Chapter 3 Notes.docx - Ethical dilemmas arise when norms...

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Ethical dilemmas arise when norms and values are in conflict, and there are alternative courses of action available Ethics are normative values: a group of people will make a case for what they believe The Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines ethics in three ways, as: o 1. A general pattern or “way of life,” o 2. A set of rules of conduct or “moral code,” and o 3. Inquiry about ways of life and rules of conduct Morality and moral codes are defined in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy as containing four characteristics: o 1. Beliefs about the nature of man; o 2. Beliefs about ideals, about what is good or desirable or worthy of pursuit for its own sake; o 3. Rules laying down what ought to be done and what ought not to be done; and o 4. Motives that incline us to choose the right or wrong course Utilitarianism stresses the important of rules in pursuing what is good or desirable, whereas deontology examines the motives of the ethical decision maker The key aspects to utilitarianism are, first, that ethicality is assessed on the basis of non-ethical consequences. Next, ethical decisions should be oriented towards increasing happiness and/or reducing pain, where happiness and pain can be either physical or psychological. Furthermore, happiness and pain relate to all of society and not just to the personal happiness or pain of the decision maker. Finally, the ethical decision maker must be impartial and not give extra weight to personal feelings when calculating the overall net probably consequences of a decision.
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