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WGU-Ethics

Ethics

QuestionAnswer
State of Nature How philosophers think persons would naturally behave if there were no government threatening to punish them
Thomas Hobbes and the modern social contract theory people are naturally competitive and need government to contain their natural strive for security (preventing murders and such)
Basic argument (Hobbes) for an ethics based on a social contract Hobbes crucial first argument is that before society existed, there was “the state of nature”. held that this lawless state was a time of everyone for themselves.
Utilitarianism ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill - all action should be directed to achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
Weaknesses of Utilitarianism 1. Utilitarianism runs into problems when sentiment is involved. 2. Doesn't provide enough support for individual's rights. 3. That happiness (etc) cannot be quantified or measured. 4. That we cannot calculate all the effects for all the individual
Strengths of Utilitarianism 1.The poor under-educated lower classes should count equally with the rich, educated upper class. 2.Bentham utilitarian theory came directly out of his social concerns.
Deontological Duty based. Focuses on your duties, whether they be to other people, to animals or to God.
What type of moral theory is Kant’s Deontological
According to Kant morality is about? Following absolute rules without exception
According to Kant some of our basic duties are 1. Always tell the truth 2. Always keep you promises. 3. Never commit suicide.
Duty Something that you are required to do whether you want to or not
Good Will Kant believed it is the only thing that is totally and completely good without exception
Categorical Imperative A moral obligation that is imposed on us no matter the circumstances or our personal desires
Autonomy Being in control of your own life
Kant's two formulas of the catergorical imperative 1. Universally willing the maxim of your actions or taking the standpoint of everyone else 2. Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.
Retributivism A theory of punishment that is best summed up by the phrase an eye for an eye.
Identify the major points critical of Kant's ethics 1. Consequentialism 2. Jeremy Bentham's Utilitarianism theory (attempt to create as much happiness in the world as possible)
Consequentialism Ethical theory that determines good or bad, right or wrong, based on the outcomes.
What are the difference between retributiviam (Kant) and Utilitarian (Betham) Kant believed an eye for an eye. Betham believes punishment is mischief and is a greater evil but is justifiable.
Moral Objectivism Belief that morality is universal, eternal and unchanging
Cultural relativism Belief that morality is relative to each individual culture, we can’t make universal moral claims like “murder is always wrong”
Six values that all cultures have in common 1. Truthfulness 2. Prohibition of murder 3. Welfare of cultural members 4. Mix of good and bad practices. 5. Welfare of cultural members. 6. Care of young.
Cultural relativism in terms of the cultural differences argument 1. Different societies have different moral codes 2. Moral code determines what is right within that society. 3. No objective standard can be used to judge one's societal code as better than another. 4. Moral code of our own society has no special
Ethical Subjectivism Moral judgments are nothing more than expressions of personal opinion
Psychological egoism 1. Theory of human nature, not an ethical theory. 2. Human nature to act out of self-interest.
Ethical egoism How we should behave
Hero stories Earliest known writings about heroes who exemplified virtues most admired
Legal codes Earliest know writings that defined acceptable and non-acceptable conduct and instructional formulations
Ethics in ancient Mesopotamia Value concepts can be discerned from commercial documents, law codes, wisdom sayings, hero stories and myths.
Royal Archives Earliest know writings provide the boasts of monarchs who conquered and often devastated neighboring territories.
Gigamesh, Kink of Uruk One of the earliest monarchs was said to be the product of the union of a high priest and the goddess Ninsun.
Work ethic One fulfils ones destiny through service and through fidelity to whatsoever becomes ones responsibility.
The law code of Semitic King Lipit Ishtar One of several early royal prescriptions recovered by archeologists. Each ruler declared that he was divinely chosen for office, thereby linking earthly rule to divine wishes.
The book of the Dead Earliest known writings contains a negative confession in which the deceased recited before a panel of 42 divine judges a list of 42 sins no committed.
Hebrew scriptures One of the earliest known writings – Bible
School documents One of the earliest known writings
Aristotle's theory Involves a virtuous way of life by its relation to happiness
Key element of Aristotle(2) 1. highest happiness is to be found not in the ethical virtues of the active life, but in the contemplative or philosophic life of speculation, in which the dianoetic virtues of understanding, science and wisdom are exercise.
