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ETHICS Chapter #5
Ethics Chapter #5
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06/15/2006

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Term
Non-Consequential Theories
Definition
Virtue-Ethics / Natural Law / Natural Rights / Kants Theory / Contractarianism

theories base morality on factors other than the results or outcomes of actions. These other factors can include duties, obligations, rights, laws of nature, or social contracts
Term
Virtue-Ethics
Definition
theory of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle focuses primarily on personal character, and emphasize the goal of personl excellence by doing the right thing as a result of focusing on certain virtuous character traits
Term
Natural Law
Definition
theory emphasizes conduct based upon the perceived order inherent in the universe
- Thomas Aquinas
Term
Natural Rights
Definition
theory emphasizes the exclusive protection of and reliance upon basic human rights. JOHN LOCKE's key principle is the fundamental duty to avoid violating the rights of others
- JOHN LOCKE
Term
Kant's Theory
Definition
bases moral right and wrong on self-derived moral duties determined through reason and intuition. The theory is founded on individual moral autonomy and the Categorial Imperative, which includes the ethical principles of UNIVERSALITY and RESPECT FOR PERSONS
- Immanual Kant
Term
Contractarianism
Definition
"Ethics as Fiarness" theory bases ethics on the value of justice and fairness. Since people's perceptions of fairness are influenced by personal self-interest, this theory provides processes to help remove self-interest from personal considerations, enabling people to understand what an ideal, fair solution would be.
- JOHN RAWLS
"Think as if,"
Term
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Definition
originator of the idea of "SOCIAL CONTRACT" - all societies have some sort of mutual understanding of right and wrong that all members share. - a shared, understood, mutual agreement.

(believed an ethical person to be one who lives within the perameters of your society's social contract)
Term
Universality
Definition
Immanual Kant's principle - states that we should base our ethical decisions on what we would logically want the universal moral standard to be for everyone.
Term
"Good Will"
Definition
Kant's assumption that our desire as humans to do the right thing, coupled with self-discipline and determined logical thinking, can overcome our own self-interested wants and needs.

(we are capable of pure logical reasoning, instead of reasoning based on self-interest ...disinterested..)
Term
John Rawls
Definition
Contractarianism - sees fairness as the central value in ethics
- to turn self-interested motivation into disinterested reasoning -
Example: the cake & the child cutting it equally)
- His theory is how things "ought" to be (fair), not how they really are.
Term
Original Position
Definition
Rawl's thinking- a hypothetical imaginary situation in which the participants in a social contract deliberate about the rules of conduct that will be strictly followed once they enter the society.

Example: Imagine picturing a stadium filled with people discussing & arguing what their social contract should be.
Term
the 4 CENTRAL VALUES or goods (belived that all rational contractors would try to get for themselves while voting in the original position)
- JOHN RAWLS
Definition
1) Rights & Liberties

2) Powers & Opportunities

3) Income & Wealth

4) Self-Respect
Term
Rights & Liberties
Definition
one of the 4 Central Values by John Rawls -

the contractors would want as many personal rights and freedoms as possible
Term
Powers & Opportunities
Definition
one of the 4 Central Values - RAWLS
- Everyone would want as much power & influence on society as possible. They would also want as many opportunites as possible to improve their lives and advance their interests.
Term
Income & Wealth
Definition
one of the 4 Central Values - RAWLS
- Humans require food and shelter, Money and material posessions are necessary to consistenly meet these basic needs, as well as to enjoy life's luxuries and ameneties. All participants would recognize their financial interests and would try to get money and material posessions for themselves.
Term
SELF-RESPECT
Definition
one of the 4 Central Values - RAWLS
- In Rawl's view, this one is most important. Self- respect is one of our deepest human needs, and Rawls believes it would be irrational for people to sacrifice personal self-respect for money or power(although humans seem to do so far too often). Thus, the contractors will vote for principles and policies that maximize3 personal self-respect, and avoid any that would endanger it.
Term
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Definition
originator of the idea of Social Contract

(Rawls used this in his Contractarianism)
Term
JOHN LOCKE
Definition
NATURAL RIGHTS THEORY - humans have moral rights endowed by nature or God.
Term
IMMANUAL KANT
Definition
Kant's Theory - based on the assumption that humans have a "good will" (ignoring our personal interests was one of Kant's prerequisites)
Universality (this was borroed by Rawls for Contractarianism)
Term
Virtues
Definition
Character Traits - that make up a moral life
Plato's 4:Self-Control(temperence), Courage, Wisdom, Justice

