Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example

Type of paper: Critical Thinking

Topic: Ethics, Responsibility, Morality, Sense, Actions, People, Scale, Standard

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/02/21

In order to answer the question of how a person ought to live, and conversely how others ought to live, it is important to, first, have a firm understanding of the moral and ethical standpoint that is being conveyed in that assumption. In making the assertion that a person ‘ought’ to do anything, there will always be an underlying standpoint that has a profound implication on how the ‘ought’ relates to whether actions, or the way a life is lived, can be considered correct. This ‘correctness’ is rooted in moral obligation, or a sense of responsibility that individuals have towards one another. This responsibility is not only important for those individuals to have an ethical or moral purpose, but an obligation towards their community and those around them on a daily basis.
In order to place yourself in the position of someone who is passing judgement on what is right and what is wrong, it is important to understand what that standpoint is, and what it represents. In this sense, the perspective, or standard, that is used to judge should be fully understood, and fully appreciated by the judge. In this way, one of the most important standards to judge a person on is their commitment to their own ideals, although this does not mean that all ideals are ‘important in their own way.’ Instead, actions that promote the well-being of those who are in direct connection with the individual who has a choice to make in regards to their lives should be considered moral or ethical. This is based in the idea of potential, rather than expectation. If a person has the potential to do well, they have a moral obligation to do so. This idea, however, should not be enforced through any legal or authoritative means.
One of the most important standards that can be made use of in judging the ideologies of others is their sense of moral responsibility. This is the perspective a person takes concerning their own values or ideals. In other words, what a person should be judged on is the criteria of how they view their sense of responsibility towards the well-being themselves, of others, as well as the world at large. It seems that without a sense of responsibility, there would be no other types of morality. Personal responsibility is one of the most important aspects of any moral system. The choice to be responsible, due to having the potential to affect other people, is an important one to consider in this regard. It is difficult to expect individuals to have a sense of responsibility towards others when they themselves are struggling to live. Not only those with the will to do good towards those around them, but those with the ability to, should be considered in regards to their moral responsibility.
For this idea, the question of "How ought a person to live?” comes down to their relationship with the world around them. As long as the individuals have a shared responsibility with the world, and know that they have an effect on it, it would seem that there can be a sense of morality that they can have among themselves. In this way, individuals who have shared notions of personal responsibility towards one another have the moral outlook that is necessary to consider themselves ethical.
In this way, the standards that people should adopt to guide their actions are rooted in their ability to provide rational judgment and insight as well as the prospects of creating a community that can grow and thrive through the work of individual’s shared senses of personal responsibility. This responsibility would have to be the individual’s own perspective, though, and not something that is forced or put forth through governance. Individuals should have the right to choose personal responsibility for themselves.
This is, therefore, a standard of not only responsibility but also of freedom of choice or will, the ability to make the correct choices through a person’s own choosing. Again, this does not mean that the choices a person makes do not have any bearing on the ethical framework. A person, in this sense, has the opportunity to make both the correct and the incorrect choices. What could be considered correct, then would be those choices where a person bears their freedom and responsibility in favor of the overall betterment of their community.
The reason why this should serve as a fundamental standard is that, while many ethical standards serve to consider the outcome or the ends of the action, the notion of moral responsibility is rooted in the action itself, and how the person’s decisions and moral choices had an impact upon the actions that they took, and vice versa. A force of will is powerful, but should be guided by a sense of personal moral responsibility. Those choices that are made for the overall effect of pleasure or the betterment of all can often have negative unforeseen impacts. Even those choices that are meant to help mankind flourish can be powerfully dangerous if put forward in too general or abstract of a purpose. In staying away from a responsibility towards any legal or authoritative framework in regards to this moral idea, it is hopeful that the sense of ‘responsibly’ put forward can be delineated from notions that everybody should be responsible for the welfare of everybody else. In this regard, only those with the capability and the will to bear responsibility towards others should be considered, those with the capability but not the will would simply be regarded as unethical.
In considering what actions or behaviors this standard prescribes in practice on an individual level, it seems that those actions that have a purpose driven towards the understanding of how one’s own ideas and perspective can have large scale implications. This is a perspective that considers a person’s own strength in regards to the world, and therefore, their own responsibility in regards to the potential that they have to make life better for the people around them. This is a presentation of how an ethical position can be committed to with a purpose, and that position should also be grounded in not only a purpose of will and responsibility, but also to that of moral obligation towards the individuals that are near and around.
The idea of what could be considered political or legal justice according to this standard is something that should be regarded on a scale to abstract or general to be applied to. In other words, this particular ethical framework regards moral responsibility as something that can only be directed at those that are in direct connection with the individual. It is difficult to say that a person should have responsibility towards large ideologies, entities, or religions, which can have varying degrees of certainty themselves, depending on the moral character of the individuals that make them up.
For this reason, the desired large-scale social outcome of everyone obeying this standard is difficult to consider. If everybody at a smaller scale were able to adapt to such a standard, the large scale implications would be vast, however, if only a few small areas were to adapt it there would probably not be much of a change as far as the large-scale social and political impacts can be considered. This idea of how people ought to live is, therefore, applicable to communities of individuals rather than large scale cities or countries. In this sense, it seems that the way that people should live is more in perspective with people around them then in search of a large grand yet abstract scheme that involves all people. There is a right way and a wrong way to live, and the actions that people take should be in a sense of responsibility towards those that are a part of their lives.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2021, February, 21) Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example. Retrieved February 07, 2023, from
"Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example." WePapers, 21 Feb. 2021, Accessed 07 February 2023.
WePapers. 2021. Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example., viewed February 07 2023, <>
WePapers. Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example. [Internet]. February 2021. [Accessed February 07, 2023]. Available from:
"Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example." WePapers, Feb 21, 2021. Accessed February 07, 2023.
WePapers. 2021. "Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved February 07, 2023. (
"Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example," Free Essay Examples -, 21-Feb-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 07-Feb-2023].
Free How Ought I To Live? Critical Thinking Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Feb 21, 2021. Accessed February 07, 2023.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now