Law 483 chapter 1 moral n ethics

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Law 483 chapter 1 moral n ethics

  1. 1. OUTLINE •Why study ethics? •What is ethics? •Different approaches to ethics -Ethics and Religion -Ethics and Reason •Ethical reasoning and arguments -Fallacious Arguments -Arguments •Ethical theories -Objective source of morality -Subjective source of morality •Why be moral? •Conclusion
  2. 2. WHY STUDY ETHICS? How can we decide what is the right thing to do in any given situation? Some decision are not ethical or moral-e.g. move left foot after right foot when walking-Walking away from an injured person-ethical Faced with many ethical decision everyday-Rarely question why we do certain things Contemporary ethics teaches:-what the most important philosopher have said on the subject-Evaluate and debate ethical statements If a person cannot feel pain,how do you persuade them to stop hurting someone?
  3. 3. WHAT IS ETHICS? Ethics:a set of normative values that determine  A branch of philosophy,also called moral philosophy whether any particular action is good or bad -Greek:philia=love or friendship,sophia=wisdom -‟love of wisdom‟ -critical examination of the grounds for fundamental beliefs and an analysis of the basic concepts employed in the expression of such beliefs  Branches of philosophy: -Epistemology:philosophy of knowledge -Metaphysics:nature of reality -Ethics:determining what is right or wrong -philosophy of science Philosophy of law -Aesthetics:philosophy of art
  4. 4. WHAT IS ETHICS? Ethical and moral frequently interchangeable -ethos(Greek):meaning character Relates to individual characteristics of a person -moralis(Latin) :meaning custom or manners  Relates to relationships between people Ethical/moral associated with „good‟, „right‟ -Good:pleasure or happiness  Malicious pleasure:e.g.sadism-consent issues -Bad : unhappiness or pain Nonmoral: Sadism:a sadist derives pleasure from hurting others-e.g. a light bulb Nonmoral:does not involve morality. Immoral:goes agaist morality
  5. 5. Amoral:having no sense of what is moralWHAT IS ETHICS? Excellence:the quality of displaying superior skills in a particular area. Excellence:most good things involve excellence -e.g. 1-0 win is good, 5-0 is excellent -displaying superior skills in a particular area Harmony : -Stopping a war is good: harmony -Starting a war is bad: discord Amoral - Sociopath:no remorse
  6. 6. DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO ETHICS Normative/Perscriptive ethics:  “should”,”ought”…telling you what to do  Deciding what is preferable in any give situation  Used in medicine, law, politics… Metaetchics: older approach, exploring the meaning of ethical terms  E.g. what does “good” mean? What does fair mean? What does “fair” mean? Normative: conforming to or based on values Prescriptive: that which defines what ought to be done
  7. 7. DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO ETHICS Overlaps with other specialisations:  Epistemology: knowledge – how do we know something is good or bad Scientific/Descriptive  No value judment: e.g. crime statistics Combination of approaches possible  E.g. Capital punishment:  Crime rate does not fall, therefore not a deterrent  Therefore it should not be practiced  It is not „good‟
  8. 8. DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO ETHICS Not all evaluation are moral  Manners/ etiquette close but not the same Moral judgements overide other normative values  Civildisobedience: morality over law  Public nudity: morality over aesthetics Etiquette: the proper conduct in social or official life.
  9. 9. OBJECTIVE SOURCES OF MORALITY  Supernatural  Impossible to prove, depends on faith  Natural laws  Scientificnatural laws are descriptive and always hold true  Naturalistic moral laws are prescriptive and have many example of exceptions  Anthropocentric value (human centredness)  How can politics or art have value without the humans who created them?Anthropocentrism: assessing everything in relation to humans.
  10. 10. SUBJECTIVE SOURCES OF MORALITY Moral value derives from humans alone  No external sources Three variables for subjective and values  The thing being valued, the thing of value  The valuer, the conscious being who values  The context where the valuing takes place
  11. 11. MORALITY Customary morality From evolution of society and collective historical experiences  Religious, legal  “That‟s the way we‟ve always done it” Reflective morality • Applying reason and interpretation of events to decide upon morality • Can be used to re-evaluate customary morality – E.g. Slavery, lying, fine/punishment during elementary school
  12. 12. “ All evil is ignorance ”- Plato What does this mean?"Evil actions are the result of ignorance.“  What does „evil‟ mean? Does it exist?  in itself it is a value-laden term Are some things or people intrinsicallyevil?  Plato is suggesting that ignorance is intrinsically evil, but it can be overcome.  Therefore evil itself is not intrinsically evil?
  13. 13. Intrinsic: belonging to the essential nature orconstitution of something Evil: that which is extremely morally reprehensible
  14. 14.  Most ethical/ moral systems derive from religions  E.g:Thou shalt not kill; respect your eldest…  Religion probably existed before separate moral and legal systems – more than an ethical system  Divine command theory:  A moral system is right because it was ordained by divine powers  Arbitrary, should we kill in the name of a (non- existent) God?
