Ethics Exam II
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a concept of Socrates which attempts to answer "What is holy?" and brings into question issues of divinity as the source of moral authority
a self-evident or definitional truth, human nature:something said to be either innate in humans or common to all humans
Aristotle's concept of a purpose-driven universe or design in nature
the idea that a human being has a purpose and this purpose defines nature and unnatural human acts
the idea that god created the universe but plays no active part in the course of its history
a truth of scientific/factual discovery
states right/wrong is defined by the concepts of natural and unnatural actions
the belief that it is unknown (and unknowable) whether or not god exists
states that right/wrong action is defined as what god commands vs. what he condemns
Without Belief in God
people are less likely to act virtuously
Fear of Punishment
doesn't necessarily mean it causes right or wrong actions
Objections to Natural Law Theory
What is considered 'Natural'?
Is every natural act considered moral?
the theory about human behavior that states Human beings act in self-serving ways
theory about morality that states human beings should act in self serving ways
the act of putting others needs above your own; acting selflessly
Reasons why people belive Physchological Egoism
- 1. It explains vanity
- 2. It's a simple explanation
Objection against Altruism
there is no such thing as a selfless act
Reply to Objection of Altruism
We do not do deeds for the gratification. We do the act and then if there is happiness we don't realize the gratification until after the fact
When someone says something is good or bad they are approving or disapproving it, nothing more
Objection to Simple subjectivism
it can not account for disagreements
Simple Subjectivism: What measures morality?
- moral language is not fact-stating
- it is not used to convey information
- it is used to express an attitude towards something
Objection of Emotivism
moral statements are different (more important/contain more value) than other statements such as likes or dislikes
Emotivism: What makes ethical claims more valuable?
They are based on reason
What reasons must Moral Judgements be supported on?
- Good reasons
- 1. relevant
- 2. True
John Rawls and the Veil of Ignorance
point of exsistence before any of our defining attributes
Rawls basic principles: Things We Know
- 1. We will become a human being
- 2. we will be subject to various forms of harm
- 3. We have basic needs for our exsistence
Rawls basic Principles: Things We Don't Know
We'll have no knowledge of things considered to define us as individuals
the point of ignorance from which we start
each person has equal access (rights) to maximum liberty with the same amount of liberty for everyone else
any inequality is permissable only to the extent that it is to everyone's advantage and that it arises out of conditions of equal opportunity
Who Founded Utilitarianism?
Who was Jeremy Benthams Student?
John Stuart Mill
Benthams Utilitariamism Argument
People don't follow rules to please God, the follow rules to instill pleasure in the world.
For Bentham, what determines happiness?
Relationship between pleasure and pain
Principle of Utility
- when placed with options about action and social policies we are to pick the option that will benefit everyone
- each persons happiness is of equal value
Benthams Attempt to Quantify Pleasure
to decide what is the correct action to take, we must quantify our pleasure
How to Quantify Pleasure
- 1. Intensity
- 2. Duration
- 3. Certainty (of occurance)
- 4. Proximity (how soon will it occur)
- 5. Fecundity (how many more pleasures will be produced)
- 6. Purity (how free from pain is it)
- 7. Extent (how many people experience this pleasure)
Objections to Bentham's Argument
- Overlooks quality of an experience
- You can't compare different experiences because there are different pleasures
Mill's objections to Bentham's Argument
- Attempt to quantify pleasure is impractical
- We would spend more hours quantifying than acting
- We should Measure quantity not quality
According to Mill, what should we use as our means to determine right or wrong action?
Tradition because human laws are set to ensure the best outcome for everyone
How does mills feel we should measure pleasure?
by quality, the richness of the pleasure
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