Often we find atheists also to be good people like any other.  They are good fathers, relatives and contributors to the society.  On the other hand, often theists and the deeply religious people are bad.   They are intolerant, self-righteous, insensitive and overly judgmental.  It is not necessary that a Godless world should be meaningless.  Rachels quotes Socrates Euthyphro question. Does God command it because it is good or is it good because God commands it. If the answer to the former question is yes then there is no longer the DCT, then they must have been good before God commanded them.  So goodness is not what is commanded by God.  If the latter is right, then goodness becomes very arbitrary, and it cannot be depended upon.  God could have commanded mayhem and murder rather than love and mercy.  Thus Rachels goes on to prove that DCT is untenable because it is self-refuting and unacceptably arbitrary.  

3.  I personally would like to differ from Rachels in this viewpoint.  Though what he says is correct on the surface, it seems that he did not understand the basic assumptions of the theory.  The first assumption is that God is good. It does not mean God is like good like you and me.  He is the measuring scale on which goodness of DCT can be measured. Morality is not mentioned in the bible, not because there is no morality in those commands, but the very word morality is defined by those commands.  This means that Gods commands cannot be arbitrary because there is no independent moral point of view from which those commands can be assessed.   Thus DCT can be understood in a better light.  It is that the law is given so that there would be awareness of sin. (Romans 77).  It is thus understood that the DCT when approached only via its basic tenets will hold good.   It is understood that a person with faith in God would unquestioningly obey what God commands.  He would not hesitate over what is moral and what is immoral.  If a person considers whether what God commanded is moral or immoral it would imply that when he undertook what he did, he did not completely grasp the gravity of what his faith demanded of him.  If the professed person faithful to God would only obey what he feels to be moral and would disobey what he feels to be immoral, then such faith would be meaningless.

4.  Cultural Relativism is another important and relevant topic discussed by Rachels in his book.  The mannerisms and codes of different cultures in the world are unique. Arguably, they cannot be compared with each other, advantageously or disadvantageously. If we judge that one cultures way of living is better than another, it would be way off the truth.  As they are all just different and every standard is bound to the culture in question. To illustrate this, Rachels compares the Greek idea of burying the father after death, with the ideal of Callatians.  They eat their father after death.  Eskimos practice crime or infanticide, which may be considered wrong by many.
One problem with cultural relativism is that it would not come out very successful at an argument, as I indicated in the above paragraph.  Also some of the practices, in different cultures are to be negated.  To think that it is explainable under cultural diversity would be catastrophic, when it comes to matters like, say, genocide.  All cultures do share some values that help its survival.  We are all akin to caring our young, averse to murder and place some value on telling the truth.  Such universal rules are necessary for the society to exist. But the twist is that we should not allow this assumption to impose our cultural views on anothers views.  It implies there are both positive and negative aspects, when we try to see things in a culturally more open way.

Thus we have come across some fundamental flaws, which may easily be overlooked when compared with the simplicity and easy to understand language of the book. But the interesting thing about the book is that it turns to real life examples about what the theories mean.  Another advantage of the book is that even though prescribed as a textbook in Philosophy, it does not read like a text book at all.  It would have been a much better read if the tenets and the DCT were dealt with in a more careful manner.

Socrates and Aristotle on Virtues

Socrates and Aristotle are both ancient philosophers. In their work, they both taught on the idea of ethics and virtues. They believed in virtues but their understanding of what it means to be virtuous was different. This is why their teaching on virtue as well as their lives and decisions contradicted. This paper is a Critical comparison between Aristotles account of virtue and Socrates account of virtue and an evaluation of which of the two had a better idea of virtues.

Socrates claim of virtue is based on his argument that knowledge is virtue and lack of virtue is ignorance. In Socrates philosophy, he sought to prove that people could not be able to do good without being knowledgeable. This is to say that his claim was that knowledge is virtue. For Socrates, good people were the virtuous people and those who possessed qualities like wisdom, bravery and temperance. He argued that nothing would be good without knowledge. Knowledge is the only aspect that is beneficial, but virtue is also beneficial. Virtue brings profit to a persons soul. Therefore virtue is knowledge. Therefore, good acts involve knowledge. It is the capability to select good things and acts. Where a person is not knowledgeable, he cannot be in a position to fulfill his desires and be happy. Therefore, happiness is as a result of knowledge because it enables people to satisfy their needs. To Socrates, all things are neutral they are neither good nor evil. It is having knowledge or lack of it that makes things to be either good or evil.

After all, Socrates agrees that every person who has a mind will always aspire to do what is good to better his life. Virtue possesses the knowledge to act virtuously and do what is right. In order to be virtuous, people have to care about what is best for their souls. As a result, virtues can be seen as qualities for the soul and any person who does not care about these qualities is himself bad and does bad deeds. He is not a virtuous man and therefore ignorant.    

