PHIL 1305 MIDTERM REVIEW
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The Cultural Differences Argument
- 1) One culture believes this.
- 2) One culture believes that.
- 3) Therefore there can be no objective moral truth.
Problem with the Cul. Dif. Arg.?
“We cannot validly move from premises about what people believe to a conclusion about what is so, because people – even whole societies – may be wrong.”
What is the Provability Argument?
- 1. If there were a moral truth, we'd be able to prove it.
- 2. We can't prove it.
- 3. Therefore there isn't objective moral truth.
Objections to Prov. Arg.?
- Unsound - premises is untrue. He argues that the second premise is untrue in that you can to an extent
- prove something unethical; things like assessing fairness or the quality of a person can have very strong evidence that lead to a conclusion. “The point is we can, and often do, back up our ethical judgements with good reasons."
- In ethics, simply because we do not yet know how to formulate concrete, undeniable evidence to the proof of ethical values, it does not imply that there is
- no truth.
What is moral skepticism?
The belief that there is no objective moral truth.
What is cultural relativism?
The belief that the moral code of a society determines what is right in that society.
What is the principle of tolerance?
The belief that societies and individuals ought not to interfere with or impose their values on members of other societies.
Arguments for accepting M.S. or C.R. because of tolerance?
People who develop this line of argument believe we should accept these views because they support tolerance. They believe this because they believe that (a) there is no moral truth, therefore individuals ought not interfere or, (b) they believe moral code of a society determines their morals, therefore we ought not interfere with them.
Objections to M.S. or C.R. promoting tolerance?
Moral skepticism and P.o.T. - not a valid argument. Not merely does moral skepticism not support P.o.T., if you think it through, M.S. is not even compatable with P.o.T. Tolerance itself is a moral principle and therefore skeptics would not follow the P.o.T. They are completely shit together.
- If C.R. is sound, then what if there is a culture that has a moral code that says they ought to be intolerant?? That will completely reject the P.o.T. simply on the basis of C.R.
What is the Divine Command Theory?
The idea that: "'Morally right' is a matter of being commanded by God and 'morally wrong' is a matter of being forbidden by God."
What was Socrates' question to the D.C.T.?
“Is conduct right because the gods command it, or do the gods command it because it is right?”
Explain the Euthyphro Dilemma Argument.
Because of contradictions brought up by Socrates' question about morality and God's wisdom of it, one ought not accept the Divine Command Theory.
What is the Natural Law Theory?
- 1. Everything in nature has a purpose.
- 2. Laws of nature also describe what ought to be. (Sex = babymaking only).
- 3. Therefore the right thing to do is whatever course of conduct has the best reasons on its side.
Rachels' criticisms of the N.L.T.?
- 1. It is incompatible with modern science. (a "purpose" for everything?)
- 2. It willy-nillily attempts to derive "ought"s from "is"s
- 3. It infers things about the goodness in people that are not set in stone.
Basic Pro-Life argument?
- 1. It is wrong to kill an innocent human being.
- 2. A human fetus is an innocent human being.
- 3. Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus.
Validity and soundness of basic pro-life argument?
Valid, no. "Human beings" do not mean the same thing in both premises, therefore it cannot be a valid argument. The difference is between biological and psychological definitions of humans. Therefore not sound.
Thomson's examples and analogies?
- 1. Growing child/Small house analogy: A woman ought to be able to preserve her own life, even if an abortion is needed to do so.
- 2. Violin analogy: If a woman is raped, she ought to be able to have the abortion because she never signed up for it.
- 3. Seeds in the window analogy: If a woman used proper protection, and that protection failed her, than an abortion should be allowed as well. She was prepared, it was external forces that made things mess up.
Marquis's argument for pro-life position?
- 1. The bad thing about killing human beings is depriving them of their futures.
- 2. Human fetuses have valuable futures like ours.
- 3. Therefore killing human fetuses is wrong because its just as bad as killing an adult with a long future ahead of them.
Objections to Marquis's argument?
- 1. Turns into an anti-contraceptive argument as well.
- 2. Fetuses do not have the same kind of connection to their future as grown humans do.
- 3. Marquis's view implies that older people have less value of their life.
Hobbes account of the causes of quarrel in the state of nature?
- Competition (scarcity causes conflict),
- Fear (conflict through irrationality, just simply fighting for no reason, out of fear),
- Glory (people care about others' opinions, so they'll attack others when others show signs of disrespect).
State of Nature
Nature is naturally a state of war, and very bad for everyone. There is no natural government or common power.
Law(s) of Nature
- 1. First and foremost DO WHAT IT TAKES TO PRESERVE LIFE.
- 2. Seek peace when you can get it (and if you can't do what you can to defend yourself)
- 3. Be willing to sacrifice (if others are too) to create a peace.
- 4. If you make an agreement, keep it.
Right of nature
Right and liberty to do whatever it takes to preserve your life.
- Confession stuff.
- Situation in which it is rationally clear what each person should do for themselves, but the outcome would be much better for them if they both made irrational choices.
Social Contract Theory of Morals
Morality consists in the set of rules and governing behavior that rational people will accept, on the condition that others accept them as well.
Advantages of the Social Contract Theory?
It answers the questions "Why should i be moral?" and "What is the context of morality?"
Disadvantages of the social contract theory?
Social contract theory is based on historical fiction.
What is validity?
If the premises of an argument logically lead to a conclusion, than that argument is said to be valid.
What is soundness?
If an argument is valid, and if both of the premises are true, then an argument is sound.
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