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Philosophical Approaches to Ethical ReasoningUtilitarianismoEssentially permits all conducts that will serve the objective of maximizing the social utility. (Ie. the social benefit or good)Deontological (Rule-based approach)oWe can identify and apply certain threshold standards of moral behavioroExample: Golden Rule-treat others as you wish to be treated standardVirtue EthicsoConcentrates on the actor attempting to become a virtuous person in all aspects, rather than on outcomesA Moral Minimum: (NOT ON TEST)o Honestyo Loyaltyo Keeping commitmentso Doing no harmA Moral Code1. Negative appraisals of certain acts of harming others2. Values pertaining to reciprocity and fairness3. Requirement concerning behaving in a manner befitting one’s status in the social hierarchy4. Regulations clustering around bodily matters generally dominated by concepts of purity andpollutionThe two factors that children seem to use to distinguish moral principles from simple conventions are fairness and harm to othersSelf-focused sentiments such as shame, embarrassment, regret, and guilt often lead people to act consistently with perceived moral principlesMoral Reasoning and Decision Making (KNOW THIS)o Identifying issuesProblems have to be defined narrowly enough so that we have the ability to analyze them adequately and exercise some degree of influence over the outcomeo Identifying governing principlesFor every issue there are governing principles or rules that guide or limit our decisionWill be specificor generaland characterized by varying degrees of certaintyor acceptanceo Collecting informationNeed to do what we can to verify the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of that informationo Applying the factsMust determine how the identified moral obligations should apply to these particular factso Balancing competing obligations
Weigh and balance these obligations against one anotherHighly qualitative and involves a degree of subjectivity (personal opinion)o Excusing conditionsAre there any excusing conditions that might lessen the strength of one obligation relativeto another??o Conflict reductionAre there ways to minimize conflict???o PrioritizingWhen we cannot eliminate a moral dilemma, we must choose between the obligations that we will attempt to satisfyEvaluate the harm by taking into account both degreeof harm and probabilitythat the harm will occuro Making a moral decisionTake action or in some cases inactionWhy?1.It increases our chances of having better and more complete information on which to basea decision2.It lowers the risk of completely overlooking an important issue3.It improves our chances of making a decision that best balances the various conflicting interests that may be present.