CHAPTER 1 - What happened at Enron? o Made its financial records and accounts as opaque as possible - 3 characteristics of moral standards o Behavior that affects human well-being o Take priority over other standards including self interest o The soundness of moral standards depends on the adequacy of the reasons that support them Ex. Fashion standards set by designers - 4 types of law o Statutes - state laws enacted by legislative ppl o Administrative regulations - boards and agencies covering certain conducts Ex. School board Ex. Licensing board to form regulations for docs and nurses o Common law - judge made law Occurred before more statutes were made. Judges would agree and enforced it on future cases o Constitutional law - court rulings on requirements of the constitution - What King’s violation of the law shows o An action can be illegal but morally right MLK example o An action that is legal can be morally wrong CEO firing 125 ppl to save $ and boost profit Hunting animals for trophy Death penalty Good Sams law - Shortcomings of professional codes as an ethical guide o Professional code of ethics - rules governed by the conduct of members of a given profession Between etiquette and law for nurses and docs and professors and students - Where we get our moral standards o Ethical theories attempt to justify moral standards and ethical beliefs - 3 ways in which morality might be thought to be based on religion o Out of habit or just because it’s the kind of person we are Out of concern for others or just because it’s right In addition, approval of peers, appease our conscience, desire to avoid earthy punishment is a motivation o World’s great religions are general and imprecise Ex. Cold blooded murder motivated by greed is immoral. (common sense) o Just because god tells us it’s bad doesn’t mean it’s the only reason we follow. Divine command theory – god commanding us not to do it. Without religion we wouldn’t do what’s right - Ethical relativism - theory saying what’s right is by what a culture or society says is right. o Ex. Slavery back then was ok, now it’s not - 3 unsatisfactory implications of ethical relativism o It undermines any moral criticism of the practices of other societies as long as their actions conform to their own standard o No such thing as moral progress Moralities may change but cannot get worse or better. We can’t say moral standards today are more enlightened than were moral standards in the middle ages
o From a relativist’s point of view, it makes no sense for people to criticize principles or practices accepted by their own society -
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- Spring '11
- ex, Fran, moral standards, moral code