Running head: Moral Decisions1MORAL DECISIONS: HOW DO YOUMAKE YOURS?Jennifer Edmunds KelleyDr. Steve Wyre
Moral Decisions2AbstractThere are so many different theories about how humans go about making moral decisions. Do you base your decisions on the word of God, and what he would do? Do you analyze the situation, and then compare outcomes, and settle on the choice that generates a more positive outcome for everyone affected? Or maybe you couldn’t care less about those outcomes, or the people involved, and you decide that you are going to put your own interests at the forefront of every decision you ever make like you are the only person on Earth…? As I stated, there are a plethora of theories about this subject, and this paper is going to delve into these three theories, Act Utilitarianism, and Ethical Egoism, Divine Command Theory, specifically.
Moral Decisions3Moral Decisions: How Do You Make Yours?ACT UTILITARIANISM“The doctrine that utility or happiness is the criterion of right and wrong”. (Brink, 2007) When we make decisions, we like to think that they are made with “commonsense” in mind. Commonsense acknowledges four deontic concepts. First, is the act wrong, or forbidden? Second, is it permissible? Third, is it obligatory? And lastly, is it supererogatory? If the Act Utilitarian was to abide by those ideas, then it infers they do wrong every time they do not execute the optimal act, even when the suboptimal acts are exceptionally good. In turn, making the optimal obligatory and the suboptimal immoral. It then appears to inflate the realm of the prohibited, collapse the distinction between the permissible and the obligatory, thereby, completely axing out the supererogatory. If the optimal act is already a person’s obligation to carry out, then there appears to be no room for the supererogatory. They take into consideration the consequences for a single act that is carried out with the hopes of being able to create a society that focuses on committing acts that breed happiness. Another way of viewing this is that if a person views a certain rule as having the potential to create more positive than negative feelings of well-being, then it’s ok to violate that rule. That statement oozes controversy.