Moral Realism vs. Moral Relativism
Philosophers have argued the merits or existence of moral realism and moral relativism for some time. Generally, the argument is designed as an either or proposition, where only one argument can be true. This is not necessarily true when one takes the time to explore what is meant by moral realism vs. moral relativism (Streitfeld). Essentially, moral realism is an objective view while moral realism is a subjective view (Streitfeld)
Moral realism holds that a thing is either right or it is wrong (Kim). Further, a moral realist would aver that there are never extenuating circumstances that would change whether or not a something is right or wrong (Kim). In other words, there are moral facts which govern us all, and regardless of what the social or cultural setting is, that fact can never waiver (Kim). It cannot waiver because it is a fact, not…… [Read More]
Then morality is relative, not absolute (Kreeft)
One weakness of moral relativism consists of the consequences of not having moral constraints (Kreeft 2003). Correct or good morality, if valid, should always have good consequences. Incorrect or bad morality should always have bad consequences. The fact is that all wrong or immoral acts and attitudes bring on "good" or pleasant feelings. Moral relativism has never produced people worthy of praise. It has never produced good societies. History proves that the societies founded by Moses and Confucius lasted longer than those by Mussolino and Mao Tse Tung and that moral societies endure (Kreeft).
Tradition is not on the side of moral relativism. Moral absolutism is, in fact, the traditional morality (Kreeft 2003). It may be commonly thought that tradition is for snobs, but these snobs are really few and a minority. The truth of the matter is that absolutism has remained…… [Read More]
Rule-breakers received swift punishment. Deviation from the norm was not tolerated by law or by social convention. Just because a moral standard helps create a stable society does not mean that moral standard is just, good, or right. Finally, the use of coercion itself denotes an unnatural moral standard. It takes relatively little coercion to ensure that most people don't murder or steal. Most children internalize the types of moral standards that Rachels generally accepts as universal. By extension, some moral standards may be universal throughout time.
Rachels indirectly distinguishes between moral relativism and cultural relativism. Moral relativism assumes the total lack of universal ethical truths, the lack of any benchmark to measure right and wrong. Cultural relativism may refer to behaviors, customs and traditions that do not carry any moral stigma. Preferring potatoes over corn, or goat meat over chicken, is one way of describing cultural relativism that is…… [Read More]
Pollack. There has to be a time when people are willing to stand for what is right and in their beliefs. Unfortunately, time has proven that great losses come from standing behind a belief system or truth that is not held by all individuals involved. Conclusively, one would feel that punishment and lose is the payment for stepping out of the box, and pointing out errors, indiscretions etc. The question becomes, is honesty really the best policy? In Dr. Pollack's opinion, the answer is and will remain to be yes. He stood by his beliefs regardless of his losses, which were extreme, especially considering the fact he was trying to do right by the customer, and correct the errors that were taking place. Instead, he personally lost a substantial part of his salary and was demoted, not many people would have done that.
Nara Schoenberg, "A Man of Principle,"…… [Read More]
Similarly, when a member of society becomes too feeble to contribute, leaving them in the snow is deemed the proper solution. Both practices are deemed proper, as they increase the survival chances of the tribe as a whole. Thus, while another society may cringe at the idea of infanticide and leaving the elderly to die, Eskimo societies see the survival of the tribe as the paramount concern.
There are many examples throughout history illustrating the difficulty of judging other cultures by one's own ethical yardstick. Thus, instead of being preoccupied with questions of whose society is superior, moral relativists believe that all actions should be judged within their cultural context. An action such as infanticide, no matter how abhorrent it may seem, may then be an ethical action in a society that values collective survival over the rights of one individual.… [Read More]
n "Some Moral Minima," Lenn Goodman argues things simply wrong. Do Goodman ? Using specific examples, explore challenges Goodman presents relativism. Determine universal moral requirements, defend answer.
Moral minima: Goodman's arguments against relativism
Given the increasing globalization of modern society, combined with the influence of postmodernism, the philosophy of moral relativism has become increasingly popular and accepted within the academy. However, according to Lenn E. Goodman's essay "Some moral minima," some things are 'just wrong.' Goodman writes: "All living beings make claims to life" (Goodman 2010: 88). In other words, to protect the sanctity of human life, sometimes it is necessary to lay down certain absolute ground rules of morality that, regardless of cultural differences, must be obeyed. These include prohibiting: terrorism; hostage taking and child warriors; slavery, polygamy, and incest; and rape and female genital cutting (Goodman 2010: 88).
However, while these ideas may seem like 'no brainers'…… [Read More]
One relativistic belief that I find that some people hold is regarding abortion. Some people say, “Well, I would never have one,” implying that there is something immoral or unjustified about the action (at least in their case), and then they will follow that up with a statement like, “But I don’t think other people should be denied the right to have one,” suggesting that there is in fact nothing immoral or unjustifiable about it. This appears to me to be a case of, “What’s not good for me is not necessarily bad for you.” While some philosophers, like Kant, might argue that relativism is part of understanding how morality must be viewed in individual cases, other philosophers will suggest that just as there is a subjective side to judgment there is also an objective side to judgment and that some actions can be judged objectively as immoral, even if…… [Read More]
Seeing how the Prime Directive should no longer apply, Picard was free to do whatever was necessary in order to save his crewman. However, the advanced technology employed by the aliens forced Picard to argue for the life of Wesley Crusher. His argument centers around the idea that this conflict is over whether or not moral universalism, or moral relativism would apply in the case of Wesley Crusher. Picard argues that the Federation does not interfere with other cultures because they believe that all cultures have equally value and the capacity for development. However, they are dealing with an alien race that is violating that principle. The aliens have decided that their moral universalism is correct for the Edo, and by extension, anyone who visits their planet. But Picard argues, correctly, that each culture must respect the rights of other cultures to develop in their own way. And the Prime…… [Read More]
Like Midgley, Bailey would expect the company to conduct its opeations and make the same decisions that would be equied in its native society. Moe impotantly, Bailey would likely also ague that the company has a moal duty to espond to the situation even if it wee the case that its native society ecognized no such moal obligation.
