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Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
THE TROLLEY PROBLEM
You see a runaway trolley moving toward five tied-up
(or otherwise incapacitated) people lying on the
tracks. You are standing next to a lever that controls
a switch. If you pull the lever, the trolley will be
redirected onto a side track, and the five people on
the main track will be saved. However, there is a
single person lying on the side track.
Moral Theories
THE TROLLEY PROBLEM
You have two options:
1. Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five
people on the main track.
2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side
track where it will kill one person.
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
MORAL THEORY
Moral – of, relating to, or concerned with the
principles of right and wrong
Theory – set of accepted beliefs or organized
principles that explain and guide analysis
MORAL THEORY
It is an explanation of what makes an action right or
what makes a person or thing good.
Moral Theory vs Moral Code
Moral code is simply a set of rules.
The rules in a moral code inevitably conflict but
provide no means for resolving their inconsistencies.
Moral Theories
Moral Theory vs Moral Code
Moral theory identifies the essence of rightness
A moral theory provides us with very general norms,
or standards, that can help us make sense of our
moral experiences, judgments, and principles.
MORAL THEORY
There are moral theories of value and theories of
obligations.
Theories of Value
There are moral theories concerned with the
goodness of persons or things.
Value
Value can be either intrinsic or instrumental.
Something has intrinsic value: if it has inherent worth
in itself
Something has instrumental value: if something is
considered as a means towards achieving a certain
end.
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Theories of Obligation
These are moral theories concerned with the
rightness or wrongness of actions.
There are consequentialist, nonconsequentialist, and
alternative moral theories.
Moral Theories
NONCONSEQUENTIALIST THEORIES
These are also known as deontological theories.
These theories say that the rightness of an action
does not depend entirely on its consequences.
It depends on the nature of the action itself.
Divine Command Theory
It asserts that the morally right action is the one that
God commands.
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Natural Law Theory
A theory asserting that the morally right action is the
one that follows the dictates of nature.
Moral Theories
Natural Law Theory
People are supposed to live according to natural
law—that is, they are to fulfill their rightful, natural
purpose.
The things that we are designed to seek are called
basic goods.
The Basic Goods
1. Life
2. Reproduction
3. Educate one’s offspring
4. Seek God
5. Live in society
6. Avoid offense
7. Shun ignorance
Kant’s Theory
It asserts that the morally right action is the one done
in accordance with the categorical imperative.
Kant’s Theory
Hypothetical imperative: a moral command that is
conditional on personal motive or desire.
Categorical imperative: a moral law that is
unconditional or absolute for all agents
Categorical Imperative
Universalizability principle: “Act only on that maxim
through which you can at the same time will that it
should become a universal law.”
Formula of Humanity: “Act so that you treat
humanity, whether in your own person or in that of
another, always as an end, and never as a means.”
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
CONSEQUENTIALIST THEORIES
These are also known as teleological theories.
These theories say that what makes an action right is
its consequences.
Specifically, the rightness of an action depends on
the amount of good it produces.
Ethical Egoism
It asserts that the morally right action is the one that
produces the most favorable balance of good over
evil for oneself.
That is, in every situation the right action is the one
that advances one’s own best interests.
Moral Theories
Utilitarianism
It asserts that the morally right action is the one that
produces the most favorable balance of good over
evil, everyone considered.
Moral Theories
Utilitarianism
Principle of utility: “We should act always so as to
produce the greatest good for the greatest number.”
It treats intentions as irrelevant.
Types of Utilitarianism
Act-utilitarianism: right actions are those that
directly produce the greatest overall good, everyone
considered.
Rule-utilitarianism: the morally right action is the
one covered by a rule that if generally followed would
produce the most favorable balance of good over
evil, everyone considered.
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
Moral Theories
1. Vaughn, L. (2016). Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and
Contemporary Issues (4th Edition). New York, NY: W.W. Norton &
Company p. 67 – 76
2. Philosophy Experiments. (n.d.). Retrieved from
www.philosophyexperiments.com/
3. [CrashCourse]. (2016, November 7). Natural Law Theory: Crash
Course Philosophy #34. [Video File]. Retrieved from
www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_UfYY7aWKo
4. [CrashCourse]. (2016, November 14). Kant & Categorical
Imperatives: Crash Course Philosophy #35. [Video File]. Retrieved
from www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bIys6JoEDw
5. [CrashCourse]. (2016, November 22). Utilitarianism: Crash Course
Philosophy #36. [Video File]. Retrieved from
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a739VjqdSI

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Moral Theories

  • 6. THE TROLLEY PROBLEM You see a runaway trolley moving toward five tied-up (or otherwise incapacitated) people lying on the tracks. You are standing next to a lever that controls a switch. If you pull the lever, the trolley will be redirected onto a side track, and the five people on the main track will be saved. However, there is a single person lying on the side track.
