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Fate of Friendship and Contemporary Ethics Essay

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Updated: Jul 8th, 2020

Contemporary ethics becomes more and more significant because of the processes of globalization that increasingly interconnect the world making people united. Contemporary ethics suggests that friendship is based on love, trust, and respect for human (Jeffko, 2013). As a rule, ties of friendship are bound to people with common interests (MacKinnon & Fiala, 2014). Friendship concept involves deep personal affection for each other and special revelation.

Perspective on the Fate of Friendship under the Impact of Contemporary Ethics

Is friendship possible in the modern world dominated by pragmatism and will it exist in the future? No doubt that friendship is always necessary. After all, the friendship requires communication, trust, understanding, reciprocity, and sincerity (Richards, 2013). Who will be able to live without it? I believe nobody. There are several factors influencing the perspective on the fate of friendship.

First of all, online social media affects friendship. Online communication becomes popular partially pushing communication in the real world. However, sometimes it causes a problem of Internet dependence including the inclination on the virtual social networking. Nevertheless, this friendship is presented in an entirely different form because friends cannot see or even hear each other, they just correspond. This friendship gives confidence as a person can share his feelings and emotions with his friend, and, perhaps, helps to create a better atmosphere for dialogue.

It goes without saying that people get acquainted and make friends at work. Therefore, working conditions have an impact on friendship as well. For instance, a friendly attitude of the authorities promotes and strengthens friendship between employees while unfavorable conditions such as heavy workload or unjustifiably different salary deteriorate it. People working in the team interact with each other every day solving problems and achieving common goals. The same occupation contributes to the development of friendly relations between employees.

Another component is religion. Although it is said that friendship has no religion, world experience states that many people and even countries cease friendship because of religion. In the modern epoch, people can freely communicate in the social network with friends from around the world. Moreover, it does not matter who they are by nationality and by faith. After all, friendship is the highest value.

In my opinion, there is no reason to think that friendship will disappear in the future. Friendship programmed for joy because it is based on freedom. Friendship is vulnerable that is why some people disappointed in it. However, it is necessary to continue to communicate with friends without interrupting contact and avoiding serious conflicts.

Philosophers Discussion

Plenty of philosophers examined the notion of “friendship”. For instance, Cicero takes the point of view of the social entity, in other words, he defines friendship as personal affection and understanding that is inextricably linked with the civic duty. He puts friendship above all as it helps a person to cope with misfortune even in adversity: “friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief” (Caine, 2014). According to the Roman thinker, one of the main tenets of friendship is the honesty of friendly relations. Moreover, Cicero reveals a divine meaning of friendship pointing that even gods involved in friendship.

Another famous philosopher Aquinas claims that friendship is a spiritual community of two people. In friendship, as in love, the third most likely is superfluous. Distrust, envy, and jealousy might appear. It is difficult to keep the balance and harmony of different characters between more than two people. Friendship requires such qualities as generosity, honor, respect of friend’s identity, the unity of views, and complicity.

Friendship does not imply an absolute parity, but a harmonious complementarity between two people. “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious,” believes Aquinas (Schwartz, 2012). There are no debtors or benefactors. Relationships within this binomial should always be kind, sincere, and honest. Additionally, a friend can understand his or her partner even without words.

In addition, Socrates considers that without friendship, there are no valuable relationships between people. However, he never reasons for the notion of friendship. Socrates taught to ask questions without fleeing in the abstract and hiding behind the conventional wisdom. The conversation always began, at first glance, with minor things. However, during the dialogue, Socrates helped his interlocutor to come to a very important realization: people have only superficial knowledge or opinion about something while the experience and knowledge are rather different. In this regard, he states, it is amazing how every person can easily tell how many sheep he had, but not everyone can count his friends as they are in price (Stern-Gillet & Gurtler, 2014).

In conclusion, several points of view of the philosophers discussed above are undoubted of great interest for the contemporary ethics and friendship perspective.


Caine, B. (2014). Friendship: A history. New York: Routledge. Web.

Jeffko, W. G. (2013). Contemporary ethical issues: A personalist perspective (3rd ed.). Amherst, NY: Humanity Books. Web.

MacKinnon, B., & Fiala, A. (2014). Ethics: Theory and contemporary issues (8th ed.). New York: Cengage Learning. Web.

Richards, B. (2013). Ethics: Contemporary Perspectives. New York: ATF Press. Web.

Schwartz, D. (2012). Aquinas on friendship. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Web.

Stern-Gillet, S., & Gurtler, G. (2014). Ancient and medieval concepts of friendship. New York: Suny Press. Web.

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