Both Bailey and Midgley would pobably equie the company to conside the natue of the hams caused by its poduct and to take easonable measues to pevent those hams completely iespective of any obligation o expectation in that egad by any society. Thei view would be that moality is a matte of objective pinciple and not subjective values and that allowing the types of hams descibed as a esult of pofit-making entepises is always immoal and always imposes a moal obligation, by objective pinciple, on the manufactue to take appopiate measues to…… [Read More]
Moral Minima" by Lenn E. Goodman. (2010) The Good Society 19(1): 87-94
Discussion of morality is almost always contentious. Who defines morality? Whose morality is it? Can one culture's morality be imposed on another's? Can the Westerners judge non-Westerns based on Western understandings of morality and vice versa? These are obviously legitimate questions. Philosophers, social scientists, human rights activists, politicians, and even criminals engage in this debate. In the last sixty years, advocates of diversity and respect for all cultures have condemned old colonial and racial classifications of the world, arguing that cultural practices of different nations must be analyzed and understood within the context of these specific nations. These people are generally called "moral relativists," especially by critics of such a view. Critics argue that moral relativism is morally bankrupt and that it ends up justifying abhorrent practices around the world. They argue that there are certain practices that…… [Read More]
Moral Community: A group in America that is clearly being marginalized politically and socially is the community of undocumented immigrants. An estimated 11.1 million immigrants are living and working in the United States, and notwithstanding that the U.S. Senate and the executive branch have passed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, the Republicans resist supporting this legislation. Cultural relativism helps to understand why 11.1 million people are being denied the right to work towards citizenship. Cultural relativism: the beliefs of one culture (in this case, those immigrants that are not yet citizens) should also be understood by others (in this case conservatives don't relate to the cultural beliefs of immigrants and vice-versa). A conservative "moral argument" is that there are a limited amount of goods and jobs in the U.S. And immigrants take these away from citizens here legally, but cultural bias and racism also certainly play…… [Read More]
elativism and Mortality
Goodman and elativism
For centuries, philosophers have debated the nature of our ethics and laws. Many have seen them as a relative concept, under the structure of relativism, where there is no universal foundation for the structure of ethics and law because individual societies differ so dramatically and should have their own ethical structures relative to their unique needs and structures. However, Lenn E. Goodman tends to disagree with this concept as seen in contemporary practice, stating that such a philosophy leaves the environment too open for interpretation and impractical for modern use, and as such some concepts within in relativism are simply off track.
elativism is a concept within philosophy and ethics that asserts there is no specific universal truth or need. ather, as each society varies, so do its own unique truths and needs. In this regard, the ethics, laws, and assertions within each society…… [Read More]
Such differences may lead us to question whether there are any universal moral principles or whether morality is merely a matter of "cultural taste" (Velasquez, Andre, Shanks and Meyer: 1).
If there is no transcendent ethical or moral standard, then cultural relativists argue that culture becomes the ethical norm for determining whether an action is right or wrong. This ethical system is known as cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is the view that all ethical truth is relative to a specific culture. hatever a cultural group approves is considered right within that culture. Conversely, whatever a cultural group condemns is wrong (Relativism: 2).
The key to the doctrine of "cultural relativism" is that right and wrong can only be judged relative to a specified society. There is no ultimate standard of right and wrong by which to judge culture. Proponents of cultural relativism believe this cultural diversity proves that culture alone…… [Read More]
The ideas of Thomas Hobbes, the influential English philosopher who lived in the late 1500s to middle 1600s, are still considered important today. Hobbes is best remembered for his ideas on political philosophy. While Hobbes throughout his life championed the idea of absolutism for the sovereign he also is responsible for many of the fundamentals of Western political thought such as equality of men, individual rights, and the idea that all justifiable political power must be representative of the people (Edwards, 2002).
Hobbes also believed that human nature was such that people acted out of selfish-interests and if left to their own devices would do anything to get what they wanted or to acquire more power at the expense of others. Governments are then formed to shield people from their own selfishness; however he understood that even a King left unchecked would also act in a selfish manner…… [Read More]
Ethical and Moral Philosophies in Businesses
Ethical Moral Philosophies
Moral Philosophies Application to Business
According to Trevino and Nelson (2007), Philosophy describes a universal scheme of measures that people live by. From this definition, it follows that the moral philosophy defines specific rules or principles that people use to determine right and wrong. In essence, moral philosophy guides an individual's values and principles about moral and immoral issues (Trevino & Nelson, 2007). In business, moral philosophy will guide an individual in the evaluation of morally upright choices relating to their values and principles. Stansbury (2009) argue that moral philosophies are the ideal perspectives on matters that serve individuals with principles in an abstract form to facilitate their very social existence. The two moral philosophies considered in this paper are "Teleogy" and "elativism."
