Topic_03 - GE125 Ethics and Sustainability SOC10236 Ethics...

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1 GE125 Ethics and Sustainability SOC10236 Ethics and Sustainability Aster Cheuk Topic 3
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2 CONSEQUENTIAL ETHICAL THEORIES 1. Divine command theory 2. Ethical relativism 3. Ethical egoism 4. Utilitarianism 5. Duty ethics 6. Virtue ethics 7. Ethics of care 8. Communitarian ethics 9. Ethical pluralism
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3 Objectives differentiate consequential from nonconsequential ethical theories describe ethical egoism define and distinguish act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism discuss the ethics of care evaluate the just war doctrine discuss the rights of animals in the context of utilitarianism.
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4 Types of Ethical Theories Consequentialist ethical theories the belief that an act is good or bad based on the consequences of the act consequentialists consider the comparative consequences of alternative actions the right action is the one that leads to the best consequences, similar to the notion that the end justifies the means . Nonconsequentialist ethical theories the reasoning that motivates the act divine command theory which is a nonconsequential ethical theory as it asserts that an act is intrinsically good if it is God’s will, regardless of possible consequences.
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5 Motive-Act-Consequence model The motive-act-consequence model enables ethical theories to be distinguished by evaluating actions in terms of the actor’s underlying motive nature of the act itself, (is it inherently right or wrong?) anticipated consequences of the act.
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6 Scenario A doctor with limited medical resources is attempting to save the lives of two people. One dying person is a brilliant researcher already credited with saving many human lives. The second dying person is a known criminal. How does the doctor decide which person to save first? Should the doctor consider each patient’s probability of survival and their respective life expectancies? Should the doctor consider the potential contribution to society of each patient, in other words the likely consequences of medical intervention? Should the doctor ensure the survival of the researcher even if it increases the risk of the other patient dying?
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7 Scenario Nonconsequentialists focus on the intrinsic nature of the act itself; saving lives is intrinsically good and the doctor is morally obligated to attempt to save both lives.
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8 Consequentialist ethical theories Favour actions that result in good consequences Two major consequentialist theories: Ethical egoism Utilitarianism
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9 Ethical egoism Identifies self interest as the main ethical focus. Focused on the consequences of an act for oneself. A good example of ethical egoism is the modern market economy which consists of many individuals striving to increase their own personal wealth. Many economists, including the famous Adam
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This document was uploaded on 03/26/2011.

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Topic_03 - GE125 Ethics and Sustainability SOC10236 Ethics...

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