Terms in this set (47)
Process determining right and wrong. Moral Reasoning (Theories, reflection, analysis). An art and a science.
Actual content of right and wrong. Moral knowledge. End result of ethical deliberation.
sociological description of morals in a specific society (what ppl do). Anthropology/activities.
Normative (ought to do)
produce moral norms/rules (as end product). Prescribe moral behavior for individual and society (general and specific situations). The most debate = normative ethics.
beyond the individual. Investigates the meaning of moral language (good, right, justice, etc). Investigate epistemology of ethics. Investigate justification of ethical theories/judgements.
Aretaic (Virtue Theory):
How to live virtuously. Virtues produced in individuals (not morally specific acts). Matters of virtue (how to live) and character (person we are).
Actions, Motive, Consequences, and Character
Actions, Motive Four specific considerations involved in making moral judgments (according to Scott Rae) (He gave us the answer to this question for the test)
what is actually done
the reason behind the action
what the result of action is
moral aspects for the act-er (are they a good person?)
Action and Virtue
The highest level classification or division of ethical systems
focuses on the action and the consequence (physical)
focuses on the motive and the character (non-physical)
Dentology, Teleologica, and Relativism
The three main subcategories under the two major level or divisions of ethical systems, and the description/characteristics of each main subcategory
Deontology (mainly action-oriented):
a. "deon"="what is due; intrinsic rightness or wrongness of an act and our duty to do that act (regardless of consequences)
i. judges the morality of an action based on rules
- Morality is objective; morality of an act resides in the act itself; intrinsic nature of each act determines the moral rightness/wrongness
: Rightness/wrongness is determined by doing the greatest good
- Deals mainly with the consequence of the action; it is solely concerned with moral duty or obligation to attempt to accomplish a good/desirable end result
There is no moral objective truth, only interpretations
- Cultures exhibit radically different values and no universal moral value is accepted by every individual; therefore we cannot pass moral judgement on people; opposite is ethical objectivism/universal validity
Conventionalism and Subjectivim
Types of ethical relativism and particular features of each type
Conventionalism (cultural relativism)-
a. moral principles are only valid related to the conventions of a given culture
i. Diversity thesis- concerns the descriptive fact that societies differ on moral principles, arguing it as proof there is no universal morality
ii. Dependency thesis- moral principles are valid based on cultural acceptance; no normative standard, no principles/oughtness/absolute good at all times
validity of moral principles are individual choices
i. Morality is a personal choice through use of conscience and internal truth
ii. Ethics is not a source for objective truth or reality; book of Judges
iii. Leads to Opinionism; Protagoras, Hume, Sartre were advocates
Major criticisms or problems associated with ethical relativism
● Superficial differences often mask underlying shared agreements between morality of cultures (exaggerated degree of diversity)
● There is a core set of universal values that any human culture must endorse if it is to flourish
● Self-referential incoherence; claiming no universal moral norms exist while appealing to a principle of tolerance as a functional universal norm
● Implies pernicious consequence that everything goes; slavery is "right" in a culture that endorses slavery
Various claims/aspects of deontological ethical theory
a. Morality is objective; morality of an act resides in the act itself; intrinsic nature of each act determines the moral rightness/wrongness
b. Moral truth is absolute and universal
c. Primary Deontological systems: Divine Command Theory, Natural Law, Ethical Rationalism
Whether and why humans can or cannot be good without God, according to the "Can You Be Good without God?" video
● If there is no God, there is no objective moral truth
● If there is no God, then there is subjective morality and no evil/good
● Because absolute morality does exist, God must also exist and the Moral Law Giver
Divine Command Theory, Natural Law, and Ethical Rationalism
The three primary deontological ethical systems and key characteristics, claims, and problems associated with each
Divine Command Theory
a. : ultimate foundation for morality is the revelation of God's commandments (scripture) by His character.
Problems: Challenge in interpretation; How can we know what aspects of intrinsic nature of an act determine whether right/wrong; Sometimes apparent conflicts between 2 commands
a. Development of Aristotle. Objective and widely shared moral values are present in reality (justice, fairness, truth-telling, respect for dignity); general revelation is applied to moral values; special codified moral rules are tied to what is natural in creation (Catholic view on reproduction and sexuality)
Ethical Rationalism (Kant)
a. "Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a Universal Law of Nature"; do that which you wish everyone would do to each other; Golden Rule
i. Problem: not certain of duty
Non-conflicting absolutism, Lesser of two evils, and Graded absolutism
Three proposals—along their characteristics and claims—offered as ways to resolve Divine Command conflicts or dilemmas (MATCH WITH ETHICAL DILEMMAS ie Corrie ten boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, rahab)
conflict between commands is only perceptual; moral uprightness can cover consequences; appeals to God's providence in blind faith
Lesser of two evils:
conflicts/dilemmas do exist, but appeal to God's grace and mercy; sometimes no good choices exist in a fallen world; it is our duty to do the lesser of two evils
real conflict exists, but moral justification makes wrong into right; "lying" is actually "justified deception"
Description and main elements of Natural Law ethical theory
"Objective" widely-shared universal moral values outside bible (special revelation), built into creation (general revelation).