"Teleogy" is derived from the Greek word for purpose or end. In this philosophy, it is considered that…… [Read More]
Absolution vs. Relativism
Columnist illiam ineke points out that the real problem with relativism is that it gives no place to stop the slippery slide, no place to stand and say "no" (ineke pp). In other words, each step taken simply makes it easier to take the next step until, eventually, society finds no logical basis for saying "no" to anything (ineke pp). Yet, if the error of moral relativism is that it provides society with no real basis on which to say "no," then the error of objective morality is that it provides no real basis on which to say "yes" (ineke pp).
ineke uses the example of AIDS in Africa, citing Vatican ambassador to Zambia, Archbishop Orlando Antonini, who said "The use of condoms still constitutes a false solution to a real problem, although it is a burning issue in Africa" (ineke pp). However, ineke says, "millions of…… [Read More]
relativism as discussed by Gilbert Harmon. The writer of this paper uses a published article by Harmon to showcase his ideas about inner judgments and the basis for morality as well as other aspects of relativism. The writer also explores the cornerstones of Harmon's defense of sophisticated form of moral relativism. There was one source used to complete this paper.
Throughout history the theory of relativism has been debated in many circles. Some believe that relativism is a term that means nothing because it does not exist, while others believe it goes back to the basics of human nature. One expert believes that relativism can be discussed in its logical form and has explored his ideas about the sophisticated form of moral relativism (Harmon, 1975). Gilbert Harmon is well-known for his exploration of the theory of relativism and according to Harmon relativism is intricately tied to society's sophisticated evolvement in…… [Read More]
By Goodman's analysis, the systematic murder of one million people motivated by the specific intention of genocide is morally worse than the systematic murder of one million and one people selected arbitrarily. The author does not explain why the motivation for unjustified murder is such an important distinction; it would seem that unjustified murder is always wrong and that the scale of victims is always a more accurate measure of that moral offense than the reason or intent behind unjustified murder of innocent people.
Polygamy, Rape, Incest, and Genital Mutilation
Professor Goodman's reasoning about polygamy, rape, incest, and genital mutilation represent his weakest line of reasoning. Specifically, his view of polygamy completely ignores the issue of gender inequality and suggests that polygamy is necessarily harmful to women. The obvious counterargument is that this is only true because of the extent to which women are already objectified and comparatively powerless in…… [Read More]
Moral Objectivism to Moral Skepticism
(a) According to Kant, what is the difference between "a posteriori" knowledge and "a priori" knowledge? What kind of knowledge would the statement "All triangles have three sides" be? What about the statement "The 44th U.S. President is African-American"?
A posteriori knowledge is knowledge 'after the fact' or knowledge based upon experience, versus a priori knowledge, which is knowledge which can be based upon pure, deductive reasoning (Johnson 2014). The idea that all triangles by definition have three sides can be known a priori, based upon mathematical, deductive logic. However, the statement that the 44th U.S. President is an African-American requires experience to understand, given that the president's race (regardless of what that race might be) does not logically flow from the condition of being president.
(b) Upon a Utilitarian account, would the statement "The assassination of MLK was wrong" be an example of a…… [Read More]
Morality, Culture, And Environment
The ideas behind morality are very different based on the culture, society, and environment in which that morality is seen. Because of that, there are questions regarding exactly what morality is, and how it can be addressed or understood. In short, what is moral to one person may not seem moral to another. Society as a whole generally determines what is acceptable within that society, but once a person leaves that society and goes to another, there may be very different thoughts and feelings about morality in the new society to which the person has moved (Blackburn, 2001). That can be true from country to country, but a person does not have to leave his or her home country to find differing views of morality. Especially in the United States, where there are so many different types of people and regions seem to have very different…… [Read More]
Is it true that the "bottom line" of a business is profit and profit alone? Perhaps it is for some companies, but the idea of the “triple bottom line” has been around for quite some time—and it refers not just to profits but also to people and planet. The triple bottom line has received renewed interest since the rise of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) which refers to a company’s advocacy of and support for the values important to the “social, environmental and economic environment in which” the company operates (Castka, Bamber & Sharp, 2005, p. vii). When companies fail to consider the triple bottom line—the impact of their business operations on people and the planet as well as on profits—then they fall into that group of companies condemned by Feldman (2012) in his Sunday Review letter: such corporations fail to appreciate “how their obsession with the…… [Read More]
Moral relativism seems as polarizing as any individual moral belief, with objectivists insisting that some acts are immoral under all circumstances and relativists pointing to the intrinsic moral value of tolerance. In "Folk Moral elativism," Sarkissian et al. (2011) offers a more nuanced perspective somewhere between the two poles of absolute relativism and objectivism. To help clarify the differences between relativists and objectivists, Sarkissian et al. (2011) present a series of experiments highlighting the psychological tendencies toward either relativism or objectivism. As prior research illustrates, people do tend to be rather objectivist when it comes to making judgments about people from their own social and cultural milieu. Thus, an American person would claim that it is always wrong to steal candy from a baby in the United States. Sarkissian et al. (2011) went beyond the boundaries of prior research to show that people also tend to think in increasingly…… [Read More]
Descartes and Relativism
How might a philosopher such as Descartes reply to epistemic relativists such as Barnes and Bloor?
