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The idea that when you make a moral statementyou are verbalizing an internal belief.
i) The statement “abortion is wrong” is revealingthe internal belief of the person saying it. Nothing about the outside world/other opinions is taken into account.
i) If you are both just sincerely stating your alternatebeliefs on a subject, then there is no conflict/ argument taking place.
ii) We agree that we are telling our sincere opinion
iii) No true disagreement
a) this implies that there is nothing that bequantified in order to counter a belief and therefore it is different fromeveryother facet of human life / science.
i) If you are being sincere then you are alwayscorrect by this definition (infallible)
ii) Lack of explanation for moral disagreements.
iii) Whether or not humans can be infallible in anyfacet of human life.
Moral statements more or less equal a command
-if you are pro abortion, your belief would be interpreted as "abort babies!"
Moral belief/ statements are neither true norfalse because they are commands (turn off the lights isn’t a true or falsequestion. It’s a statement.)
i) Makes disagreements possible because people withdifferent opinions go back and forth with their alternative opinions orCOMMANDS (take the dog out, no you take the dog out)
ii) You don’t necessarily need logical arguments toback up your statement (similar to how you don’t have to really back up why youroot for the team you like)
i) Offers little to no guidance for resolvingdisputes
There was a period towards the beginning of thescientific revolution during which the world was looked at through a scientificlens which divided the world into science and not science (opinion). Same thing happened with psychology beforeand after Freud. Subjectivism was the first jab at breaking down ethicsscientifically.
i) People view ethics as subjective because we viewthe worst cases: abortion, guns, war, death penalty. Rachel makes the argument that the majorityof our values have a consensus and we skip ahead to the worst cases wherepeople are divided in their opinions.
ii) There is a difference between what is morally rightand what people believe.
ii) Divine being willed it that way
iii) Not self-sustaining
iv) Not witnessed in nature
Divine command theory
Rightness vs. the divine – is conduct right b/cthe gods say it is? Or is it commanded b/c its right? (meaning that the godsobey a higher order of absolute morality)
DCT states that whatever is ethical is such because God commands it to be such. This begs the question as to whether or not God chooses what is right or if he obeys a higher order as well, in which case, is a God necessary to get these messages of morality??
i) Morality could change at any time if the divinewilled it. This forms the implication that the laws of morality are arbitrary.What’s the point of any of these rules if they could be reversed at any time bysome divine beings??
ii) Is there a code of morality that the divinebeing obeys and communicates to us or is the moral code invented by God? Inwhich case, who tells him? Why does he decide?
(1) External morality (part of fabric of universe)
i) Everything has a purpose
ii) Aristotle was considered a heretic and a paganby the Catholic church because he oredated Christianity
iii) Individual parts have a purpose as well as thecollective whole
iv) Most noble position was philosophy /enlightenment
a) Aquinas and Natural Law Theory
i) Fulfilling purpose=being ethical/ fail tofulfill purpose =unethical
ii) Natural and ethical
Objections to teleology
(a) Is teleology true? Many argue that modernscience makes little reference to it
(b) Identifying function might be problematic
(c) Seems to separate morality over religion
1. Goal of ethics is to promote happiness/ pleasurewhile avoiding pain as much as possible. Build from here.
2. “The greatest good for the greatest number”. Ifsome happiness is good, then more is better and we should try to bring as muchof this happiness into the world.
3. What else is taken into account besides shear #of people?
4. Intensity of the happiness.
5. The duration of this happiness.
1) ‘classical’ utilitarianism
Hedonism- pleasure/ avoid pain
i) Main tenets:
(1) Number of people benefiting/ suffering from____(greatest good for greatest #)
The act is judged to be good or bad after thefact, once the effect has been determined to be good or bad.
(1) Benefits: alleviates suffering, saves resources(dr.s could care for those who could be saved, honoring the patient’s wishes
(2) Drawbacks: sanctity of life, slippery slope/could eventually carryover to a patient who isn't terminally ill, concerns about pressure,implications about the medical field (supposed to save lives, but now paid totake lives?)
Utilitarianism and animals
a) History_ Aquinas and Descartes:
i) (nonhuman) animals do not have a soul. Descartessaid that animals do not feel pain
ii) 20th century argument is thatnon-humans lack a consciousness and therefore cannot reason
b) Animals suffer/feel pain
i) Deserve consideration due to the fact that theyhave nervous systems and deserve some of the basic rights that we who also havenervous systems are entitled to.
Objections to utilitarianism
i) Would it allow one to be framed, despite hisinnocence, in order to keep society calm? It would benefit the greater good,but at the cost of an innocent persons ‘rights’. How does utilitarianismprevent these infringements on the individuals rights?
(1) Most would say that the consequences of doingthis would be worse than not doing it but it is only immoral b/c of theconsequences if they were to be unearthed by the deceived public.
i) Inherent property that makes an action/behavior“wrong” VS. bad consequences
(1) Utilitarians believe an action is only wrongwhen the consequences are bad/ wrong/causes suffering
(2) Utilitarians believe that a selfish, normallyconsidered immoral action that causes a larger number of people happiness, thenit is moral
i) The theory seems to imply that you always haveto help other people if you come from a comfortable life
ii) Luxury item could be used to end someone’ssuffering who needs it more than you do (starving ppl needing food)
i) Do we need to treat everybody the same? Should Itreat my fellow man with the same intimacy as I would my family?
1) Anscombe and The Atomic Bomb
a) Anscombe was a female 20th centuryPhilosopher who used Kant’s philosophies to protest the use of the atomic bombagainst Japan in WWII
b) Resembles a form of utilitarian logic (kill athousand to save a million)
c) Anscombe rejected this logic due to her beliefthat it’s use was inappropriate when applied to human life (esp. innocentlives)
1) conditionless/absolute (need to do it regardlessof personal wants/desires)
a) Kant argues that moral rules are absolute truths
i) Formula 1: can it be universalized? (would it begood if EVERYBODY did it?)
ii) Formula 2: never treat persons as a means to anend ONLY
(1) Whether or not consent is possible (ex:slavery)
(2) Whether or not harm is done (even if consent isgiven its bad if it does the person harm)
(3) One should show all people including oneself alevel of respect as a rational agent
(a) Respect for all persons – even if someone cantuse reason (brain dead, baby, etc) they deserve protection due to their ID as amember of the human race
1) Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
ii) Motivated by doing the right thing
i) Sharp division b/w humans and non-humans
ii) Absence of reason in animals makes themnon-humans
iii) You can treat non-humans in any way one seesfit, as long as one doesn’t develop cruel characteristics that will influenceone’s treatment of other humans. Indirect concern for animals pain/suffering
v) Babies are not considered non-human despitetheir inability to reason because we have a moral obligation to protect themfor their ability to mature into reasonable humans.
- Largely derived and influenced by the code ofhamurabi (eye for an eye). Match crime with punishment (proportional notliteral)
a) Pain is bad but…
i) It is necessary to deter people from doingwrong.
ii) Rehabilitation (you have to make the peoplebetter)
iii) Create punishments that make people better
iv) Kant believes that rehab would impose societalnorms onto an individual, hindering their ability to make decisions about theirlives for themselves which is wrong.
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