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186_slides - Mistakes in Moral Reasoning Arbitrariness...

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Mistakes in Moral Reasoning Arbitrariness Relying on gut feeling Being overly emotional Partisanship Appealing to Moral Authorities
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Good Moral Reasoning Moral judgments are not mere preferences, but must be: based on facts, defended in terms of reasons, which can be articulated.
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Self Interest Appealing to self interest when you should appeal to moral standards. Problem becomes habitual would result in war of all against all.
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Morality and Religion “Morality depends on religion.” Motivational claim: Religion motivates people to do the right thing and is the only motivation for right action. Problem: Some people do the wrong thing for religious reasons, some people do the right thing for reasons which are independent of religion. Justification: Religion provides the only justification for morality.
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Religion as a justification for morality Practical problem: people with differing religions will not be able to share moral reasons. Theoretical problem: Right and wrong cannot just be a matter of God’s will.
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Cultural Relativism Definition: You morally ought to do whatever your society thinks is right. Problems How do I know the rules? Suppose I disagree with my society? What about moral reformers? How can we criticize other societies?
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Characteristics of Leaders with Integrity Awareness of own values, of other values Ability to communicate own values, common values Ability to assess consequences Respect for others Care for others, and ability to foster relationships Virtues courage, honesty, humility Fairness Professional Ethics
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Arguments based on consequences We have a serious problem. There are these options: A, B, C. The consequences of doing A are bad. The consequences of doing B are bad. The consequences of doing C are good. Therefore, we should do C.
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Act Utilitarianism One ought to do the action which will create more social utility than any alternative possible action. Social utility: overall balance of negative and positive utility, over long term, for all concerned. Decision procedure: List all concerned Consider all alternatives Calculate the overall utility of each alternative for all concerned
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Utilitarians differ about: What counts as utility happiness pleasure well-being preferences mixed bag of goods Who should be counted all humans some humans all sentient creatures all creatures
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Some problems Measurement How do we measure utility? Average or total? How can we predict consequences? Problems of implementation What do we do when we’re in a hurry?
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