John Hare Why Bother Being Good

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Chelsea Legge Book Review 10/01/2015 Morality and Economics The book I chose to read was “Why Bother Being Good?: The Place of God in the Moral Life” by John Hare. This book illustrates the difficult decisions that people make every day because of morality and ethics. This book argues that morality starts and ends with Christianity, meaning that without Christianity being moral will be challenging at times. The first half of the book asks the question “How can we be morally good?” while the second part will cover “Why should we be morally good?” To answer these questions, he uses the idea of relativism, happiness or good, and moral screening. Although this book does not apply morality to our current economic life, I will take John Hare’s ideas…show more content…
Cultures and communities are very different when it comes to morality. In the economic realm, one culture may think buying the newest iPhone is the most important thing, but in another culture finding water is the only thing important to them. Within the communities, people will take certain things for granted. This leads me into one of the dangers with relativism, if we “overvalu[e] our community [then] it leads to excluding those who do not belong” (183). For example, the author tells the reader how his kiwi that he wants is produced hundreds of miles away, the process in which it ships to his store and how it then gets to him (176). This may not be morally right because of all the workers and people who do not get the privilege to eat a kiwi, but since he has fallen into his culture, knowing he can get this kiwi he does it anyhow. Another factor…show more content…
John helps put this concept into perspective, although he does not state his own view, he uses others. John Scotus, raises the question “Which do we put first, our happiness or the good in itself?” I believe Scotus does the best job of explaining which order they should fall and the problems with it still. He believes that one should focus primarily on doing things for the good, but always ask yourself if it is making you happy. The problem with this idea is that we may make ourselves think it is for the good but in reality it is for our happiness. If humans try to use this theory, they need to remember how easy happiness can overpower the good. On the economic side, there are a lot of people who talk themselves into buying something because they think it is for the good, but really they just want it to make themselves happy. They are not thinking about the people who are risking their lives to make the product they bought. Hare puts this into perspective when he says “throw a stone in the pool, and eventually the ripples reach the edge, the whole human race” (82). Scotus brings up valid points on how to choose between good and happiness, but Aristotle believes that we were born to strive for the good and chief human good (103). Aristotle may have lived long ago but his ideas and views provide us with some kind of

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