Philosophers who prescribe to the concept of moral and ethical relativism believed that right and wrong choices of any given situation are merely socially constructed and that what people decide fit into either of these categories is determined by the society in which the person lives. Philosophers through the ages have continually disagreed about the fundamental reasoning behind why people behave in the ways that they do. Relativists believe completely that moral standards and thus what constitutes ethical behaviors are relative in that they are socially constructed. What may be appropriate in one culture will not be considered moral or ethical in another social setting.
Descartes' most famous quotation "I think therefore I am" began the trend of philosophers to question truth and whether or not it even exists at all.…… [Read More]
elativity of Moral Truth
The viewpoints on moral truth are varied within circles of philosophic thought. Moral ethics are, for the most part, relative, though on what grounds of relative truth is a subject of much discussion. Three positions will be discussed in this paper: the topic of the Divine Command Theory, uth Benedict's beliefs in cultural relativism, and Thomas Nagel's morality of rational consistency. Of the three, Nagel's relative moral philosophy outweighs the philosophies of the former positions; Nagel further examines the prospect of human nature as an individual, as opposed to the Divine Command Theory's reliance on metaphysical beliefs and Benedict's cultural thought with respects to a dubious collective "culture."
Divine Command Theory presupposes that ethical and moral truths have been brought upon by the demand of God. This belief has dated as far back as Socrates and Euthyphro in Ancient Greek philosophy, and is further strengthened by…… [Read More]
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice developed as a cohesive field in the late twentieth century, with the establishment of the Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Journal, in 1998. The theory therefore represents a culmination of scholarly thought and analysis in the fields of philosophy, sociology, and psychology. As a cross-disciplinary theory, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice reveals the increasing hybridization of fields that relate to normative ethics.
Because Ethical Theory and Moral Practice is a relatively new field of scholastic inquiry, the field is currently "undergoing change," ("Ethical Theory and Moral Practice: How do they relate?" 2008). Changes reflect shifting social, economic, and political realities. Without falling pray to the traps of ethical relativism, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice remains heterogeneous and diverse.
The roots of the theory are difficult to trace because of the "disciplinary cross-pollination" that has occurred ("Ethical Theory and Moral Practice: How do they relate?" 2008).…… [Read More]
.....personal ethics derive from a combination of established codifications of moral conduct, such as those embedded in political documents or in religious scripture, but also from my personality, my upbringing, and my worldview. I tend towards a utilitarian point-of-view, in that I do believe that the consequences of actions are more important than worrying about whether an action is inherently right or wrong. I also believe that there are situational variables that make true deontological ethics almost impossible to apply universally and without hypocrisy. Although I make some decisions based on the principle of doing the maximum amount to good for the maximum number of people, I also recognize the importance of a strong ethical character when making decisions "Six Ethical Theories Rough Overview," n.d.). This is why I believe that there can be no one ethical theory that encompasses all situations. A person who has a strong ethical character,…… [Read More]
Lenn Goodman's "Some Moral Minima"
Lenn Goodman's essay "Some Moral Minima" cannot be said to fail in the usual sense, because his argument is not strictly faulty, only irrelevant. He argues that certain things are inherently wrong, which in the case of his argument is true but only because "right" and "wrong" are meaningless concepts, given use when applied to an event that itself gives them meaning. In fact, any notion of "morals" is by definition made-up, so any argument about right and wrong morals is as supportable with evidence as an argument about the relative combat capabilities of any given Jedi in the Star Wars series. There is supporting evidence, but only in the fictional universe in which the concepts exist. Therefore, Goodman's critique of relativism succeeds, but only in replacing one faulty conception of reality with another.
This essay will argue that "Some Moral Minima" suffers from faulty…… [Read More]
Even if we are vaguely aware the clerk may be charged -- it is his or her mistake, we say to ourselves. We think we have absolute ethical standards, but we function on a case-by-case basis when making decisions in reality. Does this mean, however, that absolute ethical standards are required to weigh against the negative consequences of relativism? Firstly, these examples highlight the difficulty of living by absolute standards, and how if standards are too inflexible, they may result in no standards at all. Even religions with strict universal standards often must have a lay and clergy distinction because it is so impossible to live by the standards of the faith, 'perfectly' according to their anti-materialist rules. Abstinence-only sexual education that does not acknowledge deviations from 'perfect' behavior might be the most ineffective pregnancy prevention program of all.
Acknowledging the subjective and relativistic nature of ethical schemas does not…… [Read More]
In fact, the misnomer 'money is the root of all evil" originates from St. Paul (Johnson, 1987). In a practical sense, money can be the root of much good too. See, for instance, all the effects of philanthropy that are wrought in the world. Arguments can be ferried back and forth regarding the value of social beneficence to developing countries, but the root of the matter is that people would be far poorer, more illiterate, fewer in number, and less happy without the aid that wealthy individuals and countries supply it. There have been numerous stories of wealthy, scrupulous, extremely religious individuals who benefited the world without distracting one bit from their religiosity. Abraham, founder of the Christian religion (via the O.T), is an example in kind. He was extremely wealthy. And although capitalism in its technical sense did not then exist, capitalism in Adam Smith's sense of the world…… [Read More]
The Divine Command theory of morality is known as a nonconsequentialist theory because this particular theory of morality is one that is not in any way based on the consequences or outcomes of specific action, but rather holds that all actions have any intrinsic rightness or wrongness. In the case of Divine Command Theory, rightness or wrongness is decided based upon whether or not a specific action can be said to be in accordance with the dictates of God. Indeed, while there are advantages to this idea of morality, such as the more simple categorization of actions into a dichotomy of what is permitted, there are also many sever disadvantages, as well. These disadvantages can make the view difficult to entertain. For example, one of the main issues depends on the source of the divine command. If the divine moral commands come out of scripture, for example, how can…… [Read More]
film A Force More Powerful shows how nonviolent political protest has a universal component. Although the most famous nonviolent movements include those of Gandhi and King, there are many other lesser-known movements that have created meaningful and lasting change without the use of brute force, war, or weapons. These movements began with a commitment to human rights, and were inherently based on improving human rights in their respective locations. In so doing, nonviolent movements have radically altered political paradigms and points-of-view worldwide.
