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Why Be Good?


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A slide show which examines reasons to be ethical and reasons for studying ethics.

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Why Be Good?

  1. 1. Why Be Good? A View from the Radix
  2. 2. Three Genres of Ethics <ul><li>Metaethics </li></ul><ul><li>Normative </li></ul><ul><li>Applied </li></ul>
  3. 3. Living Together & Going it Alone <ul><li>Two generalized ways of thinking: West and East </li></ul><ul><li>Individualistic and Communitarian </li></ul><ul><li>My rights and duties — Our rights and duties </li></ul>
  4. 4. Questions people ask. . . <ul><li>Why should I be good? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we benefit? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s in it for me? </li></ul><ul><li>Whose expectations must I meet? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will my actions affect? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Kantian approach <ul><li>“ It’s the right thing to do.” </li></ul><ul><li>This is how I’d want people to treat me </li></ul><ul><li>This should apply in all times and to all people--including me </li></ul><ul><li>It’s my duty, my obligation </li></ul>
  6. 6. Utilitarian approach <ul><li>What is the greatest benefit to as many as possible? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I minimize pain for the most people? </li></ul><ul><li>What has worked in the past? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the most efficient approach to the problem? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Virtue Ethics <ul><li>Emphasis on building character </li></ul><ul><li>The Golden Mean between the extremes of deficiency and excess </li></ul><ul><li>Virtue achieved through practice until it is habitual </li></ul>
  8. 8. What should I do. . .? <ul><li>Any. . .deviation from the truth does that much toward weakening the trustworthiness of human assertion, which is. . . The principal support of all present social well-being. </li></ul><ul><li>— John Stuart Mill </li></ul>