philosophy notes week 4 and 7

philosophy notes week 4 and 7 - Week 7: "What Is Wrong with...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
-1 Week 7: "What Is Wrong with You? Ethics Pt 1" Ethics : the study of how we ought to live given moral values and obligations – moral right vs. wrong (from Grk. ethos 'habit, custom') I. Disciplines within the Field of Ethics a. Descriptive Ethics : describes ethical standards for a group/culture without any judgments on their correctness ; more anthropology/sociology than philosophy – Describes! i. The Quechua Indians prize treachery as a virtue; in Naclear Bay, Fiji, cannibalism runs rampant. b. Normative Ethics : considers how to make moral judgments about human actions/ attitudes Prescribes! i. "The outcome, not the intentions, is what matters in morality." "We must consider a person's motives when evaluating a moral action." c. Applied Ethics : connects normative ethics with specific areas of society (e.g., environment, business, government, health – bioethics, etc) – Asks so what ? i. "Is abortion ethical? Why/why not?" "Is out-sourcing American labor ethical – even if we're helping both economies?" II. Various Ethical Theories (see PLD, p. 82 for taxonomy) – Metaethics i. Subjectivism : what makes moral judgments true or false are the mental states (e.g., beliefs, thoughts, etc) of the subjects making such judgments 1. Cultural Relativism : culture makes moral judgments true/false; morality is relative to culture a. Argument : what is believed to be moral has changed throughout history, among cultures, and even within one culture through time; therefore, what is moral is relative to cultures b. Examples : A culture buries its dead, another burns its dead, a third eats its dead; in one culture bribery is considered immoral; in another, it's the normal way of doing business; In the US, consider: divorce, alcohol consumption, racial segregation c. Response : i. Moral codes do not differ as much as many say/think they do ii. These are descriptive, not normative ; that is, just b/c it is the case that cultures have embraced and exhibited different moral norms does not mean that they should have done so – is/ought fallacy (fact/value split) iii. Divergence of opinions does not imply absence of standard iv. Differences of moral judgments actually reveal objective moral standards 1. Ex: That some favor abortion and some do not does not prove that there is a difference of moral values; instead, it just shows that these two groups simply disagree on what counts as killing; both sides may very well uphold objective standards – viz., that taking an innocent life is morally wrong; they just do not agree that abortion is killing 2. Ex: That some don't eat meat … 3. Ex: That the dead are burned or buried or eaten d. Objection/counterarguments : i. Moral criticism of other cultures is impossible (e.g., Nazi Gr., Fiji cannibalism) ii. The moral reformer is immoral (e.g., William Wilberforce, Gandhi, MLK Jr.) iii. What is a culture of morality? There seems to be no non-question begging definition of culture ( i.e., 'A culture / community is
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 07/14/2008 for the course PHIL 214 taught by Professor Park during the Spring '08 term at Biola University.

Page1 / 5

philosophy notes week 4 and 7 - Week 7: "What Is Wrong with...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online