Virtue Moral excellence, or having the courage to do what is right.
Ethical egoism Each person ought to do whatever will best promote his or her own self-interest
Utilitarianism We ought to do whatever will promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
Kant's theory Our duty is to follow rules that we would consistently will to be universal laws, rules that we are willing to have followed by all people in all situations.
Social contract theory The right thing to do is to follow the rules that rational self-interested people can agree to establish for their mutual benefit.
Replaced divine law Moral law
Aristotle said that virtue is a Trait of character manifested in habitual action
Three advantages of virtue as an ethical standard 1. What kind of person should I be? 2. Helps us explain how a wide variety of actions can be ethical. 3. Allows for the whole spectrum of human experience to influence ethical deliberation.
Disadvantages of virtue as an ethical standard 1. More disagreement about which traits are virtues than there is about which actions are right. 2. Emphasizes character traits instead of actions. 3. Does not provide us with specific rules to guide our actions.
The Divine theory Things are morally good or bad or morally obligatory, permissible or prohibited, solely because of God’s will and commands.
Euthyphro dilemma If moral good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, then they must be morally good prior to and so independently of God’s will.
3 Elements that constitute the theory of natural law 1. The world is a natural order with values and purposes built into its very nature 2. How things ought to be 3. Laws of reason which we are able to grasp because God has made us rational beings.
3 concrete observations about the Brahmanical (Hindu) society 1. The vedas (canonical collection of texts) is its ultimate authority. 2. Social ordering dividing into 4 classes. 3. An act is moral if it safeguards the good of all-not moral if it creates disorder.
4 classes of society in Brahamnical (Hindu) society 1. Brahmana religious – instructional 2. Kshatriya-sovereign defense 3. Vaishya-agriculture-economic 4. Shudra-menial labor.
Class of shudra Menial labor – 4th class
Class of Kshatriya Sovereign defense – 2nd class
Class of Vaishya Agriculture – economic – 3rd class
Class of brahmana Religious instructional 1st class
Humanistic virtues and moral ideas praised in Vedic hymns (12) Truthfulness, giving, restraint, austerities, affection, gratitude, fidelity, forgiveness, non-thieving, non-cheating, giving us their just dessert, and avoiding injury to all creatures.
Satya Truthfulness
Dana Giving
Dama Restraint
Shruti Seen or heard
Tapas Austerities or self-denial
Ashrama Life cycle
Dharma Duty
4 relative stages of Ashrama 1.Studentship 2. Householder 3. Semi-retreat 4. Reunciation
Studentship Requiring disciplines, continence, and dedication to the teacher
Householder Entailing marriage, family and their obligations
Semi-retreat Gradual withdrawal from worldly pursuits and pleasures
Renunciation Leading to total withdrawal and contemplation
Karma Effects of a person’s actions that determine his destiny in the next incarnation
Purushartha Human ends. The outcome of the way you lived your life
Gita Locates itself in the middle of two opposing traditions. Abstinent and performative
6 classical Hindu ethics 1. Dharma (duty) 2. Karma (action-affect) 3. Ashrama ( life cycle) 4. Purushartha (human ends) 5. Gita (abstinent & Performative 6. Virtues (self-restraint, giving,
Jaina ethics One of the lesser known ethical traditions of India
Who founded Jaina ethics Mahavira – an unorthodox teacher thought to be a contemporary of Buddha, to whom he is often compared.
Explain Jaina ethics Reverence for all life. Would not kill any living thing. Would not eat meat. Would strain water so as not to harm any small creature. Cared for everything except self.
Gandian Ethics 1. Combines Satya, ashima and tapasya. 2. Mxed up and questioned Hindu practices
Ashima Non-injury
Tapasya Spirtual heat
Dukka Sense of unsatisfactoriness
Nibbana Bad consequences in another life
Zen Meditation
Explain Buddhism (4) 1. Meditation key to enlightenment 2. Lead a good life 3. Practice virtue 4. Follow meditative exercises.
Neihbor's 5 attributes of Christian history 1. Christ against culture 2. Christ of culture 3. Christ and culture in paradox 4. Christ above culture 5. Christ transforming culture
Christian transforming culture Seeks to influence but not necessarily to control institutions
Christ above culture Triumpalist Church which seek control over public life
Christ and culture in paradox Makes a sharp separation between God’s kindly rule in the church and His stern rule in public life.
Christ of Culture Christianity which casts a gospel glow over the existing order and hardly challenges it
Christ against Culture A kind of other world pietism
What a religion uses the torah Judaism
Tora or Halakha is known as Jewish law
Cultural relativism in terms of the cultural differences argument. (part 2) (3) 5. There is no universal truth in the ethics. 6. It is arrogant to judge the conduct of other people.
Created by: rtbrad on 2007-02-27



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