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Classical ethical theories new

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Classical ethical theories new

  1. 1. Classical Ethical Theories
  2. 2. Note: • Ethical Theories show us that morality exists • Distinguish Good from Evil • These Theories are normative. • Thus create moral disagreements among people.
  3. 3. • Each classical ethical theory has its view about the reality of morality. • Each theory gives important truths a bout moral life. • None of the theories can claim to possess the whole truth
  4. 4. • Each theory checks the excesses‘ of the other, • Thereby showing the limits of each theory . • Some theories are consequential in Nature, • While others are non-consequential.
  5. 5. Moral Absolutism • Claims that there are absolute standards against which morality can be judged. • We can strive to attain higher norms that apply to all human beings.
  6. 6. Moral absolutism cont’d • Certain actions are right or wrong irrespective of the context of the act. • Nothing is relative; a crime is a crime regardless of the circumstances.
  7. 7. Moral Absolutism Cont’d • Therefore right and wrong are universal truths ( ethical standards are applicable to every body everywhere.
  8. 8. Analysis: • From an egoistic view, moral absolutism condones fundamentalism. This can break down society. • This would imply that all people should have the same ethical codes.
  9. 9. Cont’d • positively:, it allows us to judge the actions of others.
  10. 10. Moral Relativism • There are no universal moral standards; Nothing is good or bad absolutely. • Therefore the truth/ moral principles vary from time to time, group to group place to place
  11. 11. Moral Relativism Cont’d • Every one should be contented with the morality of their time and place •
  12. 12. Two Forms of Relativism 1.Subjectivism: Each individual must act according to what he/she considers appropriate for each situation
  13. 13. Forms of Relativism Cont’d 2. Cultural Relativism: Good and Bad depends on the ethical values prevailing in the given culture/community.
  14. 14. Analysis • No responsibility, No blame every body/groups have their own moral standards. • Can not Judge others • Laws become impossible to implement
  15. 15. Consequentialism • Actions are judged according to the end / completion / effect. • Sum total good in actions must exceed the evil
  16. 16. Forms of Consequentialism 1.Ethical Egoism 2.Utilitarianism/altruism 3.Pragmatism 4. Feminist Consequentialism
  17. 17. Forms Cont’d Ethical Egoism: • What is ethical is that which produces good consequences to the actor.( hedonists/ Thomas Hobbes)
  18. 18. Analysis • Is it possible to avoid pain? • Foregoing sensual pleasure to enjoy higher pleasure; postpone the enjoyment of pleasure • Pleasure generalized; sacrifice, duty, generosity.. Etc
  19. 19. Utilitarianism; Jeremy Bentham & Stuart Mill • Using the principle of utility,(Maximizing the Good) Bentham found pain and pleasure to be the only intrinsic values in the world.
  20. 20. Utilitarianism Cont’d • Man is governed naturally by pain and pleasure. • Actions and policies should be evaluated on the basis of the benefits and costs they have on society.
  21. 21. Utilitarianism Cont’d • Correct actions produce greatest net benefits or lowest net costs. • Greatest happiness/good for the greatest number.
  22. 22. Utilitarianism Cont’d • People affected by actions are stakeholders of the action; therefore businesses should consider all people affected by their businesses as stakeholders in the business.
  23. 23. Utilitarianism Cont’d • Essentials of Utility • Maximizing good • Theory of value: standard of goodness: intrinsic values- satisfaction of desires- attainment of autonomy-achievement of deep personal relationships • Consequentialism; produce the best utilitarian outcome
  24. 24. Utilitarianism Cont’d • Impartiality/ Universalism
  25. 25. Analysis • Is it possible to determine pleasure for others? • Is morality for the majority always right?
  26. 26. Analysis cont’d • Can lead to radical actions, infanticide, exterminate sufferers .. Assisted suicide( euthanasia)
  27. 27. Pragmatism • There is no room for absolutism; ethical standards change according to their usefulness or practicability and their ability to produce good effect.
  28. 28. Pragmatism Cont’d • Good actions are those that work, profitable, or have practical consequences, help solve a problem, and produce positive results.