  15. 15.  Who determines what the divine wants? How to reconcile different believers? Reason and experience to develop ethicalsystems  Not exclude religious moral systems, but has to be sustainable for other reasons that for faith alone  Non-religious people have morals too. Most satisfactory ethical system incorporates all people of all persuasions.
  16. 16. ETHICS AND REASONS Ethics demands reasons for particular standpoints  “Why did you steal that bread?”  Ethical arguments develop through reason  But not need „objective rationality‟  Subjective feelings of pleasure may support a reasonable argument  But not sufficient: E.g: need to explain why pleasure is always good  Give reasons for argument
  17. 17. Objective: objective knowledge is based onevidence that can be observed through the senses and independently verified.Rational: That which is developed through reasonand is not influenced by emotions, prejudices, etc.
  18. 18. Ethical reasoning andarguments Sound arguments vs. false/ weak arguments Premise:  “Lying is wrong…”  can be a value judgement, an empirical statement… Argument:  “…because if everyone lied all the time then society would break down…”  Based on supporting and conflicting empirical and/ or logical evidence Uses value judgements and evidence But you can‟t use your original premise to prove your argument E.g: the red dress doesn‟t suit you because it‟s red
  19. 19.  Conclusion:  “…so you should not have lied to the policeman.”  There should be one logical conclusion  There can be more  Which is similar to having none in a way  Depends on how you weigh up the differen conclusions.
  20. 20. F A A R L G Circulus in probando L U Ad hominem A M “ Women are stupid becaus reasoning C E they are not clever” “Whatever the Pope I Nsays must be wrong!” O T U S Circular Argument S
  21. 21. RATIONALISM It was right to gamble because I won money!! FALLACIOUS ARGUMENTSPost hoc ergo propter hoc“After the sun came up it rained; therefore the sun caused th
  22. 22. Conceptual matters “Did he mean to kill the An explanation is not a man?” justification Intention Analogy Factual assertion“Killing animals is as bad Supported byas killing people because Verifiable evidence they all feel pain
  23. 23. ARGUMENTS Analogy -using a similar case to argue for similar conclusions * if things are alike in some respects then they are likely to be in other respects Concept -Abstract and systemised idea generalised from particular instances Factual assertions Statements that are empirically verifiable Ad hominem - Rejecting an argument because of the person saying it Circular argument -using a conclusion to support itself Rationalisation -reasons given after the event that are not the true reasons Post hoc ergo propter hoc
  24. 24. ETHICAL THEORIES -- HOMEWORK Deductive Theory principles judgements  Decide on basic ethical values  Derives principles  Conclusion: Such-and-such an action is wrong Inductive Judgements principles theory  Lots of people kill other people  Why? Can I kill others? What does killing serve?  Theory: Killing is OK when done for good reasons Motive, act, or consequences
  25. 25. Responsibility Only human can be held to be normally responsible Consequentialist • a.k.a Teleological •Ends justifies the means  Judge actions by their outcome • e.g. Utilitarianism  Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832  “greatest happiness of the greatest number”-- HOMEWORK --
  26. 26. Non-consequentialist• a.k.a Deontological• Judge the actual action, regardless ofthe consequences - e.g. Pacifism• Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) - judged actions by whether theyconform to requirements of rationalityand human dignity
  27. 27. Naturalistic ethical theories• Human nature as the source of what is right of wrong - The instinct to survival is the strongest, therefore it iswrong to commit suicide.• Either teleological (similar to consequentialist- judged bythe end result) or deontological (similar to non-consequentialist- the act is judged in itself, not according tothe result) - E.g: „shallow ecology‟ vs. „deep ecology‟For example: # Shallow ecology evaluates the results of pollution# Deep ecology tries to assign value to nature itself
  28. 28. Theories of Care Feminism -Classic ethics is patriarchal worldwide -But also criticised by feminists – said to implythat women should always do the caringEmphasize contingency, consensus and care -As opposed to generalised impersonal theories -” he stole the bread to feed his family “
  29. 29. WHY BE MORAL? Ethical egoisme -It‟s in my interest to be ethical, because it will help me to get what I want „Enlightened self-interest‟ „ -I won‟t steal because if everyone stole there would be too many problems,and I‟ll be punished if I do. Because everyone else will be happier -Difficult to persuade someone not to do something that they want to do it “Because that‟s the way your mother did it” Encourages blind obedience Moral laws help to ensure everyone‟s needs are met
  30. 30. CONCLUSIONS A branch of philosophy - About human relationships - Trying to identify what is „good‟ *A dynamic social force that promotes human well being Uses argument to determine moral valiues - Based on theories *Consequentialist,deontological,naturalist,feminist -Observations,reason,logic Religion needs morality,but moral system doesn‟t need religion

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