Friday, April 1, 2011

Essay on Alive

Essay on Alive

In the movie Alive, many different questions to ethics comes up. I have chosen Ethical Egoism, Utilitarianism, and The Ethics of Virtue. Ethical Egoism is the only person to look out for is yourself. Utilitarianism is the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The ethics of Virtue is to be a good person.

There are two different types of Egoism, the first is psychological egoism and ethical egoism. Psychological egoism is the view that one is always motivated to act in one's best interest, and ethical egoism is the view that one ought always to act one's own best interest. Philosophers who are called ethical egoists are Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Stirner, Robert Nozick, Aristotle and Socrates. Socrates tried to show that the interests of an individual are identical to the interests of a community. Thomas Hobbes was an egoist man and he said " of the voluntary acts of every man, the object is some good to himself." ethical Egoism is to act in one's best interest. To act in one's self interest is to act mainly for one's own good, loving what is one's own. It means to give one's own interests higher priority then others.

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Utilitarianism was put forth in the 18th Century by a British philosopher, Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Bentham and Hobbes both agreed that all humans are governed by the desire pleasure and the aversion to pain. The original theory of utilitarianism can be traced back to Epicurus. Both Bentham and Epicurus can be considred different types of hedonism since they judge the rightness of actions from the happiness that they lead to, and happiness is identified with pleasure. the only difference between these two philosophers and their views on utilitarianism is Bentham's formulation is a selfless hedonism, while Epicurus recommeneded doing whatever made you happiest, Bentham believes do whatever makes everyone happiest. utilitarianism does have many problems, especially comparing utility among different people. John Stuart Mill wrote a book called Utilitarianism, although he was a utilitarian he argued that not all forms of happiness are of equal value using his famous saying, " It is better to be Socrates unsatisfied, than a pig satisfied."

The Ethics of Virtue is not determined by it's results, but instead be it's intentions. Imanuel Kant said " Nothing in the world- indeed nothing even beyond the world- can possibly be convinced which could be called good without qualification except a good will." Virtue was developed by Plato and Aristotle. Kant believes the Virtue should be a duty. Some people think that being a good person will reward you or give you favours in the future, but the main thing about virtue is that virtue is a duty, or should be recieved as a duty. Virtues are attitudes, depositions, or character traits that able us to be and act in ways that develop this potential. Aristotle suggested that " person can improve his or her character by practising discipline, while while a good character can be curropted by repeated self- indulgance." Virtues are habits.

In the movie Alive many of these ethics are used and questionned. For utilitarianism, eating the dead people was a big question. Morally it is right because people can survive by eating something than snow and the more people who eat will be able to survive. For all the people who died, there is enough meat to go around and feed everyone who is still alive. If people choose to eat, they will have strenght and will be able to go and hike and find the end of the plane to be saved. Also rationning the food will help everyone because if one person is able to eat when they want, they will have more than others. Everyone working together will benifit everyone in the end, because more will be accomplished if eevryone works together.

The Ethics of Virtue is to be a good person. In alive Roberto slips off the mountain when they go on their hike with a couple of people. Nado helps him when he didn't really have to. nado probably felt that it was his duty to help Roberto because Roberto is a strong person and the rest of the team needs him, although he can be bosy at some times. Helping someone from dieing may be able to help you in the future. If you give a little you will be returned with it. For the women who are hurt from the plane crash, the men give them more support. They give them more jackets and clothes so they are warmer.

Ethical Egoism is a very complex idea when applied to a situation like this. In the beginning of the movie, when the plane first crashes, some people are already dead. When everyone gets out of the plane, to see who is okay, they find a co- piolet, who was in the plane with the pilots, and was not part of the team. They find him under a jacket, which belonged to the women whos legs wer trapped. He took the jacket from her to warm himself up. This situation is moral because he was trying to protect himself. It is immoral because he took something from someone who needed it more than he did because he was not hurt. A plane flew over them and they thought that the plane had seen them. They decided to celebrate so just about everyone took a little something out of the rations. This is moral because feeling saved, then eating more than you should will make you feel happier, and also non- starvation gives people more hope. This is immoral because all their thinking about is themselves just because they think they'll be saved.

My personal view point for this movie is very undecided. Some of the things that people did are immoral according to the ethics that I have chosen, but yet again nobody is perfect. Everyone is different and believes in different things. It is not my judgement really to decide what is moral or immoral. I believe that everyone worked together to the best of their ability and for the people who didn't survive they put in the best effort that they could. In a situation like this and I was all by myself with friends, I would be looking out all for myself because when it comes to a situation like this, the only person to look out is for yourself. I guess I am an egoist, but yet again I've never been in a situation like this in my life.

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