week 1 notes.docx - 1 Ethics and the Unexamined Life u2013...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 6 pages.

1 Ethics and the Unexamined Life – Chapter 1 Your Ethics Read The Heinz Incident , and then decide which view presented below best represents each juror, as well as your own perspective. Ethical Relativism: There are no universal or objectively valid moral principles, for all moral judgments are simply a matter of individual human opinion or the collective opinion of a particular society. Ethical Objectivism: There are universal and objectively valid moral principles. The following views all represent ethical objectivism: Ethical Egoism: People ought always to do only what is in their own self-interest. The Divine Command Theory: The right actions are those that are willed by God, and thus God and His inspired Word literally defines right and wrong Utilitarianism: The right action is the one that produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people . Kantian Ethics: We have absolute moral duties that are determined by reason and should be fulfilled regardless of the potential consequences on either the individual or the society. In addition, the correct moral choice should support both the categorical imperative and the means-end principle. Virtue Ethics: An ethical theory that focuses on those character traits that make someone a good, virtuous, and admirable person rather than simply on the actions the person performs. Ethics and the Examined Life Ethics, “or moral philosophy, is the philosophical study of morality.” (3) Morality “refers to beliefs concerning right and wrong, good and bad – beliefs that can include judgments, values, rules, principles, and theories.” (3) “They help guide our actions, define our values, and give us reasons for being the persons we are” (3) Briefly stated, ethics addresses the ancient question: “How ought we to live?”
2 Ethics and the Examined Life “What is at stake when we do ethics? In an important sense, the answer is everything that we hold dear. Ethics is concerned with values: specifically, moral values. Through the shifting and weighing of moral values we determine what the most important things are in our lives...” (3) For what cause, or person, would I be willing to sacrifice my time, energy, or perhaps my life? What virtues or life goals should I pursue? What is it that I believe? Are there moral values that I would never compromise? Never? Why? What are they? Ethics and the Examined Life “Ethics does not give us a royal road to moral truth. Instead, it shows us how to ask critical questions about morality and systematically seek answers supported by good reasons.” (5) What are the key words or phrases in the above statement?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture