Lecture2_Ethical Theories Debates.pdf - Ethics in Science and \u0000\b\u001d Engineering Bioengineering 100 Fall 2014 UC Berkeley Reading Assignment Chapter 2

Lecture2_Ethical Theories Debates.pdf - Ethics in Science...

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Lecture 2 Ethics in Science and Engineering Bioengineering 100 Fall 2014 UC Berkeley Reading Assignment: Chapter 2 Ethics of Emerging Technologies T. F. Budinger and M. D. Budinger P. Ak (2006) “The Moral Element”, Nature 443 pg. 397
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Lecture 2 Morals and Ethics The term morals refers to more personal or cultural beliefs of self-conduct or behavior in others or groups. The term ethics refers to systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior for individuals or groups (broadly defined) .
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Lecture 2 Greek Philosophers on the Virtues [1] (1) Early ethical definitions around the time of Homer (8th to 6th B.C) developed the concept of role-defined ethics: What is the role purpose and what excellences are needed? (2) But not all Greek physicians agreed on the role definition of a good physician. (3) Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and others attempted to move ethical parameters away from individual task-roles to the moral role of all individuals in a functional society. Further systemization of ethics continued….
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Lecture 2 Natural Law Theory (1) Stoic philosophers of Roman times argued that the physical world imposed its own type of natural rules for societal behavior. Principle of totality: changes are permitted that allow the entire body to function for purpose. (2) The belief in superiority of knowledge and facts also led to an elitist view: Eugenics… Summary: What defines natural law , or what violates natural law will change over time, making it an unsturdy foundation for systematic moral argument.
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Lecture 2 Virtue Ethics vs. Religious Ethics (1)Virtue ethics stems from the belief that goodness should come from within an individual- and not dictated by a supreme being. (2)By contrast religious ethics reflected the view that we are all created in the image of God- and that our genetics were in principle already perfected. No individual was more genetically perfect than another. It extended the Hippocratic view of the sanctity of all life, and emphasized compassion toward the poor or different. Summary: Religious ethics took some personal decision in ethical matters away from the individual to be guided by a supreme being- we will see that Kantian ethics rejected this view.
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Lecture 2 Social Contract Theory (Rule Ethics) Thomas Hobbes believed that individuals are by nature selfish so that human society evolves to maximize this self-interest at the expense of the public good. Social contract theory advocates for a society of moral and legal rules, backed by force of opinion and law, which is in everyone s self interest. It is an example of a rational approach to ethics not strictly grounded in a Supreme being. However it still typically is implemented with a mortal sovereign who is the last word on imposing the social contract.
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