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Dean Lauer

PHI2396 NotesClass 3 January 15 2012Chapter 1Reasonuniversal applies to everyoneobjective not subjective applies to alltimelessutopian without placeconsistent eg math22 is always 4Ethical relativism is it intolerant to say that anothers choice or cultural beliefs are wrongThis answer depends on if you believe there are moral truths principles that are right and apply to everybody is there anything right Anything really not permittedPeople now saying its politically incorrect to criticize other cultures eg death penalty eating with handsepistemologytheory of knowledge is there truth Is anything really trueEthical relativism is the belief that we cannot make moral judgements about what people do when their actions are rooted in cultural practices and beliefshomosexuality in Ancient Greece was a positive thing men were preferredfood prohibitions eg pork in Islam and Judaismhijabs difficult to prove something is right or wrong ethicsethics comes from idea of familiarity or custom of habitwe tend to think what is normal is right and other traditions are wrong Argument vs relativismPlatorelativism is selfdefeatingSocratesSo you believe that each mans opinion is as good as anyone elses that is relativism its optimisticProtagoras relativistthats correctSocrateshow do you make a livingProtagorasI am a teacherSocratesYou admit you earn money teachingbut what can you possibly teach anyoneyou admit each persons opinion is as good as anyone elseswhat your students believe then is as good as anything you could possibly teach themhow can you possibly teach them anything once they learn that their opinions are as true as yours Essentially if there is ethical relativism then there is really no reason to be at school Video Immanuel Kants theory of deontologyduty based ethics depend on your own reason to discover moralityenlightenmenthe believed humans have moral freedom wanted to reconcile this idea with scientific determinismfirst critiquebetween phenomenal world and a numenal world unknownwe experience morality as a conflictmoral duty pulls us in one direction and bodily desires and self interests in anotherfreedom or autonomyour ability to reason resolves thismoral right and wrong depend on the interior choices of reason moral goodness lies inside us the ability of our reason to choose for itselfgood will is good simply in virtue of its willingits goodness lies in itself to act according to reason is how all humans should actit is everyones duty to followmaximrule that one personfollows universal law applies to everyonecategorical imperativeact only on those maxims you would be willing to have become universal lawssimilar to golden ruledo unto others as you would have them do unto you autonomous morality false promisingeg promise to pay back debt even if you know you wontcould this be universal law no For Kant the moral life is based on the same principles we believe everyone else should live by same rules we believe everyone should follow Would I be willing to have everyone do this eg a vagabondthe answer would be no therefore it is wrong for you to do itTreat everyone the sameimplies every person has equal worth and dignity Dignity for Kant means they are able to choose for themselves their purpose in life and values they will adoptnd2 version of categorical imperative Act in such a way that you never use human beings or yourself as means only treat them as endsthis means that I value your interests as important in themselves only want tyo do things that are not harmful to you you have your own judgements about what is good and not harmful to you and I respect thatwe treat people only as they consent to be treated Dont treat people as objects but as subjectsthey have their own ideas and judgementsevery human being is an end of themselves criticism of Kant are people truly free Real situations are complex difficult to define the maxim a person is acting on real selves are shaped by social circumstances are moral people acting from a sense of duty more out of concernKant disregards consequenceseg telling the truthdo you tell a murderer where his victim is hiding when you know and know he will kill him Kant would say yes tell the truthhe says we can never know for sure what the consequences will behe says therefore avoid the evil lying the consequences wont be out fault because we have done our duty Kant believed there were no true moral dilemmas Deontology Immanuel Kant 17241804liked rational thought eg mathwhat ought I doWhat gives an act moral worth The consequences of our acts are not always in our control our
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