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PHIL 2120 (3)
Chapter 3


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University of Guelph
PHIL 2120
John Hacker- Wright

ETHICS CHAPTER 3 Moral Judgments and Personal Preferences: - It is possible for two different expressions of personal preference to be true at the same time. - There is a difference between types of personal preference and moral judgments. i.e. Jack says he likes to go to beach compared to Jack saying abortion is right. In the second case we want to know if Jack is correct rather than what he likes so we need justification. Moral rights cannot be determined by find out personal preferences. Why Thinking It Does Not Make It So: - The same is true about what people think. If one person thinks it is right to help people are not off, while one person disagrees they are both stating what they think and it is possible for both to be true. - However, if one DENIES what the other person states then he believes he is CORRECT and does not merely think that. The Irrelevance of Statistics: - Since there is strength in numbers the correct method for answering problems is to find out what most people think or feel. - All that polls can reveal is what most people feel or think though. For instance, many people change their minds over time as things are subject to change. I.e. everyone use to think world was flat. AKA in the end people CAN be wrong. - Therefore majority cannot be an answer to questions. The Appeal to a Moral Authority: - Suppose there is someone who is never mistaken. If the person judges something wrong, it is wrong and vice versa. This person is called a moral authority. - Most people who think there is a mortal authority think this is God. Since God is already a very controversial topic it is difficult to base right versus wrong from it. - However, problems with God go even further as if there is a God then do people always understand what God says? For instance, some people who think we were created to be vegetarians think they find evidence in bible that God thinks so too, while other find evidence that God does not. - Therefore, even if there is a moral authority it would not make it easy to find out right and wrong as the problem of figuring out Gods opinion would still be unknown. - We rely on things once we actually see it done and have proof to, making this especially difficult. Since there are no credentials to test for God’s actions then it cannot be a method of answering moral questions. SQ 2: Can moral disagreements ever be resolved by statistics?  No moral disagreements cannot be resolved by statistics as taking a poll of majorities opinion can be flawed. People can be wrong as many things change over time. CHAPTER 6: - There can be rules, which prohibit what isn’t wrong- like a law criticizing the government. A rule can also be bad because it requires something that IS wrong- like a law that requires racial segregation in hotels and restaurants. -
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