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WGU-Ethics Part I

Ethics Part One

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.
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”
Created by: rtbrad on 2007-03-01



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