ethics & morality
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DESCRIPTIONEthics & Morality. An Introductory Exploration. Ethics As a Branch within Philosophy. How Far Do Ethical Responsibilities Reach?. Eco-Ethics Vitalism Animism Humanism Nationalism Tribalism. Who Should be Bound by an Ethical Code?. Ethics & Morality. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
*An Introductory Exploration
EthicsAs a Branch within Philosophy*
How Far DoEthical Responsibilities Reach?Eco-EthicsVitalismAnimismHumanismNationalismTribalism*
Who Should be Bound by an Ethical Code?*
Ethics & MoralityBy what code or set of ethics should we live our lives?How should such a code be formulated or articulated?*Ontology and Epistemology are Descriptive
Ethics is Prescriptive
Ethicsis the study of the many, many different theories about how humans do or should form notions of right and wrong behavior.
We will examine just a sample of these theories.*
Ethics TheoriesTwo Types of QuestionsWhat are right and wrong human behaviors?How should we think about and articulate right and wrong human behaviors?*
Types of Ethical ReasoningThe Pleasure/Pain PrincipleConformity with Social NormsNormative EthicsConsequentialist EthicsDuty EthicsVirtue Ethics*
*I. The Pleasure/Pain PrincipleSeek Pleasure and Avoid Pain
Whatever is pleasurable, enjoyable, or fun is good.
Whatever is painful, difficult, or stressful is bad.
The Pleasure/Pain PrincipleExamplesAncient: Epicureanism
The greatest good is to achieve a state of tranquility that is free of want, free of pain, and free of fear.
The Pleasure/Pain PrincipleSleep in. Stay up late. Give up counting calories. Have a drink before noon. Give up mineral water. Dine in shorts. Talk to strangers. Don't make your bed. Go skinny dipping. Don't call your mother. Let your hair down. Don't pay for anything. Don't leave a tip. Be your beautiful self in spectacular Negril or Runaway Bay, Jamaica.
HedonismHugh Hefners Playboy Philosophy, which he began formulating in the 1950s, consists of two main threads: sexual liberation, as Hefner calls it, and avid consumerism. From the start, his goal has been to challenge the two greatest guilts our society has: materialism and sex. *
Thoughts on Hedonism?Why are these BAD?Self-interestPersonal PleasurePersonal HappinessPersonal SecuritySelf-indulgenceLook out for #1Frueds Id
Why are these GOOD?AltruismEmpathyCompassionCommon GoodSelf-sacrificeLove or KindnessFrueds Superego*
II. Conformity to Social NormsEvery culture has norms for right and wrong behavior, and every culture socializes its members to believe in and to observe those norms. Social peace, harmony, welfare, and stability depend on members conforming to those norms. Go along to get alongDont rock the boatLook, listen, and learnKeep up with the JonesSwim with the currentWhen in Rome, do as the Romans*
*Conformity to Social NormsHow does society teach us values and norms?FamilyPeersMediaSchool
*Values we have internalizedCan you list10 ethical valuesthat most of ushave internalizedthru socialization?One source offers 375 common values!
III. Normative Ethics*
A. Consequentialist Ethics The morality of an action is determined by its consequences.The ends justify the means.
Right actions are ones that lead to good consequencesWrong actions are ones that lead to bad consequences*So, is stealing right or wrong?
Utilitarianism (Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Peter Singer)Act in such a way as to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number
Egoism (Ayn Rands Philosophy of Objectivism or Selfishness)Act in such a way as to achieve the greatest good for yourselfAyn Rands thoughts on the Virtue of Selfisness
Liberation Theology (Many Catholic leaders in Latin America)Act to resist oppression by the rich and powerfulAct to liberate the poor from exploitation and suffering
B. Duty EthicsDuty ethics focuses on peoples obligation to engage in certain behaviors and to avoid certain behaviors,regardless of the consequences Know the rules and obey them.Do your duty.*
Duty EthicsExamplesConfucianismRuler and SubjectFather and Son Husband and WifeElder Brother and Younger BrotherFriend and FriendOlder Generation and Younger Generation*
Duty EthicsExamplesConfucianismHe who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.In serving one's ruler one deals reverently with the tasks involved and makes the livelihood involved a secondary considerationHave no friends not equal to yourself.Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.Respect yourself and others will respect you. Few indeed are those who are naturally filial towards their parents and dutiful towards their elder brothers but are fond of opposing their superiors; and it never happens that those who do not like opposing their superiors are fond of creating civil disorder. *
Beneficence: the duty to improve the conditions of othersSelf-improvement: the duty to improve our virtue and intelligenceNonmaleficence: the duty to not injure others
*W.D. RossFidelity: the duty to keep promisesReparation: the duty to compensate others when we harm themGratitude: the duty to thank those who help usJustice: the duty to recognize merit
Duty EthicsExamplesIslam: Quran Shiria Civil Law JudaismTorah Kosher Food Rules Judaism/Christianity/IslamBible 10 Commandments*
*Joes Moral Duties growing up Go to church every Sunday.Attend the Stations of the Cross every Good Friday.Avoid impure thoughts and deeds.Abstain from meat every Friday.Do not swear.Visit the sick.Contribute to the less fortunate.Serve mass as often as possible.Do not make fun of another person.Abstain from all sweets for 40 days every lent.Memorize catechism answers and Latin prayers.Recite the rosary frequently.
C. Virtue EthicsVirtue Ethics is more concerned with prescribing character traits or qualities that our lives should manifest.In any situation, a person must decide how to best do that.Lead aVirtuous Life*
Virtue Ethics Religions that prescribe character qualities or traits, not obligatory behaviors. *Cardinal VirtuesTemperancePrudenceFortitudeJusticeFaithHopeCharityBuddhist Divine StatesLoving kindnessCompassionAltruismEquanimityEgyptian MaatTruthfulnessHarmonyJusticeDignityReciprocityIntegrityCompassion
More Secular Forms of Virtue Ethics*Boy ScoutsTrustworthyLoyalHelpfulCourteousObedientCheerfulThriftyBraveCleanReverentYWCAEmpowermentBalanceDiversityJoyOpennessHonestyLeadershipAccountabilitySelf-careRespectKindnessCompassion4-H ClubHead (thoughtful)Heart (loyal)Hand (serving)Health (healthy living)
Virtue EthicsA Couple Examples*
Alternative Approaches to Ethical Reasoning Pleasure PrincipleWhat will give me the greatest pleasure? Conformity to Social NormsHow does society expect me to act?How do those around me behave? Consequentialist EthicsWhat behavior will lead to the best results or consequences? Duty EthicsWhat do the laws or teachings command me to do? Virtue EthicsHow would I best apply my virtues in this situation?
A Theory of Just War
Because war is so horrific, humans have struggled for centuries in their efforts to justify such an action. Below are criteria that are commonly included in Just War theories. These criteria can frame how we think about and decide if the wars in Iraq or Afganistan are ethical or just wars.
Is there a just cause for fighting the war? Is going to war truly a last resort? Is there legitimate authority to wage war? Is there a probability of success? Is it clear that the war will not trigger an even greater evil than the one the war intends to eliminate? Would the war spare innocent men, women, and children?
A Theory of Just WarBecause war is so horrific, humans have struggled for centuries in their efforts to justify such an action. Below are criteria that are commonly included in Just War theories. These criteria can frame how we think about and decide if the wars in Iraq or Afganistan are ethical or just wars. Is there a just cause for fighting the war? Is going to war truly a last resort? Is there legitimate authority to wage war? Is there a probability of success? Is it clear that the war will not trigger an even greater evil than the one the war intends to eliminate? Would the war spare innocent men, women, and children?*