Nonviolent political movements have changed the discourse of human rights, allowing for a fusion of universalist and relativist approaches. For example, the Gandhi movement was unique to India and the needs of the subcontinent. ithout diverging from the fundamental tenets of Indian morality and worldview, Gandhi nevertheless created a universal movement based on the ultimate view that all human beings are equal and that colonialism is erroneously based…… [Read More]
Morals and Ethical Theory
Morals & Ethical Theory
The objective of this study is to read pages 1 -- 26 of Stephen D. Hales work entitled "This Is Philosophy" and to answer the questions of:
(1) Is morality just what God tells me to do? (Divine Command Theory);
(2) Is morality just my own personal code? (Egoism); and (3) Is morality just how society says we should act? (Moral Relativism) This study will state one reason why each theory is agreed with and one reason why is theory is not agreed with.
Is Morality Just hat God Tells Me To Do?
(Divine Command Theory)
According to Hales, morality could be based on an authority who commands individuals on their moral duties and who serves as an enforcer of these principles since the individual "without a lawgiver, a rulers to lay down the moral law" is simply "adrift with no deeper…… [Read More]
Ayer on the Nature of Ethical Judgments
Ayer makes a truly original and remarkable statement about moral judgments and ethical judgments which some scholars have summarized as a phenomenon called emotivism. ithin this theory, there is the belief that moral judgments aren't necessarily truthful; they're an expression of sentiments of approval or disapproval (Ayer). Thus, according to this construct saying something like murder, stealing, lying or cheating is "wrong" merely expresses how the speaker feels about it. But to say that something is "wrong" because the speaker doesn't necessarily like something, doesn't mean that the action described is wrong. The only truth exhibited is in the sentiments of the speaker. As Ayer explains, "[I]f I say to someone 'You acted wrongly in stealing that money', I am not stating anything more than if I had simply said, 'You stole that money.' In adding that this action is wrong, I am…… [Read More]
Strauss on Moral Relativism
The Shifting Sand of Moral Relativism
Current political and social thought which is built on the foundation of moral relativism can no more chart a path for a nation to follow out of confusion into an enlightened and orderly society any more than a blind man can describe an elephant, or a child can pilot a 777 airliner. The tools, talents, skills, and abilities of moral relativism are completely inadequate for leading a nation. As can be seen by the steady social and societal decay which has been evident in our county since political and moral relativism have become the dominantly accepted social understanding since the early 1960's, the fruit of such a philosophy pits one group against another, one segment of the population against another without giving them any shared basis to build upon. 'My rights' replace a shared vision of 'our well-being;' and 'my…… [Read More]
The main concern in virtue ethics becomes about a person's moral character. When people choose to develop their moral character, better virtues will be created, and thus there will be more people acting in virtuous ways in all aspects of their lives -- and this includes how they treat all animals.
One example to be considered when thinking about how a person with a strong sense of virtue might behave is to counter it with how a person with a strong sense of duty might behave. From a duty sense, if one were a livestock farmer, he or she might believe that his or her duty lies in what is best for the people because, after all, the job is about raising livestock for slaughter, which will then become food for people. Therefore, the first duty would be to humans and the second duty to animals (Panaman 20008) (which may…… [Read More]
Foot: Moral Beliefs
Philippa Foot's Moral Beliefs
The concept of moral relativism is extremely troubling for many. Indeed, the human animal is desperately in need of a certain "moral order," or an intense longing to have life's issues, events and decisions neatly classified into realms of "good" and "bad," "right" and wrong. However, as most individuals blessed with a life that stretches into adulthood know all too well, other's conceptions of good and bad actions often differ greatly from one's own -- and, even more puzzling, those "others" seem to genuinely believe in their own conception of reality just as much an individual how holds the completly opposite view. In her work Moral Beliefs, Philippa Foot gives her take on this issue; namely in her response to the viability of systems of belief that allow moral eccentrism (the foundation on which moral relativism is built), and her belief…… [Read More]
Cruzan Case through a variety of medical ethical perspectives
The Consequentialist Paradigm
The ethical paradigm of consequentialism, as its name suggests, is the view that "normative properties," in other words, ethical actions in the world, should be judged upon and "depend only" upon their resultant consequences. (Sinnott-Armstrong, 2003) The Nancy Cruzan case is famous legal a 'right to die' case whereby, after Nancy Cruzan was almost killed in a car crash, "years later, Cruzan's parents wanted to withdraw the artificial hydration and nutrition that kept their daughter alive," whom was deemed 'brain dead' or in a permanent vegetative state, at the time (Healthcare ethics, 2004)
The general approach of consequentialist ethics could be applied in this case regarding the moral rightness of acts, holding that "whether an act is morally right depends only on the consequences of that act or of something related to that act (such as the motive…… [Read More]
Ethics and Public Policy
This paper discusses the application of the major ethical theories of consequentialism (utilitarianism), deontology, and virtue ethics to a specific policy question, namely how to improve the nutrition of the nation's poor and to reduce the rise in food insecurity. It also discusses the implications of ethical theories such as determinism and moral relativism. First, the theory is discussed in the abstract, followed by an exposition of how the theory relates to real-world practice. The paper concludes with a more general reflection on the implications of ethical theories for public policy-makers. The specific merits of virtue ethics are stressed vs. The more extreme and polarizing views of deontology and consequentialism.