  • 8. THE TROLLEY PROBLEM You have two options: 1. Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five people on the main track. 2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.
  • 11. MORAL THEORY Moral – of, relating to, or concerned with the principles of right and wrong Theory – set of accepted beliefs or organized principles that explain and guide analysis
  • 12. MORAL THEORY It is an explanation of what makes an action right or what makes a person or thing good.
  • 13. Moral Theory vs Moral Code Moral code is simply a set of rules. The rules in a moral code inevitably conflict but provide no means for resolving their inconsistencies.
  • 15. Moral Theory vs Moral Code Moral theory identifies the essence of rightness A moral theory provides us with very general norms, or standards, that can help us make sense of our moral experiences, judgments, and principles.
  • 16. MORAL THEORY There are moral theories of value and theories of obligations.
  • 17. Theories of Value There are moral theories concerned with the goodness of persons or things.
  • 18. Value Value can be either intrinsic or instrumental. Something has intrinsic value: if it has inherent worth in itself Something has instrumental value: if something is considered as a means towards achieving a certain end.
  • 21. Theories of Obligation These are moral theories concerned with the rightness or wrongness of actions. There are consequentialist, nonconsequentialist, and alternative moral theories.
  • 23. NONCONSEQUENTIALIST THEORIES These are also known as deontological theories. These theories say that the rightness of an action does not depend entirely on its consequences. It depends on the nature of the action itself.
  • 24. Divine Command Theory It asserts that the morally right action is the one that God commands.
  • 28. Natural Law Theory A theory asserting that the morally right action is the one that follows the dictates of nature.
  • 30. Natural Law Theory People are supposed to live according to natural law—that is, they are to fulfill their rightful, natural purpose. The things that we are designed to seek are called basic goods.
  • 31. The Basic Goods 1. Life 2. Reproduction 3. Educate one’s offspring 4. Seek God 5. Live in society 6. Avoid offense 7. Shun ignorance
  • 32. Kant’s Theory It asserts that the morally right action is the one done in accordance with the categorical imperative.
  • 33. Kant’s Theory Hypothetical imperative: a moral command that is conditional on personal motive or desire. Categorical imperative: a moral law that is unconditional or absolute for all agents
  • 34. Categorical Imperative Universalizability principle: “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” Formula of Humanity: “Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end, and never as a means.”
  • 38. CONSEQUENTIALIST THEORIES These are also known as teleological theories. These theories say that what makes an action right is its consequences. Specifically, the rightness of an action depends on the amount of good it produces.
  • 39. Ethical Egoism It asserts that the morally right action is the one that produces the most favorable balance of good over evil for oneself. That is, in every situation the right action is the one that advances one’s own best interests.
  • 41. Utilitarianism It asserts that the morally right action is the one that produces the most favorable balance of good over evil, everyone considered.
  • 43. Utilitarianism Principle of utility: “We should act always so as to produce the greatest good for the greatest number.” It treats intentions as irrelevant.
  • 44. Types of Utilitarianism Act-utilitarianism: right actions are those that directly produce the greatest overall good, everyone considered. Rule-utilitarianism: the morally right action is the one covered by a rule that if generally followed would produce the most favorable balance of good over evil, everyone considered.
  • 52. 1. Vaughn, L. (2016). Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues (4th Edition). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company p. 67 – 76 2. Philosophy Experiments. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.philosophyexperiments.com/ 3. [CrashCourse]. (2016, November 7). Natural Law Theory: Crash Course Philosophy #34. [Video File]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_UfYY7aWKo 4. [CrashCourse]. (2016, November 14). Kant & Categorical Imperatives: Crash Course Philosophy #35. [Video File]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bIys6JoEDw 5. [CrashCourse]. (2016, November 22). Utilitarianism: Crash Course Philosophy #36. [Video File]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a739VjqdSI