Philosophical Approaches to Ethical Reasoning Utilitarianism o Essentially

Philosophical approaches to ethical reasoning

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Philosophical Approaches to Ethical Reasoning Utilitarianism o Essentially permits all conducts that will serve the objective of maximizing the social utility. (Ie. the social benefit or good) Deontological (Rule-based approach) o We can identify and apply certain threshold standards of moral behavior o Example: Golden Rule-treat others as you wish to be treated standard Virtue Ethics o Concentrates on the actor attempting to become a virtuous person in all aspects, rather than on outcomes A Moral Minimum: (NOT ON TEST) o Honesty o Loyalty o Keeping commitments o Doing no harm A Moral Code 1. Negative appraisals of certain acts of harming others 2. Values pertaining to reciprocity and fairness 3. Requirement concerning behaving in a manner befitting one’s status in the social hierarchy 4. Regulations clustering around bodily matters generally dominated by concepts of purity and pollution The two factors that children seem to use to distinguish moral principles from simple conventions are fairness and harm to others Self-focused sentiments such as shame, embarrassment, regret, and guilt often lead people to act consistently with perceived moral principles Moral Reasoning and Decision Making (KNOW THIS) o Identifying issues Problems have to be defined narrowly enough so that we have the ability to analyze them adequately and exercise some degree of influence over the outcome o Identifying governing principles For every issue there are governing principles or rules that guide or limit our decision Will be specific or general and characterized by varying degrees of certainty or acceptance o Collecting information Need to do what we can to verify the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of that information o Applying the facts Must determine how the identified moral obligations should apply to these particular facts o Balancing competing obligations
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Weigh and balance these obligations against one another Highly qualitative and involves a degree of subjectivity (personal opinion) o Excusing conditions Are there any excusing conditions that might lessen the strength of one obligation relative to another?? o Conflict reduction Are there ways to minimize conflict??? o Prioritizing When we cannot eliminate a moral dilemma, we must choose between the obligations that we will attempt to satisfy Evaluate the harm by taking into account both degree of harm and probability that the harm will occur o Making a moral decision Take action or in some cases inaction Why? 1. It increases our chances of having better and more complete information on which to base a decision 2. It lowers the risk of completely overlooking an important issue 3. It improves our chances of making a decision that best balances the various conflicting interests that may be present.
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