  29. 29. Analysis • No common Morality • One can not be certain of the consequences.
  30. 30. Feminist Consequentilism Caro Gilligan/ Ethics of Care • Men use logic and rules/ laws to arrive at moral decisions. They generalize morality while Women see morality as being entailed in communication and relationships. Morality is particular
  31. 31. Ethics of Care Cont’d • Men see themselves as guilty for doing something wrong while women hold themselves responsible for not doing something to prevent the hurt.
  32. 32. Ethics of Care Cont’d • Women change rules in order to preserve relationships while men abide by rules and see relationships as replaceable.
  33. 33. Ethics of Care Cont’d • Therefore actions that are right are those that do not break up relationships, hurt other peoples feelings; and vise versa.
  34. 34. Non-Consequential Theories • Kantian Ethics • Deontology • Virtue Ethics
  35. 35. Deontological Theories • Greek word “ Deon” and “logos” meaning duty or obligation. • Acting in accordance to one’s duty is right. • What are duties? • Hugo Grotius ( 1583-1635) and Samuel Pufendorf ( 1632-1694) • Duties towards God • Towards one’s self
  36. 36. Duties Cont’d • Duty towards others. Family, friends, general social obligations etc • W.D ROSS DUTIES ( 1817-1971) • Fidelity • Gratitude • Justice • Beneficence • Self improvement and Non- maleficence.
  37. 37. Kantian Ethics/Theory • Immanuel Kant : 1724-1804 • He is a critique of the Utilitarian's, hedonists, pragmatists, who never care a bout the motives of actors/agents. • Actions are duty based ( motive) • Right actions are those that are done when the agent possesses good will( a person recognizes that they ought to do these actions) • Categorical Imperative ( unconditional/ command- / essential)
  38. 38. Kant Cont’d • “ Act only to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” Universalism • Key Issues: • Duty and Good will • Universalism • Treating Human Beings as an “ End” not “Means”
  39. 39. Virtue ethics • Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. • Virtues allow a person not only to perform good acts to give the best of himself/herself in every thing. • A good person directs his/herself towards the good with all his/her sensory and spiritual powers.
  40. 40. Virtues cont’d • A virtuous person stands firm in trying moments • The choice of good acts produces virtue and virtues itself is the source of choosing to do good acts. • Good habits make virtues and bad habits make the vices. ( Virtues= good; Vice= bad)
  41. 41. Virtues Cont’d • Virtues are therefore necessary for a moral life. • Virtues govern actions, give one a firm and good attitude, perfect the intellect, control passions, and generally make it easy for one to enjoy leading a morally good life. • Virtues are acquired by human effort ( they are the seed and fruit of morally good acts)
  42. 42. Virtues Cont’d • Classifications of Virtues. 1. Cardinal Virtues/ moral virtues: Main/Major all other virtues originate from them.  Prudence: Right reason-ability to discern true good from every circumstance.  Justice: Fairness; promote equity.  Fortitude: Firmness in difficulty-constant pursuit of good
  43. 43. Virtues Cont’d • Resistance to temptations • Ability to overcome obstacles. Temperance: Moderates attraction of pleasures. 2. Super natural : Charity, Hope and Faith 3. Intellectual: wisdom, science, art
  44. 44. Natural Law Tradition • Laws of nature govern the activities of the universe, instruct emotions common to man, like love of offspring, self preservation etc ; Therefore • All rational persons know what kind of actions morality prohibits, requires, discourages and encourages. It is reason which makes us act morally. • What is natural is right/good and vice versa.[
  45. 45. Divine Command Theory • Good actions commanded by God
  46. 46. Communitarianism • Common good • Social Goals • Co-operative Virtues • Community Values • Solidarity: community makes the individual and Vice versa • Society assigns roles. Therefore what is in line with the common good is right and vice versa.
  47. 47. • Elements to evaluate an ethical act • Object /act • End/intention • Circumstances • Evaluation of acts with a double effect • Responsibility for other peoples actions • Responsibility for cooperating in other peoples actions • Restrictions to proper use of the intellect. •
  48. 48. Ethics Deontological Right Action Duty Rights Teleological/conquentialism

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