An ethical dilemma: Food insecurity
One of the dilemmas facing public policy-makers regarding food insecurity and the need to improve the diet of poor Americans is the balance between individual liberties and the need…… [Read More]
Because so many mortgage companies and lending institutions pass of the debts represented by their loans to third parties, there is little incentive to ensure that borrowers actually qualify for loans based on their income and credit history the way might where the original lending institution must absorb the cost of eventual default. Throughout the mortgage industry, practices evolved where realtors and mortgage brokers actively encouraged borrowers to misrepresent their financial circumstances to qualify for much more expensive properties than they could actually afford. Brokers who objected to this practice were subject to reprimand and even to dismissal from their positions, precisely because the moral rules within that vocational environment conflicted with objective values, not to mention federal law. Faced with similar circumstances, I would have no choice but to voice my objection, even at the expense of my position.
Similarly, my moral perspective does not permit rigid adherence to…… [Read More]
S. citizens. This is a popular argument offered by the same sex marriage movement and it is one that is compelling.
For many years homosexuality was considered illegal behavior in most jurisdictions in the United States but most such statutes have been abolished and so gays and lesbians are now full citizens who have the right to expect full rights of citizenship. This means that whatever one's ethical or moral standards might be does not mean that such standards must be expressed in the laws. Many Americans object morally and ethically to the display of pornography; the publishing of songs with colorful lyrics; and, suggestive books and magazines but each of these examples is protected by the First Amendment and the rights of gays and lesbians to marry should enjoy the same protection.
The proponents of virtue ethics are not alone in their support of same sex marriage. Followers of…… [Read More]
Business ethics is a division of ethics that pertains to the interaction of business and ethics and applies ethical analysis to the business area. It is both expressive and normal. The five activities within business ethics can be delineated as follows:
1. Using general ethical principles to specific practices in business.
2. The analysis of whether moral terms related to individuals' actions may be applied to combined entities such as firms.
3. Analysis of presumptions of business.
4. Analysis of other related areas of information as guided by embedded problems in business.
5. Describing morally commendable and exemplary actions of firms (Barrett, 2009).
Corporate social responsibility (CS) entails any activity that encourages the interests of any stakeholder of a business corporation. Occasionally CS refers to philanthropic programs that target communities or employees. In other instances it refers to obligations to promote the welfare of suppliers. It also refers to an…… [Read More]
Michael Ignatieff's book Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry:
Does Ignatieff's analysis of the politics surrounding human rights shed any new light on the relativism/universalism question? hy or why not?
The language of human rights is often couched in the language of universalism, even when that rights-based language is really specific to a particular nation and a particular worldview. For instance, the idea that everyone is created equal and is therefore entitled to freedom, justice, and liberty, is actually from our own, American words of our nation's nationalist declaration of independence. This assertion is not considered a self-evident truth in the language of all human nations and in the minds of all human beings. However, the danger of lacking any notion of a doctrine of universal human rights is that international organizations can very easily fall into the justification of relativism, and atrocities may occur within and without different nations…… [Read More]
divergent decisions when it comes to acting according to business ethics. For instance, if on maintains that ethics are universal then he or she would make the same decision not taking into account the particularities of the culture that is affected by the decision. If a particular type of action is wrong in one place then it is wrong everywhere; therefore, rendering such a decision inappropriate regardless of where the decision is to be implemented.
On the other hand, somebody who subscribes to moral relativism will feel as though he or she should not interfere in the indigenous practices of the culture because it would be a form of cultural imperialism for the business manager to impose his or her ethical will, which is a reflection of the agent's own cultural background and prejudices, which he or she has been socialized to possess according to his own unique background, which…… [Read More]
Parenting is a challenging occupation. Indeed, how a parent raises his or her child is the cumulative result of the mental and emotional character of the parent, the background of the parent, the financial circumstances of the parent, how the parent was raised as a child, and also the emotional character of the child or the actions of the child. Consider a situation where the parent indulges in corporal punishment. As an action agent, the parent firmly believes that this punishment is of a corrective nature, meant to discipline the child. For the child receiving this punishment, certainly it is momentarily painful. The child might resent the punishment; alternatively, the child might recognize that the punishment is in response to instances of mischief.
The spectator might as the moral purveyor of this scenario might see this as a virtue or a vice. The spectator might believe that the corporal punishment…… [Read More]
Theoretical approaches to ethics.
Normative ethical theory
Normative ethics is the descriptor that is applied to the entire caliber of a certain perspective of ethics that has various sub-categories to it. As general definition, normative ethics is the term given to the moral investigation that queries how one should act in an ethical manner. To this end, a quantity of ethical systems exists that seek to answer that question. To differentiate normative ethics from other philosophical ethical theories, meta-ethics, for instance, attempts to objectively examine standards for right and wrong in a comparative, phenomenological manner, whilst descriptive ethics -- another brand of ethics is an empirical investigation of people's moral beliefs.
