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Ethics Essay, Research Paper

“Mercury Rising” and Robert BenneConcepts from Ordinary Saints I believe this paper explains just how much Benne’s points are represented in everyday life. In just one movie you can see many of his beliefs about life and ethics illustrated. In the following paragraphs I have chosen a number of them and made connections to what I saw in the movie.Robert Benne writes in chapter 2, in “A Return at Depth” how we are not in control of our own destiny. “We mistakenly think we ‘make’ are own lives. But as we reflect upon them carefully we realize more clearly how things happen to us. Persons appear uninvited to challenge or change us(50).” This is a clear example of how Simon fell into Arts life to challenge his patience and change his way of life. This is illustrated throughout the movie as Art tries and learns to understand this child then goes on the run to try and save Simon from certain death. When he realized Simon was in danger his destiny changed. He became a criminal on the run with a warrant out for his arrest. This shows Benne’s point in that we go through life and hundreds of things fall into place around us that we have no control of. The only thing you can do to respond is to react.In chapter 4 Benne writes about ambiguity. “Human life enacted in families, the economy, the state, the voluntary sector, an the church is characterized by a volatile admixture of good and evil. Paradoxically, the capacity for evil grows alongside the capacity for good(78-79).” This is illustrated when the two code creators meet Kudrow at the park in the rain. Kudrow tells them it about saving lives. There is a coronal(a spy) in Sadam’s republican guard which this code protects his identity. He tells them how this code protects thousands like him. The breaking of the code would cost them their lives. This shows how the code is a good concept that exists alongside the evil that is going on in trying to keep that code safe. Killing Simon would accomplish that but which is the right thing to do. This is a clear connection with Benne’s point on Ambiguity where good and evil exist together. In chapter 5 Benne writes about heteronomy. “In heteronomy the principle is loyalty to the social unit to which one belongs One is directed not by whatever the self desires but by what society expects Every profession has its ethos that imprints the attitudes and behavior of its practitioners(90-91).” This is illustrated in the scene where Art confronts Hartleg about the order to go in. Art said: “Did I just massacre five people! They were just kids! Then Hartleg responds: “I report to Washington just like you Jeffries.” Hartleg was following an imprint set into his profession to not question his conscience. He acted with no regard to what he thought might be the right solution. He acted on a set standard set by those above him to not think of them as kids but as bank robbers. I believe the material in the movie clearly illustrates Benne’s point that we all have a set of orders to follow without question which is the very definition of heteronomy. Benne believed that in heteronomy you are sort of conditioned into a hierarchy of orders to follow without question. You act in respect to those in a social group to which you belong.

In chapter 6 Benne writes of the concept of love. “It seeks us out, affirms us, and forgives us before any inclination on are part to return that love(109).” This concept is shown in throughout the movie as Art risks his life over and over to save Simon. He reaches out to Simon even though everyone around him pushes him to give Simon up. He is given advise by his friend to give Simon up and he responds by saying: “would you give up your own child.” He shows a love for this boy even though there is no way that Simon can return that love. Love sought him out just as Benne describes before any inclination on Simon part to return that love. I believe Benne is trying to explain this is also a part of our undetermined destiny. “Love seeks us out.” We our part of a world were love is not a written prophecy, but something that just happens to us that we don’t have to earn it just like with Simon. I chose the section in Benne on Marriage and Family regarding children in a place of responsibility. “The raising of children is a huge challenge. It promises heavy responsibility as well as plenteous delight(134).” How more clear can this responsibility be shown than with a family were a child suffers from some sort of condition that requires special care. I chose this concept because of how clearly and strongly the responsibility of Simon is to his parents and to Art. In the beginning of the movie when we first see Simon come home you can see how different it must be to take care of him or even communicate with him. Even the most common emotions are difficult to share. This challenge is illustrated when his mother tells Simon how she missed him and received not response. Besides this heavy responsibility you can also see the delight that Benne talks about when Simon’s father comes home and sits with him. This shows the promise of Benne that responsibility and delight are a package deal with any child.In conclusion, the concepts illustrated here are only a hand full of ideas from Robert Benne displayed in this movie. Through out one day of life we experience many more of these concepts which I believe we fail to notice sometimes.


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