Peoplewho have the courage and the opportunity to fight evil should do so,even if their activities subject their relatives and friends todifferent risks. They should be motivated by the desire to accomplishtheir duty of engaging in moral activities and maximizing thewellbeing of the majority. Intellectuals have a lot of theoretical aswell as academic knowledge that they can use to govern the society.However, some of them choose to live in the comfort and happiness ofsearching for knowledge for the sake of argument, instead of pursuingleadership positions. Some opponents hold that intelligence does nothelp people distinguish between what is good and evil. They alsoargue that intelligence cannot create the desire to engage inactivities that are considered by the society to be moral. Theopponents are quite unjust because they fail to acknowledge the factthat there are many intellectuals who utilize their knowledge tobenefit other people, even without the leadership positions.
Keywords: Intellectuals, fighting evil, fit to govern, agents of change.
Althoughall people have the option of engaging in activities that are eitherevil or good, the society expects to be governed by leaders whosupport ethical practices. Although the boundary between actions thatcan be considered to be ethical and those that are not is stillcontroversial, there are theories that guide people in judging thegoodness of different decisions. In addition, some members of thesociety believe that intellectuals can utilize their theoretical aswell as academic knowledge and provide governance that will enhanceequality and justice (Korab-Karpowicz, 2016). This paper will defenda notion that individuals who can fight evil should do so,irrespective of the impact of their actions on their loved ones. Inaddition, the paper will defend an argument that intellectuals arefit to govern the modern society. Intelligenceis associated with the possession of academic as well as theoreticalknowledge that can be applied in the real life situations, whichimplies that intellectuals are fit to govern the society.
WhyThose Who Can Fight Evil Should Do So, Irrespective of whether itSubjects Their Loved Ones to Risks
Evilsthat exist in the society require the courage of people who have thecapacity to fight them, irrespective of the outcome of their actions.There are two major factors that justify a notion that people whohave the ability to fight evil ought to do so, irrespective ofwhether their actions could endanger the lives of their loved ones.The first factor is based on the theory of deontology, which holdsthat human beings have the obligation to engage in activities thatare moral, irrespective of their outcomes (Conway & Gawronski,2013). The theory can be used to defend an argument that evil isassociated with unethical conducts, which implies that individualswho have the capacity to address it should do so by considering it astheir duty. The outcome (such as a risk to the loved ones) of one’sengagement in activities that promote ethics in the society shouldnot be a condition that prevents them from eradicating evil in theirrespective communities.
Secondly,human beings are expected to engage in activities that maximize thewellbeing or the happiness of the majority. The concept of thewellbeing is mainly applied when people are faced with the moraldilemmas that require them to choose at least one course of action.In the present case, people are expected to choose between enhancingthe happiness of the society by eradicating the evils and protectingtheir loved ones from risks that might result from their desire tofight wickedness. The concept of utilitarian ethics would motivatepeople to fight evils since such a decision could enhance thehappiness of the members of the society, who are the majority (Conway& Gawronski, 2013). Therefore, it is justifiable to engage inactivities that benefit many people and harm a few individuals.
Intellectualsare Fit to Govern
Thereare several major facts that support the need for intellectuals togovern the state and replace the current political class. The conceptof “intellectual” is associated with the pleasure of seeking forknowledge and contemplative leisure. The two aspects helpintellectuals achieve happiness and contempt, which reduce theirdesire to engage in politics and pursue leadership positions.However, Plato applied the theory of utilitarianism to argue thatintellectuals have the capacity to spread their happiness to themembers of the public by taking up political leadership (Conway &Gawronski, 2013). A government that is headed by intellectuals isdescribed as a leadership that brings peaces and development in orderto benefit all people. The effective leadership of the intellectualsis attributed to the fact that they are motivated by personalambitions, instead of the desire to achieve private gain like themajority of the members of the traditional political class. In otherwords, intellectuals assume leadership positions because theycomprehend that their absence in the government will subject thestate to factionalism, civil war, and economic decline. Therefore,they intend to spread happiness to citizens by assuming leadershippositions and denying politicians who are motivated by selfishnessthe opportunity to govern the state.
