« on: February 16, 2004, 02:43 PM »
I don't usually get into deep thought, but with one class I'm taking I am somewhat forced into self-reflection and evaluation of who I am and how I behave with and to my fellow man.
I go to a private Catholic College Northeast of Pittsburgh, but relatively close to the city (like 15 minutes). As it's a Catholic school, I'm forced to take a religious studies/philosophy course as part of my curriculum. That, at first, seemed AOK by me, as I'm always open to broadening my mind to new things. No biggie, right?
Well, last semester I took "Introduction to World Religions" because I thought it'd be pretty basic, and give me some grassroots knowledge about religions that (at the time) I thought I already had at least a loose understanding of.
I found out that my instructor, a Catholic priest and a nice guy (don't let my following negative opinion sour you on the kinda guy he is), had different things in mind. The class encompassed everything from North and South American Indian religious beliefs to religions of the ancient world... And it ran right up through current religions as well.
A very difficult course ultimately, so I wound up withdrawing because my GPA has to be relatively high for some of my grants and financial aid to be approved. Better a W than an F.
So this semester I replaced the previous Rel/Phil class with "Contemporary Moral Problems in Modern Society".
Quite a mouthful.
I've found it a bit more easy to comprehend, as there's much less terminology that has words that are completely foreign to me. Literally. World Religions of course has tons of terms that are simply not easily translated to the English language so it almost felt like learning some other language necessary for theology classes last semester.
Anyway, my Morality class I'm taking this semester is still difficult because I find my instructor (same priest as last semester) is simply a tough instructor in both his pace and the material he covers.
The class though, discusses various ethical theories and ideas... Thing's like Kantian Deontologism, Ross's "Prima Facie" Deontologism, Egoism (What I've determined I practice), various forms of Utilitarianism, Libertarianism, etc...
Lots of stuff, simpler to understand though because the basic root of these terms aren't foreign to me so I can cope with this class more.
Anyway, the class makes you reflect on yourself somewhat, because we discuss various ethical situations, and how we personally would react to them.
I find that, when it comes to business (which both my majors are central to) I tend to focus on performing efficiently... As I should. To acheive the maximum benefit for the most people. This sometimes includes difficult choices though, like say cutting benefits to employees when a company is failing (a fairly simplistic example, but you get the point).
On the issue of personal ethical choices though, I find I'm much more the egoist. To those who dislike me, it's probably no surprise. To myself, I was slightly surprised to the extent it was, but overall I expected it since I like to think I know myself fairly well, and I know that I like to make myself happy foremost.
In personal decisions, few outside individuals actually ever influenced me.
So, do you ever do self-reflection and realize you're a jagoff too?