Aristotles ethical theory is eudemonist.  This is because he suggests that eudemonia is dependant on virtue. According to Aristotle, every person requires a eudemon life a life where everything is well. The greatest good that every person in Aristotles thinking looks for is the eudemonia. He also argues that virtue is significant but it is not enough for eudemonia. He also says that one cannot be eudemonic if he has no natural goods. This is a life of acting rationally, informed with virtue. The way to achieve this life is to have the power and resources. Individuals who lack power do not achieve their moral capability. He argues that friendship is necessary to achieve this life. Eudemonia is dependent on having proper rules and plans. Aristotle put emphasis on the virtue of temperance. This was in relation to the nature of characters. He believed in achievement of personal good-will, but that the achievement of this will not be an exact science. He argued that the definition of temperance is not as precise as any science. In attempting to define it, he spoke about human function. In his argument, enjoying pleasure is reasonable while failing to enjoy is unreasonable. Aristotle believed that too much and too little are always wrong. He argued that virtuous acts are always midway states between the contrasting vices of excess and deficiency. Therefore, his argument was that temperance represents the mean that is in-between excess and abstinence. His major concern is not uniformity but one thing that all people have in common that allows them to act accordingly.

The similarities that exist in these teachings are that they believed in existence of virtues and taught their students on what it means to be virtuous only from their different understanding. The common thread on the teachings of the two was the fact that people possessed certain virtues. The virtues represent the most significant qualities for a person to possess. The two philosophers taught that having virtues was advantageous. The differences in the accounts of virtues by the two philosophers are not only revealed in their teachings but also their way of life.

Both Aristotle and Socrates were charged with impiety, but their differing understanding of what is virtuous and right led them to different actions. When Socrates was convicted to death, he accepted it and allowed himself to be executed. When he was offered to pay a fine for his crime he refused. He also refused to honour the pleas of Plato and his other students to run away in a boat they had ready for that purpose. In a way through his act, he answered some of the questions he had posed to his students on virtue and courage. His actions also lived up to the fact that he advocated for friendship and true sense of commonality. Socrates believed that running away from the authority amounted to going against his communitys will. As a pursuit of personal happiness, Aristotle on the other hand refused to accept his charges and fled. This is because Aristotles thinking was based on individual happiness and pleasure.This is also evident in his argument that the final goal of human beings is happiness. He argued that living a virtuous life is something pleasurable. In his argument, the virtuous man takes pleasure in living a virtuous life. Additionally, it seems like devoid of virtues, a person cannot achieve happiness. It is like virtue is the linking aspect to happiness. This is in contrast to the theory of Socrates who argues that the best way of life is focusing on self-development instead of pursuing material things.  Aristotle is capable of demonstrating that ethics and personal interest may be related, that ethics is well-suited to common sense, and that a virtuous person is capable of achieving rational decisions. Among the two theories the best is Socrates. This is because he relates virtue with knowledge and as long as one has knowledge he will always choose what is good.

 While both of the philosophers believed in the benefit of having virtues, it is Socrates who stresses more than Aristotle the importance of the virtues. In his Socrates view there is no go between people had to be good. In Socrates theory the idea of happiness and pleasure brings in an aspect of compromise. Between the two philosophers, it is Socrates who forms the best example of living a virtuous life. Therefore the best idea on virtue is the one for Socrates.

Multinational Corporations

A multinational corporation is an enterprise that administers creation of products or delivery of services in more than a single country. A multinational corporation has a managerial headquarters in one country which is referred to as home country and works in several other countries referred to as host countries. Multinational corporations are the key players in the global economy. Multinationals corporations are one of the key channels through which investments are channeled through countries. Currently, multinational corporations are an integrated part of the global economy, as agents for investment flows and for diffusing technology and a crucial source of tax revenues. In the recent past, most multinational corporations have come under analysis regarding their corporate social responsibility. They have received praise as well as criticism in the way they operate and relate with the host countries. They are praised in the way they assist the global economy as well as the economies of their host country, while the criticism in most cases is because their lack of a moral understanding on how they are supposed to act in a global environment. There have been many discussions and debates regarding their moral behavior and responsibility to the market and their host countries. The paper seeks to identify the most superior argument among three arguments concerning their social responsibilities. The three are that they have a mere responsibility of complying with the host countrys regulations that they have a negative obligation to respect human rights and that they have positive obligations of supporting background institutions. In the paper the argument considered superior to the others is the fact that they have a positive obligation in supporting the host country and that they do as much as possible to support them.