Normative ethics may also be called 'prescriptive' since it recommends a certain moral route of conduct for an individual. So, for instance, descriptive ethics would be concerned with investigating and describing the proportion of people that hold ethnic discrimination…… [Read More]
On the other hand, applicable laws do have authority and under the concept of moral relativism, it may be justified that any duly passed law be complied with (Svensson & Wood, 2008).
One lesson from this case might be that laws between entities in different sovereign nations can be much harder to enforce than laws between entities within the same nation. In the future, Pakistan and other nations might want to make sure that their contractual agreements contain mechanisms that make them enforceable across international borders. On a broader level, another lesson might be that ill-gotten gains should not be promoted by governments in the first place. Those who believe in the supremacy of divine law might consider the position in which Pakistan found herself to be an example of God's reminding us of the obligation to conduct ourselves ethically toward our fellow man.
Creffield, Lisa. "Why you can't…… [Read More]
Ethics is a branch of philosophy that deals with what areas of human interest?
life after death b-god c-morality
The answer is c. Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with moral questions, or the question of what actions are considered to be right or wrong. Moral rightness and moral wrongness are philosophical areas of inquiry, requiring analysis and debate. The ethics of an action can be debated on the intentions of the actor, the consequences of the actions, or on other factors. There are many different approaches to the study of ethics, which is why there are so many different ethical and moral philosophers.
Ethics depends on the study of religion, or needs to be based on religious knowledge, true or false.
False. Although some philosophers, like Kant, refer to God in their philosophical treatises, there is no need for a philosophy of ethics to be grounded in…… [Read More]
Deontology and DNR: Addressing the Issue
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders are an issue for a number of care providers in hospitals, especially those who work within the context of hematology and oncology care. As Weissman (1999) notes, DNR is a stumbling block for many nurses and nursing students: for example, he states that his students unanimously struggle to understand the purpose of asking terminally-ill patients what their preferences are on resuscitation—“We know it’s required under hospital policy to ask patients their preference about resuscitation, but these cancer patients . . . well . . . you know . . . they’re dying . . . it doesn't make sense” (Weissman, 1999, p. 149). Weissman (1999) states that while DNR orders were “designed to ensure patient autonomy while at the same time identifying patients in whom resuscitation is not indicated,” they have come to serve, unfortunately, as “an example…… [Read More]
Thus, as this initial object is almost impossible to fully achieve, Bentham argues that the subordinate goals of any given justice system should be "if a man must needs to commit an offence of some kind or other […] to induce him […] to choose always the least mischievous of two offences that will either of them suit his purpose," "to dispose him to do no more misheif than is neccesary to his purpose," and finally, to do all of this for cheaply as possible (Bentham 62-63). These subordinate objects are quite revolutionary in that they acknowledge the nuances of human behavior and thought processes by arguing that punishment should be focused not only on preventing offenses, but where that fails, on encouraging individuals to engage in the least destructive offenses possible to meet their desired ends. This is important to note because it demonstrates why Bentham's theory offers a…… [Read More]
Managing Organisational Culture
The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization make up the organizations culture. Organizational culture is the summation total of an organization's past and current suppositions, incidents, viewpoint, and values that hold it together, and is articulated in its self-image, inner workings, connections with the outside world, and future prospects.
In dealing with the management of organisational culture, it is firstly essential to recognize as fully as possible the characteristics of the existing or new target culture to include the myths, symbols, rituals, values and assumptions that strengthen the culture. Organisational culture is not something that can be viewed very easily it is consequently quite hard to replace it. Usually when certain leaders form a company, their values are converted into the actions of the members of that organisation. When other leaders take over, it may not…… [Read More]
Utilitarianism: eighing the Balance
The common good is often spoken of as a principle for social justice: that which benefits the whole should be promoted. Or, that which is universally good should have the highest support. It could be said that this is a utilitarian concept -- yet in modern terms of justice where egalitarianism can appear to be at odds with the "common good," the role of minority voices and diversity present an obstacle in the appeal to universalism. hat is good for one set or cultural group may not be good for another. Thus, the question may be raised: Is it just to maximize the happiness for the greatest number of people as the utilitarian approach argues? The answer depends on one's viewpoint. If one believes the democratic principle is the highest principle of all, then might (or strength in numbers) makes right. If, on the other hand,…… [Read More]
ethical theory hinges on the concept of right and wrong. Philosophers since Aristotle have debated the meaning of morality for thousands of years. The idea that everyone has an individual opinion of right vs. wrong equates to moral relativism. Are morals relative or absolute? Are actions inherently good or bad, regardless of their consequences? Or are consequences the summon bonum? And is an action good or right because of an absolute, even divine truth? This student raises an important issue: is, in Protagoras's words, "man the measure of all things"? Aren't our moral imperatives based on cultural norms, subject to individual interpretations? Indeed, several philosophers might agree with a strictly relativistic view on ethics, but most shy away from such muddy waters because of the various pitfalls of moral relativism.
Christian ethics dictate that there is an absolute religious conception of right and wrong. Within this deified version of morality,…… [Read More]
Ethics of Bioethics
To the prudent thinker and scholar, there is little doubt that right or wrong is certainly relative. Categorical imperatives and absolutes help people to understand theories and ideas. However, they have little pragmatic value in life as it exists. Erudition in the areas of moral relativism, moral absolutism, and moral objectivism certainly confirm the preceding thesis. Additionally, there are numerous examples found in different areas of life that confirm the conviction propagated in this paper as well.
