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Mike_102607 - Phil 100 10/26 Filling out the study guide a...

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Phil 100 10/26 Filling out the study guide a bit: Question 1. Define or explain the following terms, and identify the source for d, e, and i. a. Deontological ethical theories. Theories which define ethical obligation in terms of duty as opposed to achievement of desirable consequences or qualities of character. Consequences and good character are said to be irrelevant to the determination of ethical or moral obligation. b. Divine command theory. There are two versions. The absolute version : What is morally right is right because God commands it. The moderate version : What God commands is right, not simply because he commands it, but because it is right. c. First formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative: “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” (Or: Never act except in such a way that you can also will that your maxim should become a universal law.) (Maxim: rule of conduct. “Can” means “can without logical inconsistency.”) d. The distinction between “the way” and “the attainment” . The way: the means of attaining a state of consciousness wherein it is impossible to take life seriously. The way requires hard work, dedication, and taking ones’ self seriously. The attainment: The actual achievement of a state of consciousness wherein it is impossible to take life seriously. Being in such a state, of course, does not require you to take life seriously. (Source: Odell’s handout, “Ethics and the Meaning of Life,” p. 5-6.) e. Ineffability and noetic quality as necessary conditions of a mystical experience. In order for an experience to count as a mystical experience, it is necessary that it have the following features. (1) Ineffability: The experience cannot be described in words; in order to understand what it’s like to undergo the experience and the worth of having it, you must undergo the experience yourself. (2) Noetic quality: The experience must seem, to the person who has it, to be one in which knowledge about, or insight into, the nature of reality is obtained. (Source: Odell’s handout, “Ethics and the Meaning of Life,” p. 7.) f. Descriptive ethics. The description of the moral practices or morality of some individual or group. As a discipline it is part of the social sciences. g. Odell’s version of Kant’s 1st formulation of the categorical imperative: Never do anything the universal doing of which makes it impossible for you to do it. h. Anthropormorphism . The attribution of human characteristics to non-humans—Gods, nature, or animals. Typographic error for i : it’s either: i (i). Essence precedes existence. [First an explanation of the meaning of “essence.” “Essence”: defining properties, including a purpose (if any). For example, the essence of water is H 2 O. The essence of a hammer is to pound in nails. The essence of a circle is to be a plane figure whose boundary (the circumference) consists of points equidistant from a fixed point (the center).]
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