A multinational corporation that is out to support the host country wound not exploit its resources and labor. There has been criticism on the way most multinational corporations have been making profits by exploiting workers in the third world countries. Multinational corporations should be in a position to help the workers in the host countries to better their living standards. The OECD reports that multinationals tend to pay better than local companies, even though the difference decreases with local businesses that compete in similar markets. Generally, multinational corporations pay 40 percent higher in mean wages than local companies, and the difference in low-income nations of Asia and Latin America. They tend to pay better than their local competitors because it helps to reduce worker turnover and reduce monitoring costs. However this should not be used as an excuse to exploit the workers by overworking them. To prevent exploitation there are codes of conduct that are implemented from the home country to guide the behavior of multinationals as regards human rights like child labor, employer abuse, safety and health of the workers, discriminating and harassing workers, abuse of their freedom to associate and have collective bargaining power, fair wages, benefits and working hours.

Multinational corporations should seek to understand the basic interests of their host countries so that they can operate in a good environment. They should also understand the basic aspects of business in that country. They should operate in unison with local economic, social and political aspects. Multinational corporations assist the economy of the host countries. They achieve this by creating more job opportunities and improving the standards of living of the locals. Multinational corporations also bring in technological advantages into the host countries. In this era of technological advancement, it is important for all countries to keep at par with the development. Multinational corporations also offer education and training to their staff. In doing so, the expertise and skills are channeled to the host county. Whenever multinational corporations come into a country they bring in machineries. It is their responsibility to the host country to ensure that the machineries are not used for the benefits of their businesses only but that they are introduced to other institutions in the host country. Multinational companies have been able to diffuse knowledge, competence and capabilities through international boarders. Host countries can utilize these resources to better industries in their own countries. In the current age of information, multinational corporations have also enabled free and reliable transfer of information.  

Positive competition is another way in which multinationals help in developing the host countries.  In an environment where there is competition, people are open to many alternatives in business. Local businesses are free to compete and get to face different challenges. They always have to find resolutions to these challenges so that they can survive in the competition. This has made it possible for the businesses to compete on a similar level. This opens more possibilities as they are finding solutions. This opens up more businesses and business opportunities for the locals for the benefit of the host countries. Whenever people have a hand on their own rewards they are motivated to put more effort. This makes their economic status better and raises their living standards. Competition also enables production of better quality goods that are obtainable at low prices. Whenever the consumers are allowed a wide range to select from, they will always choose the products that can offer the better quality for their money. This encourages the companies to further produce more superior and cheaper product.  

As the income rate of the workers from the host countries go up, the income taxes also increase. The host county is able to earn more tax, thus improving other public sectors in the country. Multinationals also provide the host county with foreign exchange. This betters the economy of that country and is also used in providing public amenities, and trading with other countries in a global environment. They also serve to market the country abroad as a way if attracting more investors. Wherever the relationship between multinational corporations and the host countries is good, more investors are attracted. From the political perspective, the host country is able to get more open-minded to the international matters. In order to be in a position to interact with foreign corporations, host countries need to fit into and develop within the global markets so as to communicate well with the multinational corporations. This has enabled more countries to play a role in the global economy.

Multinational corporations assist the host countries to form a relationship with other countries. During this period of globalization, multinational corporations have assisted host countries to join the global arena. Most countries in the third world may not be in a position to produce goods that are capable of competing in the global market. Multinational corporations become crucial here in ensuring that these countries are not left behind in globalization.

In order to attract more investors and more multinational businesses, the host countries need to develop their own environment. In the long run the improved environment benefits not only the investors and multinational companies, but also the businesses in the host countries.

It is immoral on the part of the multinational companies to offer favor to the local politicians in order to be paid back at the expense of the economy of the host countries. There are times when the multinational corporations offer financial support to the politicians in exchange for low taxes on land or reduction of restrictions on environment and other favors. This weakness cannot be blamed on the multinational companies but on the hoist governments poor control and power. If the host government is strong, powerful and provide strong protection to its political system, this kind of exploitation would not be possible. Multinational corporations would not even think of manipulating them. However, it is the moral responsibility of the multinational corporations to genuinely help the host countries without seeking favors.

The multinationals agree that they do all that is in their power to support the host country. This statement is superior to all the others because it is the umbrella to the others. It would be impossible for a multinational corporation to support the host country without respecting the laws of that particular country. For example, it is unethical to perform business in a country without accepting and understanding the local regulations of that country. Multinational corporations should therefore act according to the norms of their host countries. It is by understanding and respecting the laws that a company can operate in harmony and justly in the host country. A multinational will not be in a position to support the host country if it does not perform its negative obligation to the human rights. Where human rights are violated, there is nothing that can be achieved.    

It is a fact that multinational corporations help to support the interests of their host countries. However wherever there are positive effects, the negative ones never lack. This is where it calls for moral responsibility to the host country. Both the host country and the multinational corporation have a responsibility to each other and if the responsibilities are performed effectively, the benefits can be enjoyed by both. Social responsibilities and business ethics are the keys to success in global business.