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Unformatted text preview: Study guide for the study guide, PART 2 (1) Explain and critically discuss folk-based practice consequentialism. Be sure to include the following concepts and issues: exceptions to moral rules; abbreviations; modiFcation; resemblance to science; conFrmation; solution to the puzzles raised about integrity; what it has to say about cloning and active euthanasia. According to folk-based practice consequentialism (BPC), the proper, primary focus of ethics is neither particular actions nor rules (in the usual sense) , but our commonsense (folk) ethical practices . The rightness or wrongness of our practices is to be evaluated by the overall goodness or badness of their consequences. Our ethical practices [our folk ethics] have consequences that are highly desirable for humans, and if they did not have such consequences, or at least offer hope for such consequences, these practices would not exist (course notes on ethics, p. 19). The goal of ethics is to make it possible for us to live together harmoniously, which in turn contributes to widespread happiness and contentment. Our folk-ethical practices are extremely complex. They consist of activities that follow an extremely complex set of ethical prescriptions (Do such-and-such) and prohibitions (Do not do such-and-such). Moral rules (in the usual sense) are very shorthand abbreviations of those prescriptions/prohibitions. or example, in practice , how we apply the rule Do not kill reveals that we dont understand it to mean simply Do not kill under any circumstances. In fact, our ethical practice regarding killing actually requires some people (policemen, soldiers, etc.) to kill under certain circumstances (course notes on ethics, p. 20). According to BPC, moral rules, understood as abbreviations in the above way, are exceptionless . or example, our permitting or even requiring a policeman to kill a criminal when necessary is not really an exception to the rule Do not kill; rather, it is already covered by the practice which that rule abbreviates (course notes on ethics, p. 20). According to BPC, our ethical practices are not Fxed; they are subject to modiFcation . Our folk ethics consists of practices that have become conFrmed as practices that signiFcantly promote harmonious co- existence. However, there may be additional practices (than can be formulated as rules . . .) or even different sets of practices which would, in themselves or in conjunction with present day folk ethics, better serve to promote harmonious co-existence (course notes on ethics, p. 22). urthermore, technological advantages lead to novel moral issues to which our current folk ethics doesnt provided a ready solution. Two of these issues concern human cloning and active euthanasia (taking positive steps to end a persons life for their beneFt) [as opposed to passive euthanasia (withdrawing life-sustaining treatment for a persons beneFt)]....
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor ? during the Spring '07 term at Maryland.
- Spring '07