The tenet of moral relativism certainly helps to buttress this conviction that right or wrong is simply relative. Some of the best examples of this fact are readily supplied by nature. In fact, basic bioethical thought into the food chain supports this viewpoint as well. The reality of life on this planet and as found within nature is that most organisms need to consume other organisms to survive. This fact…… [Read More]
solid, sensible approach to philosophical inquiry. All thoughts and opinions are biased according to the person's point-of-view. Perspective shapes everything. Nietzsche affirmed the importance of perspective, which allows post-modern thinkers to realize the importance of ethical relativism. Perspectivism has provided the opportunity to acknowledge other worldviews. However, there are serious and significant limitations to the perspectivist approach and the moral relativism espoused by Nietzsche. For example, relativism has enabled the perpetuation of social injustice based on the notion that some cultures have different values than others. Female genital mutilation is an example of a practice that is harmful and cruel, but which is sometimes justified on the grounds that it is "culturally" relevant. In reality, culture is simply being used as an excuse to create social and political hierarchies. Culture is not valid in and of itself, because culture only provides the means by which to interpret the world.
Contrary…… [Read More]
The "Five Forces" diagram illustrates the main concept of Michael Porter's theory of competitive advantage. It defines the rules of competition within any business. IVY Consulting Group's competitive strategy will only grow from a refined comprehension of the rules surrounding competition that regulate an industry's appeal. Porter states, the ultimate goal of competitive strategy is to manage and, ideally, to alter rules within the company's behavior. Acquisitions in Australia and Asia have resulted in a mismanagement and miscommunication within the company and the offices. The five forces define industry profitability, as well as how some industries can be more appealing than others are. IVY Consulting Group needs to alter its structure in order to compete and vie for the attention of its consumers. The critical question in defining profitability is how much value businesses can generate for their buyers, as well as how much of said value will…… [Read More]
Locke v. Berkeley
The philosophers John Locke and George Berkeley offer stark contrasts on the issue of various matters. Locke's whose viewpoint can best be classified as based in relativism. He believed that all knowledge come from the senses. As every man's senses are unique, no two individuals will sense the same experience the same and, therefore, all knowledge is different in each individual. By extension, there is no such thing as better beliefs or true beliefs. Everyone's beliefs are their own and based on their individual experience. George Berkeley's viewpoints offer a sharp contrast to those of Locke. In fact, their individual careers ran concurrently and they spent most of that time being contrasted and possessing viewpoints that were diametrically opposed. Berkeley's was an empiricist but one who also possessed a certain idealist twist. Berkeley viewed experience as the source of most knowledge. According to Berkeley's form of empiricism,…… [Read More]
In fact, during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Slonim notes that the need for a bill of rights was not even a topic of discussion until Virginian delegate George Mason raised the issue just several days before the Convention was scheduled to rise on September 17; Mason suggested that a bill of rights "would give great quiet to the people." Following this assertion, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts moved that the Convention add a bill of rights to the Constitution and Mason seconded his motion to no avail: "The Convention unanimously rejected the proposal by a vote of 10 to 0, with one state absent. Failure to heed Mason's counsel was to plague the Federalists throughout the ratification campaign" (emphasis added).
The first major confrontation concerning the ratification of the Constitution involving the need for a bill of rights occurred in Pennsylvania several weeks after the close of the Constitutional Convention; at…… [Read More]
God would have never created human beings if everyone was to be perfect.
There are certain problems with the view that there is evil in the world despite the presence of an almighty God who is omnipotent and omniscient. Critics believe that evil should not exist if God is omnipotent and omniscient. They believe that there is evil in this world because God doesn't exist. There is no to govern what is right and wrong. This view is contradicted by some religions which rightfully believe that God is there and he created the world as He knows what's best for his beings. This point-of-view leads critics to argue that God is not morally good and that if He has so much power then He would be able to get rid of evil from the world without any problems.
Epicurus was quoted to have said "Either God wants to abolish evil,…… [Read More]
Every person has thought, at least once in their life, that it would be nice if there were no disease, no crime, no poverty, and/or for some other improvement in the Human condition. Since everyone has dreamed of a better world, it is fair to say that Humanity has a common dream. While no two humans are exactly the same, we are all of one race, the human race, and we all share the experience of life in an essentially identical carbon-based life-form structure. We all work for continuing survival while in this structure, and hope for a happy, safe, and good life for ourselves and for our loved ones. Therefore, everyone has a common desire for the best life attainable."
Extreme gaps exist between the rich and the poor around the globe and, in particular, in the United States. Reports of the corporate earnings of executives…… [Read More]
Universal Human ights
A very highly contested issue in international political theory is the issue of universal human rights and its interpretation is dependent on the manner in which particular theorists understands it and the moral obligations related to it as well as international laws and the manner in which the two concepts of obligations international laws relate to one another. The fundamental interpretations about what is right and the extent to which the existing rights tend to be accepted and enjoyed by everyone forms that basis of the philosophical debate about whether human rights are universal or not (Kessler). The variant transition of value systems that result from the philosophical theories and practical politics when examined makes the debate more complex.
Debates have been surrounded around the issue of universalization of human rights within the world that has numerous independent systems that are diverse and sometimes of…… [Read More]