Virtue Ethics - focuses on personal excellence by doing the right thing
Term
The "Golden Mean"
Definition
ARISTOTLE's most unique ethical concept - defn. of virtues as being perfectly balanced between opposing, undesirable extremes

(Ex:Cowardice - COURAGE - Foolhardiness)
Term
Moral Virtues Vs. Intelectual Virtues
Definition
both maintained by ARISTOTLE

MORAL - lead to social success(successful) Self-Control, Courage, Gentleness, Witiness

INTELECTUAL - reflect what is unique and important about Human Nature
REASON, Rationality, Wisdom, Knowledge
Term
6 types of Basic Human Rights
Definition
1)SECURITY RIGHTS - protect people against murder, torture,etc.

2)DUE PROCESS RIGHTS - protect against harshness & have fair trials

3)LIBERTY RIGHTS - protect people's freedoms

4)POLITICAL RIGHTS - protect political protesting, voting & assembling

5)EQUALITY RIGHTS - equal citizenship, no discrimination

6)WELFARE RIGHTS - provide education & protect from starvation & poverty
Term
Assumptions of NATRUAL RIGHTS Theory
Definition
1)Humans have rights & others have duty to avoid violating these rights

2)Rights from God or Human Nature

3)The Rights are the foundation of Ethics

4)the INDIVIDUAL = more important than the group

5)Human nature is Self-Interested and Individualistic

(people generally act according to their own needs & interests - we owe no moral duties to others)
Term
ETHICAL PROBLEMS
Definition
ETHICAL DILEMMA- something not uncommon, we've heard of this before & worked through these cases

ETHICAL UNCERTAINTY- something that has never happened before, no idea about the outcome (ex: siamese twins attached at abdomen)

ETHICAL DISTRESS- you know exactly what is going on, but you have no authority about what to do
Term
Non-Consequential Theories
Definition
1) Virtue-Ethics

2) Natural Law

3) Natural Rights

4) Immanual Kant's Theory (Kantism)

5) Contractarianism

theories base morality on factors other than the results or outcomes of actions. these other factors can include duties, obligations, rights, laws of nature, or social contract
Term
Aristotle's Ethics
Definition
came up with the concept "the GOLDEN MEAN" - his conception of Virtues as being perfectly balanced between opposing, undesirable extremes

observed TELEOLOGY - in Nature, every kind of thing exists for a purpose (to do something)
Term
Teleology
Definition
every kind of thing has a purpose (or a proper function) - it exists to do something unique & special
(ex: trees function to oxygenate the planet)

teleos: "end", "goal" or "purpose" - you would consider the end or outcome of your decision in this theory
Term
Character Traits of Morally Mature people
Definition
Responsible, Honesty, Loyal, Knowledgeable

Plato believed in Virtue-Ethics: "Happy, fulfilled people tend to be Morally Mature people"
Term
Plato's 4 Classic Virtues
Definition
Self- Control (temperence)

Courage

Wisdom

Justice
Term
LOCKE's thinking on Rights
Definition
Human nature is Individualistic

- we have Positive & Negative Rights

It's "every man for himself" world and we don't owe each other much

Maintained almost ALL Rights are NEGATIVE.

(making a promise implies an obligation, Positive Rights generally result from promises)
Term
2 Types of Rights & what each means
Definition
POSITIVE - have a positive right to something, someone else "owes" you -
Ex: children having positive rights to basic necessities of life - parents "owe" them food, shelter, clothing, etc.

NEGATIVE- freedom from interference with others
-no one else "owes" -
-you have to get it for yourself
-others should not Interfere Unfairly as you try to get it
Term
Natural Rights Theory
Definition
Non-Consequential Theory

JOHN LOCKE - the "Equal Liberties Principal"

*Natural Rights heavily influenced America's founders!*

Assumption: ALL Humans have Equal Rights & human nature = very individualistic
Term
Virtue Ethics
Definition
Non-Consequential Theory "Do as I Do"

based on REASON over superstition

*Purpose of life= happiness & fulfillment (Maslow's hierarchy of needs)

Ethics= the search for the "good life"
Term
Problems with Virtue Ethics
Definition
1)who picks the virtues everyone should follow?

