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Moral Imagination is the capacity of human beings to imaginatively identify alternatives open to them under certain circumstances, thus see possible assistance and harm that would arise from their reaction. Edmund Burke coined the words Moral Imagination and is considered the originator of conservatism in the modern world. This phenomenon acts as an open eye into life full of virtue and purpose. This would be the way into developing wisdom to co-exist with each other as well as rationally encounter any situation in the environment. Human beings are known to be social creatures and therefore, moral imagination would suffice for meaningful existence, fulfillment and therefore satisfaction. Moral imagination demands for one to uphold integrity since it is the way to completeness thus freedom from social vices like corruption. Integrity in itself can thrive only if one observes and respects the justice principles. This highlights fairness and prudence in all matters, disregarding any form of affiliation of interest in a prevailing subject matter. If this is not observed, then bias cannot be avoided thus undermining objectivity. Moral imagination varies with circumstances and so it is described as subjective in nature. A further analysis would perceive it to be also intuitive. To keep it consistent, it is derived from ones interests and upbringing and therefore high chances are that moral imagination is developed within the type of environment someone exists. Cultural affiliations and religion are core derivatives of this phenomenon. Therefore, it forms the basis that spills over to all forms of human interactions including social and political functions.
Moral imagination is a process that involves stepping away from ones situation thus being aware of its complete parameters. Disengaging from the situation brings forth more understanding and based on experience, mental considerations of dominant characteristics are derived. Further development of fresh alternatives is vital since dynamic situations call for creativity. Some of the alternatives may lead to possibilities unrelated to the situation though viable. Therefore, moral imagination ensures one upholds the original context defining the situation and evaluates choices derived from experience while considering new options to come up with the best reaction. This reaction is progressively developed to match one’s values that define morals.
Complete development and acceptance of moral imagination would arise from upholding the highest levels of virtue. Virtue gives one the power to objectively assess situations and consistently behave in a manner that is termed as morally upright. Virtue is the ability by which anyone is able to satisfy his or her purpose. This is also natural and therefore rarely adopted within a short period of time. It is developed after consistency over a very long period of time. Some people are able to make others believe in their sense of virtue but this cannot withhold for long. This artificial development would manifest itself under extreme environments. True virtue would be consistent because it is inborn and starts with oneself. One has to observe himself or herself as virtuous before other people can see it. However, it is better for one to maliciously portray virtue rather than totally lack it. Lacking virtue more often than not leads to lack of comfort thus development of a sense of inadequacy.
In conclusion, moral imagination goes in line with virtue. Virtue ensures consistency while moral imagination is a versatile process that fluctuates with situations. Morality is derived from habits favored by the majority in a civilized society in terms of social interaction. This is an unwritten law or code that is easily carried from one generation to the next and falls in place like all other natural habits in animals. Moral imagination is perceived as the initiator of practicing one’s virtue. It defines the sequence and parameters that are followed in sorting out an existing situation. Kirk Russell while referring to virtue as manliness tried to point out the firm conviction in consistently applying one’s beliefs and practices in getting along with others. Virtue without passion of practice cannot yield personal satisfaction.