Getting P.A.I.D.This is a condition of moral maturity.
When a person blindly accepts the moral code they have grown up with. May have strong moral convictions and be a good person, but have no rationale to support their convictions
1.Ethics is not an exclusively Christian endeavor; other religious systems are alternatives.
2.On some issues Christian ethics and other religious ethics overlap, but on some issues they differ
3.We cannot talk about the Christian ethic because within Christianity there is a variety of beliefs
Philosophical Study of Morality (Prescriptive Ethics)
1.The branch of ethics that makes value judgments
2.Interested less in what people actually do, and more in what they should to do
3.Prescriptive in nature
Analytical Ethics/ Metaethics
A highly technical discipline that investigates the meaning of ethical terms
Deals with creating standards for living. We engage in normative ethics whenever we form opinions about right or wrong and whenever we offer reasons for such judgments.
1.Also referred to as consequentialist theories
2.Maintains that the morality of the act is determined by the consequence (telos= end, result)
3.Emphasis is on the result of the act
1.Also referred to as nonconsequentialist theories
2.Maintains that the morality of the act is determined by whether we followed the rules or not (deon= obligation or necessity)
3.Emphasis is on the rules
1.Also referred to as virtue or character theory
2.Maintains that what we do and what we choose in the end is less significant than the kind of people we become (arete= virtue)
3.Emphasis is on the kind of person one is
Maintains that what people believe about morality depends on the culture in which they live.Cultural relativism is a sociological fact
1.A philosophical view that denies the existence of a single, universal moral standard
2.Maintains that moral right and wrong depend on the culture a person belongs to
3.Therefore, we cannot judge the character or conduct of those outside of our society based on our moral code
1.Maintains that there are basic ethical principles which are true without qualification.
2.These ethical principles apply to everyone, everywhere, and at all times, regardless of whether everyone believes them or not.
1.A theory that claims that everyone ought to act in their own self-interest
2.Concerned only with the best consequences for ME
Whatever promotes my best self-interest is right
Whatever does not promote my best self-interest is wrong
3.EE cannot be equated with selfishness
EE's difference from psycological egoism.
1.PE is descriptive theory about human motivation and behavior (why do people act the way they do?)
2.PE claims that everyone acts in their own self-interest; a truly unselfish act is impossible
3.PE can serve as justification for EE, but does not have to
A theory that claims that we should decide our morals based on what act produces the best results for the most people
1.Whatever brings about the best results for the most people is right.
2.Whatever does not bring about the best results for the most people is wrong.
1.A Christian ethical theory that was primarily developed in the 1960s by the Episcopal priest Joseph Fletcher
2.This approach claims to be the middle ground between legalism and antinomianism
Four Working Principles of situationism
The good is what works
Seeks concrete and practical answers
Words like "never" and "always" have no place in situationis
Relativizes the absolute (agape love)
Two ways in which we can approach religious belief
Naturalism: I believe based on what I gain from reason
Positivism: I believe because God said so
There is no rational answer to the question "Why should I love?"
People are more important than rules
Divine Command Theory
a.God establishes moral laws and they are universally binding for all people
1.Something is good if God wills it
2.Something is bad if God does not will it
b.How do we know what God wills?
1.Usually expressed in that religion's sacred scriptures
2.And the religious community then interprets them for their meaning and application
c.The sole purpose for obeying God's law is that God wills it; not necessarily to promote our own good or the general good
A.This type of approach began with the ancient Greeks, but Thomas Aquinas adapted it for Christianity
B.Suggests that reason can discover God's moral commands by reflecting on human nature
1.God created the universe and in doing so God created in humans certain natural inclinations
2.These natural inclinations represent the goods that God wants us to have, and thus can be referred to as "natural laws"
C.So if one lives according to these natural laws then one is living according to what God intended
D.These natural laws can be obeyed or broken (compared to the law of gravity)
Problems with natural law:
1.Just because something exists in a certain way does not necessarily mean that it is "natural"
2.Though the natural desire itself may be "objective," our subjective understanding of what that implies can vary
A. Divine command and natural law are not incompatible:
Example: Do not murder
1.The rule against murder is one that the Bible presents as directly commanded by God
2.It is also understood as an act that people everywhere recognize as wrong, as a violation of their consciences and of the natural order of relationships between human beings
The emphasis in each way of thinking about rules is different:
DC: God's authority and revelation which lets us know what is right and wrong
NL: connection between how we live and the natural order in which God has placed us
History or areteological theory
1.Dates back to the ancient Greeks: Plato and Aristotle identified the four cardinal virtues
2.Christian Adaptation (Medieval Times): Thomas Aquinas adds the theological virtues
3.suffered a momentary eclipse during the nineteenth century but re-emerged in the late 1950's
4.Became popular again because of the increasing dissatisfaction with the forms of ethics that existed
1.Based on the following premise:
"The question of what I ought to do is actually about what I am or ought to be."
2.A system of VE identifies those habits and behaviors that will allow a person to achieve the "good life"
3.These are then the virtues we should be seeking to develop and display in our acts
4.Virtue is a practice rather than a principle
1.Virtue is a pattern of behavior learned through practice
2.Eventually, after enough practice, we act a certain way without thinking about it
3.Once this happens, the virtue becomes a habit and the way a person normally tends to act
1.Prudence (wisdom, insight, knowledge)
The practice of sound judgment
The practice of giving to everyone what belongs to them
The practice of doing good despite obstacles
The practice of moderation
The theological virtues
The theological virtues are given to us by God and are intended to accomplish spiritual good (i.e., bring us into union with God)Three theological virtues: faith, hope, love
a systematic, critical study concerned with the moral evaluation of human behavior
individual ethical egoism
I ought to act according to my own self-interested, & everyone around me ought to act in my own self-interest
personal ethical egoism
I ought to act in my own self-interest, but make no claims on what others should do