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Rule utilitarianism and preference situation ethics Kant

Rule utilitarianism - John Stuart Mill

rule also follows greatest happiness principle but emphasized happiness opposed to pleasure. Rule believes actions are right if they promote happiness and wrong if they dont

Quality of pleasure - Rule utilitarianism

Rule utilitarianism argues that the quality of pleasure should be taken into consideration in addition to Acts quantity theory. There are 2 types of pleasures animal mundane pleasure such as sex, food and drink and human pleasures like art, music and literature. Human pleasures are ranked higher.

Strengths of Rule utilitarianism

Distinguish different pleasures, does not justify immoral actions such as rape, universal rules, easy to apply

weakness of Rule utilitarianism

subjective opinion of what an intellectual pleasure is, relies on consequences, neglects minority, commits a fallacy

Preference utilitarianism

argues that right and wrong is determined by the preference of those involved

Hare - Preference utilitarianism

in decision making we need to reflect on our own preferences and those of the people involved. what we prefer may clash with others so we imagine the what the preferences of others maybe. Everyone should be treated equally

Singer- Preference utilitarianism

our own preferences dont count anymore than those of others to act morally we need to consider all those involved. right actions are those that give the best results for those affected by the act. Singer believed the best consequence is not determined by greatest pleasure but by whats in the best interests of the majority.

Situation Ethics

Fletcher argues that each individual situation is different and absolute rules are too demanding and restrictive. Its not possible to know what Gods will is in every situation. He argued that its not just the situation that guides you but also the principle of agape.

Pragmatism- 4 working principles of situation ethics

what you propose must work in practice. end result must be love of the action

Relativism- 4 working principles of situation ethics

no fixed rules that must be obeyed all decisions must lead to christian love

Postivism- 4 working principles of situation ethics

freely choosing faith that god is love giving first place to christian love

Personalism- 4 working principles of situation ethics

people are put in first place, morality is personal and not centered on law

6 fundemental principles of situation ethics

1 agape is the only absolute, 2 love giving which seeks best interests in others but allows freedom, 3 love and justice are the same thing, 4 love has no favorites, 5 love must be the final end only the end justifies the means, 6 the loving thing depends on the situation

strengths of situation ethics

encourages love and compassion, most people want to do they right thing, flexible, takes into account emotions

weaknesses of situation ethics

whats we believe its morally right is different to each person, cant always tell what the loving thing is, impossible to determine consequences

situation ethics quotes

Bishop John Robinson " it is an ethics for the humanity come of ages"
Pope Pius XII "not christian doesn't consider bible or church"


is a deontological theory based on duty. To act morally is to do ones duty and ones duty is to obey the moral law

A Priori Knowledge- Kant

statement which is knowable without reference to any experience

Freedom- Kant

The sense of ought requires moral autonomy ie if humans are to act morally they must be capable of exercising freedom

Sommum bunum- Kant

God existence is necessary to make sense of morality. God is the law maker and eternal happiness is the final reward for duty. We should act morally not to be happy but to be worthy of happiness. Sommum bunum is the highest good and happiness in the afterlife.

Good will - Kant

only good without qualification. everything else includes consequences. Only will is within our control and its the only thing unconditionally good

Duty- Kant

what makes good will good. it must be done for its own sake not for any reward, desire, satisfaction or consequence pleasure can go hand in hand with duty but happiness doesnt determine duty. There is no moral worth in getting satisfaction from our duty.

Hypothetical Imperative- Kant

are not moral commands to will they are conditional and do not apply to everyone. You only obey them if you want to achieve a certain goal ie if you want to lose weight you must go on a diet

Categorical Imperative- Kant

has 3 parts, all laws must be universal, do not treat people as a means to an end and kingdom of ends

strengths of Kant

everyone is equal, easy to apply to a situation, the C.I. tells you what to do in moral dilemmas, acknowledges that some actions have no moral worth

weaknesses of Kant

ignores consequences, cant lie even when you can save someones life, not flexible, only works if everyone follow it, commits a fallacy

Natural Law

Aquinas sought to present a rational basis for christian morality and was heavily influenced by Aristotles theory that everything has a purpose (Telos)

Primary precepts - Natural Law

Live, reproduce, learn, live in an ordered society and worship god these are the purpose of human life

cardinal virtues - Natural Law

Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance these are required to live a moral life

secondary precepts - Natural Law

developed from primary precepts ie live primary precept so secondary precepts is do not commit suicide. While primary precepts are set in stone secondary are not

Strengths of Natural Law

establishes common rules, easy to apply to a situation, easy to judge, based on reason and common in all cultures and reasonable

weaknesses of Natural Law

difficult to relate complex decisions, who determines what yout purpose is?

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