2)it can lead to Ethical Relativism (what makes one virtue better than another or more important?)

3)can lead to "CHARACTER TRAP"
(people already think they are good)
Term
Who were the "Great Lights" of Ancient Greece?
Definition
Socrates / Plato / Aristotle
Term
Socrates / Plato / Aristotle
Definition
SOCRATES- oral teacher, martyr, social irritant - paved the way ... Reason over superstition

PLATO- student of Socrates, best writer, founded the "Academy", wrote the "Republic", we know Socrates existed because of his Dialogues(conversations) writing..

ARISTOTLE- best thinker, organizer, Naturalisic & Scientist - opened school of philosophy "Lyceum"
- he came behind Socrates & Plato w/ collective thoughts & ideals
Term
Steps in applying Virtue Ethics
Definition
1)Assume the natural human desire for happiness and fulfillment

2)Determine the Virtues called for by the situation

3)Evaluate options by balancing various virtues on the "Golden Mean" Continuum

4)Choose the wisest course of action, consistent with the virtues of the Golden Mean
Term
Steps in applying Natural Rights Theory
Definition
1)Consider all possible actions

2)Eliminate any options that clearly violate anyone's negative rights

3)Determine whether any remaining options represent positive rights (and their duties)

4)All actions that do not violate any positive or negative rights are morally ethically permissable

(JOHN LOCKE)
Term
Virtue-Ethics
Definition
Independent Character Traits
Term
"Golden Mean"
Definition
Aristotle
Term
Natural Rights
Definition
John Locke
Term
Immanual Kant
Definition
during a religious rebellion time

Primary goal: to free PEOPLE from teh domination of moral authorities by SEPARATING RELIGION AN MORALITY
Term
Categorical Imperative - Kant's KEY Principles
Definition
UNIVERSALITY -act constanly with the universal standard & RESPECT FOR PERSONS
Term
Kant's DEONTOLOGY (deontology= ethical theory concerned with DUTY & rights)
Definition
The result of Kant's system is freedom (autonomy) /
Freedom from OTHERS (moral authorities / FREEDOM from SELF(self-destrucitve desires)
Term
CONTRACTARIANISM
Definition
JOHN RAWLS' central problem
- Humans are self-centered
/ How could we have a "FAIR" society?
Term
THE VEIL OF IGNORANCE
Definition
Contractors=voters / = a "backwards blindfold" - you're only able to see a little of the info (like in scenarios we're only given part to begin)

-the Veil of Ignorance forces people to vote "DISINTERESTEDLY"- not aimed towards any specific persons interests (Pure Reason)
Term
Rawl's Blended Theory
Definition
EGOISM- Human nature self-centered / VIRTUE-ETHICS- primary goods (courageous, responsible) / KANT- Univerality(like the Golden Rule), disinterested reasoing / NATURAL RIGHTS- Equal Liberties Principle, protect individual rights / UTILITARIANISM- contractors vote to benefit as many as possible, though PROTECTING THE LEAST ADVANTAGED
Term
DIVINE COMMAND THEORY
Definition
God's Will IS Ethics! Without God there are no ethics or morals.
-This can include any religion if they belive in a DIVINE BEING.
-Whatever God does not prohibit is morally permitted, whatever God forbids is morally excluded and whatever God commands is morally required.
Term
In search of God's will, one may:
Definition
-USE HUMAN REASON(interpretation)-environment, language taught - RELY ON CONSCIENCE - USE PRAYER(communication) - Include SACRED SCRIPTURE (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) - REQUIRE FAITH(belive in unknown) "Hope" - FASTS - PILGRIMAGES(missionary trips)
Term
Self-Will
Definition
allows one to choose between good & evil
Term
Interpretation
Definition
leads to varying religious beliefs. God's commands may be interpreted as general (ex: "Do not Kill")
Term
Confucian, Buddhism, Taoism(Dowism) all believed what?
Definition
they all believed in ENLIGHTENED HUMANS (not a divine being)
Term
Confucian
Definition
responsibility to humans
Term
Buddhism
Definition
Enlightened human
Term
Taoism (Dowism)
Definition
Natural- no Supreme Beings
Term
Steps in applying DIVINE COMMAND
Definition
- 1)Evaluate the Problem-identify the moral issue, what decision needs to be made?
- 2)Determine God's will-by consulting various resources
- 3)Make a Decision confirming your behavior
- 4)Apply God's will to the situation