Definition not a matter of rational examination

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definition not a matter of rational examination. Appealing to revelation is very different from assessing the validity of an ethical claim in a way that appeals to anyone’s ability to reflect on its justifiability, no matter whether they believe in divine revelation or not. ETHICS AND THE RELIGION 2 To see this, ask yourself the following question: Does the fact that Catholic religious authorities in 17th-century France issued what was recognized as a legitimate religious act, a curse against insects and animals, carry any weight in ethical decision making for us today? Again, issues are never simple and clear cut, and there is also a position according to which faith and reason are compatible. But note that if your conception of religious belief is such that it is compatible with reason, then there should be no problem for you to just rely on that portion of your religious beliefs that is compatible with rational justification. This is significant, since rational justification is an important element of critical thinking. Rational justification in ethical analysis is what we will concentrate on in this course. THE ISSUE OF WHO OR WHAT MATTERS 1 By “who or what matters,” what is meant is: Who or what is owed moral consideration? What are the moral parties involved? In the analysis of a scenario or a case, the issue of who or what matters is closely tied to what moral issue the case presents. Now please go back to Ethics and the Law I . On that page, it was implied that the moral issue in our opening story was: What is the right way to deal with disaster and disaster relief? If this is the moral issue, then those who are involved in it are the farmers, of course, but also other members of the community who depend on the farmers’ crops and labor.
Given your answer to the question posed in Ethics and the Law I , whom do you identify as the parties involved in the scenario? THE ISSUE OF WHO OR WHAT MATTERS 2 If the moral issue identified in our opening story (which, remember, comes from a 17th- century legal record of something that actually happened) changes, then we might also need to modify what is a relevant party. Suppose we say that the moral issue was not just the misery of the farmers, but the farming methods that the community followed. Perhaps the wave of insect invasions the community experienced was is some way related to their farming practices, just as the dust storms in the American Plains during the 1930's were connected to farming practices prevalent in earlier decades. Some people could adopt the following as a sensible position: In addition to the farmers and other members of the wider human community affected by crop failures, one ought to recognize that the relation between farming practices and insect population is a relevant moral consideration. Some would go further and say that the relation of both human and insect populations to the land is a relevant moral consideration. The land and the populations of insects are a “what” rather than a “who.” The WHO’S WHO OF ETHICS

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