Contemporary Moral

Contemporary Moral - Contemporary Moral & Social Issues...

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Contemporary Moral & Social Issues - The Notes - January 14, 2008 Some Current Issues in Society: The Use of Water-Boarding (Torture or Interrogation Tactic?) Legalizing Abortion States Implementing the Death Penalty Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research Legalization of Marijuana Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants The Legitimacy of Global Warming Nuclear Proliferation Legality of Euthanasia and Other Assisted Suicide Methods Rights to Privacy USA Withdrawing from or Staying in Iraq As these events tend to polarize people with different views, generally remain unresolved, and are at the forefront of many attention spans, they can be considered as issues. Some Non-Moral Issues: Is the USA currently in recession? Did Roger Clemens take steroids? Did Reggie Bush violate NCAA rules while playing at USC? Is global warming responsible for recent intense droughts and storms? Moral issues often have to do with human rights, personal values and definitions of righteousness, and are not strictly factual or scientific in nature. Moral issues are concerned with “should” or “or”. Non-moral issues are more concerned with “is” or “did”. Should marijuana be legalized? Did Roger Clemens use steroids? When one makes a claim like the one about Clemens, they’re making a claim about the way something is, whereas when one says that marijuana should be legalized, they’re speaking of an ideal that’s not necessarily an established reality. Descriptive Language: Factual (is, did, etc) Normative Language: Idealized (ought to, should, etc) Evaluative Language: Adjective (good, bad, etc) Prescriptive Language: (ought to, should, etc) The “Is/Ought” Distinction (similar to the “Fact/Value” distinction: Arguably, all normative talk is non-descriptive and all descriptive talk is non –normative. The latter is quite controversial and a lot of people reject it. When someone says that something is good, that can be a fact. When someone says something ought to be, that
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can also be interpreted as a fact. Normative Judgments are often prudent or etiquette related or instrumental. Prudential Example: You shouldn’t take a bath with an electrical appliance. Etiquette Example: You shouldn’t talk with your mouth full. Instrumental Example: You should stay away from class if you want to flunk the course. What Makes Something a Moral Issue? A few theories… - Morality should concern what’s within one’s own best interest. - Morals apply to one, no matter what one desires. - Morals express the wishes/commands of God. - Morals express social expectations. - Morals are based on impartial compassion. January 15, 2008 Ethics and Morals tend to mean the same thing most of the time. Morals are a code of conduct.
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Contemporary Moral - Contemporary Moral & Social Issues...

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