Theissues of the fair administration of justice have been controversialfor many years because the existing political systems and leadershipare not able to address it. The role of an effective government is tobenefit all social classes and citizens, which is accomplished byestablishing the balance between conflicting interests(Korab-Karpowicz, 2016). A society that addresses the interest of allpeople has been created in the minds of philosophers, who are amongthe key intellectuals in the world. By reading the works of differentphilosophers, people believe that it is possible to have an idealworld where the interests of all social classes and citizens aregiven an equal consideration. For example, Plato used his intellectto argue that the concept of justice is related to equality, whichimplies that any government that purports to administer fairness mustremain impartial (Roochnik, 2012). To this end, the inclusion ofintellectuals in government in the government can help the nationenhance the administration of justice and equality because they areconsidered as guarantors of sustainable political order.
Theconcept of change is common in every political campaign, whichsuggests that no state in the world have ever attained a governmentthat could satisfy the needs of all people. Intellectuals can act asagents of change by applying their theoretical knowledge in leadingpeople towards the right direction in terms of social growth,political maturity, and economic progress (Roochnik, 2012).Intellectuals have demonstrated their ability to shape the publicdialogue by selecting specific academic ideas (such as socialism andcapitalism) and using them to guide the nation in the process ofdeveloping policies. Intellectuals differentiate themselves fromordinary politicians by using academic knowledge to make informedchoices that bring real change in the society. According to Tabugon(2014) a government that is headed by intellectuals can bring arevolution that is based on ideologies, instead of violent struggles.Therefore, intellectuals understand that people need a positiverevolution, but change should be achieved without forcing the societyinto violent struggles.
Theopponents of the idea that intellectuals should be given the role ofgoverning the society argue that intelligence does not provide theknowledge of evil and good. In addition, these opponents argue thatintelligence does not create the desire in an individual to do whatthe society considers to be moral and good for all members of thesociety. These facts have been confirmed by a study that investigatedhow people use creativity, which is one of the key aspects ofintelligence. The study conducted by Gino & Ariely (2011)indicated that dispositional creativity is a reliable predictor ofthe tendency of intelligent people to engage in unethical behavior.The trend is associated with the fact that intelligent people have amotivation that results from their creativity and the ability tojustify their unethical or dishonest behaviors. People who supportthese arguments conclude that giving intelligent people a chance togovern the society could lead to an increase in cases of unjusttreatment and crimes.
Althoughan argument that it could be difficult to prove the dishonestbehavior of intellectuals, supporting a general idea that portraysall of them as criminals is unjustifiable. According to Tabugon(2014) the world has many intellectuals who commit their resourcesand lives to enlighten the suffering masses. The intention of theseintellectuals is ethical in nature because they seek to achieve theliberation of the members of the society. Intellectuals are able toapply their knowledge in uplifting their oppressed members of thesociety. For example, Roochnik (2012) identified that the majority ofthe people who are considered by the society to be intelligent applytheir knowledge in bringing changes in their sensible world.Consequently, it can be argued that, if intellectuals are able toapply their knowledge in helping the society without the leadershippositions, they can serve it better in case they are given thegovernment positions.
Themembers of society expect to have a leadership that can help themeradicate evil practices, but there is no common formula that can beused to identify effective leaders. However, effective leadership canbe achieved by giving intellectuals an opportunity to govern.Intelligent people can utilize their academic knowledge in helpingthe society overcome different challenges. For example, the conceptof intellect is associated with the administration of justice andequality, which imply that proper governance can be achieved byallowing intelligent people to take up the leadership.
Conway,P. & Gawronski, B. (2013). Deontological and utilitarianinclinations in moral decision making: A process dissociationapproach. AmericanPsychological Association,104 (2), 216-235.
Gino,F. & Ariely, D. (2011). Thedark side of creativity: Original thinkers can be more dishonest.Boston, MA: Harvard School of Business.
Korab-Karpowicz,W. (2016). Plato:Political philosophy.Praha: Anglo-American University of Prague. Retrieved August 17,2016, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/platopol/
Roochnik,D. (2012). The political pessimism of Plato’s republic. AmericanDialect,2 (2), 92-116.
Tabugon,B. (2014). Intellectuals as prime agents of Antonio Gramci’sphilosophy of proletarian hegemony. Annalsof Studies in Science and Humanities,2 (1), 1-9.