Most People Are Taught That Loyalty Is A Virtue. But Loyalty Whether To One's Friends, To One's School Or Place Of Employment, Or To Any Institution Is All Too Often A Destructive Rather Than A Positive Force

617 words - 3 pages

Loyalty, defined as faithfulness or a devotion to a person, group, country, or cause according to Wikipedia, is viewed by most people as a virtue, including me. Though I concede that loyalty does not bring about positive outcomes all the time, yet I cannot agree with the speaker's claim that loyalty is all too often a destructive rather than a positive force. As far as I'm concerned, due to the blindness to universal morals, loyalty may be followed by damaging actions, but it cannot deny that loyalty itself is a virtue.

Admittedly, blind and excessive loyalty may lead to destruct. According to Stephen Nathanson, professor of Philosophy at Northeast University in the U.S., one of the dimensions of loyalty is scope. Loyalties to different objects differ in scope. The loyalty to certain object should be kept within certain a proper scope in order not to violate loyalties to other objects or other people's ...view middle of the document...

The case was the same with Japanese military who invaded China and killed hundreds of thousands of Chinese people. Obviously, the Germany’s and Japanese's loyalties to their own countries have overpassed the universal loyalty to the worldwide peace, and caused devastating results both to their own countries and the rest of the world.

Nevertheless, loyalty itself is a virtue because it helps cultivate the unity and cohesion of a society. John Ladd, professor of Philosophy at Brown University, states that although loyalty may be found faulty because of its association with abhorrent events like wars and extreme activities, loyalty is "an essential ingredient in any civilized and humane system of morals". In my observation, loyalties to friends, to family, to the place of employment and to the country play an crucial role in uniting the society. Loyalty to friends strengthens the friendship and our connections to the certain social circles. Loyalty to family makes us committed to the familial responsibility and loyalty to marriage prevents us from the temptation of extramarital affairs. Loyalty to the company we work in inspires us to perform the task effectively and thereby achieve our self-actualization in the market place. Loyalty to the country leads us to meaningful causes and making contributions to the country, even to the world. In many aspects, loyalty benefits us morally and practically.

In conclusion, though irrational loyalty may cause damaging results, loyalty itself is a virtue worth respecting and following because it cultivates our responsibility as a certain social member and unities us into a certain group. Since loyalty may have negative effect if one follows the loyalty without rational consideration, the assertion of John Corvino, associate professor of Philosophy at Wayne State University, may help clarify the conflicts between different loyalties. He proposes that loyalty is only a virtue to the extent that the object of loyalty is good. The statement should help us to decide who we should be loyal to and how we should practice our loyalty.

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