What is the fundamental difference between receiving praise and being praiseworthy? If we could only achieve one, which should we prefer?
Praise means to say or write good things about, to express approval. Praiseworthy means deserving praise, worthy of praise. With that being said, you should strive to be praiseworthy. “We must at least believe ourselves to be admirable for what they are admirable. But, in order to attain this satisfaction, we must become the impartial spectators of our own character and conduct.” (Smith, 1982, p. 114). Additionally, Adam Smith put it perfectly when he said, “The most sincere praise can give little pleasure when it cannot be considered as some sort of proof of praise-worthiness.” (The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1982)
According to Adam Smith, what is the ultimate origin of the rules of morality? How does this affect your approach toward ethics?
According to Adam Smith, the ultimate origin of the rules of morality is moral sense. “Of the influence and authority of the general Rules of Morality, and that they are justly regarded as the Laws of the Deity. The regard to those general rules of conduct, is what is properly called a sense of duty, a principle by which the built of mankind are capable of directing their actions.” (Smith, 1982, p.161-162). Further to that and Romans 2:14-16, “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they area law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.” For me and in my industry, ethics has always been black or white….there is no gray area. Further to that, it does not affect how I live my life, which is to the Glory of God; and I try to surround myself with people that have these same values.