Two ethical issues influenced by Catholic teaching related to Natural Law and creation
1) Sexual Ethics: immoral to use sexual organs apart from their purpose.
C.S. Lewis' view concerning what Natural Law ethical theory can do for human beings
Natural law can guide the general behavior but also points to two aspects of a person's condition before God that are foundational to clear thinking about ourselves and the universe:
- Humans everywhere think they ought to behave in a certain way
- They do not in fact behave that way
The basic position/argument of Kant's ethical rationalism perspective
- Human understanding is the source of the general laws of nature that structure all our experience
- Human reason gives itself the moral law, which is our basis for belief in God, freedom, and immortality
The three versions of Kant's Categorical Imperative (CI)
1) Act as if maxim could be universal law
2) Treat people as ends, not means to an end
3) Act in our will/want what we would want others to will/want
Criticism of Kant's "ethics of duty" claim
What constitutes our duty? Differ on what ought to do.
The basic content, claims, and problems of teleological approaches to ethics
● Teleological approaches deal with "telos" - "end purpose", good is ultimately happiness/wellbeing.
● Nothing is good/bad apart from performance of particular function defined by its nature
● Utilitarianism - Greatest good over evil as whole. Morality justified by positive contribution to humans. (Whatever makes the most people happy is morally right)
Problem: potential loss of justice for individual.
● Ethical Egoism - seek to advance one's own good/welfare.
Strong Version: always promote own good
Weak Version: always promote own good but not immoral not to (doing things out of personal interest may be moral.
Conditional egoism: self interest is good if it leads to betterment of society (may or may not be compatible with Christianity ex eternity as reward).
The two core (central) types of moral reasoning in Christian ethics
Virtue: who we ought to be
Principles: what we ought to do
Supplemental types of moral reasoning in Scripture and examples of such
Scott Rae: types of moral reasoning in scripture that supplement primary virtues and principles
1) Deontological: Mosaic Law
2) Utilitarianism: wisdom, proverbs, "good consequences
3) Ethical Egoism: covenant blessings and cursing (Deut.) receive gospel in self interest (New Test.)
The ultimate source and grounding for morality from a Christian worldview
Grounded in the character of God (commands come from his character)
The primary ethical concerns and virtues in New Testament ethics
New Test. : Morality for church ppl, concern social change, justice, develop character/virtue
Virtue Theory: Ideal person models Christ. Humility and obedience. Love = ultimate virtue.
. The several dimensions—and their content and claims—involved in considering questions related to the meaning of life (All 4 of these on the test)
Explanatory Dimension (universe): semantic meaning of words about human life, biological life, all existence, etc. explain why universe exists and our place within it (seek to render our lives intelligible).
Normative Dimension (Meaning): What purpose(s) of life, what makes life valuable, worthwhile (not futile), meaning, what we OUGHT to order our lives around to render meaningful?
Eternal Dimension (Sub Specie Aeternitatis): "In light of eternity". External perspective, objective point of view. Get outside ourselves. View our pursuits from detached dispassionate standpoint.
Worldview dimension: In terms of the meaning of life, one could argue that we are trying to find the "wider world"
The four primary philosophical positions—and the arguments/elements of each—that aim at answering the question of "meaningfulness" (All 4 on test)
Supernaturalism: God's existence and relating to him = necessary (required) and sufficient (enough) for meaningful life.
Metaphysically: God necessity for objective value
Epistemology and Ethics: Orthodoxy - right belief; Orthopraxy - right practice
Soul-based: not necessarily a God, but an infinite soul. (not on test)
Optimistic Objectivism (objective naturalism): meaning is objective/universal (mind-independent realities) but not supernatural. Something is meaningful in virtue of its intrinsic nature (not what is believed about it). Ex Courage, honesty, etc.
Optimistic Subjectivism (Subjective Naturalism): Meaning is subjective, not require supernatural. Meaning varies from person to person (Self-established goals, etc).
Problem: to love or care about something isn't sufficient for meaning (ex. enjoys counting grass, etc.)
Nihilism: Nothing has meaning/value. God or supernatural realm is likely necessary for meaning but does not exist so there is no meaning. From a detached view nothing matters.
The claims/content of a distinctly Christian understanding of the meaning of life
God provides ultimate meaning of life through his plan/union with Christ.
Arguments/content related to finding meaning through "openness to the world"
Openness to the World: We can effect things to change, human ability to experience world/environment in new ways. Control much of the world (co-creators).
Biological Basis: humans have most plasticity and adaptability among animals. No biological role explains our purpose for existence.