Ethics Exam 2
Terms in this set (22)
an explanation of what makes an action right or what makes a person or thing good.
what make an action right are its consequences.
The rightness of an action does not depend entirely on its consequences. It depends primarily or completely, on the nature of the action itself.
The morally right action is the one that produces the most favorable balance of good over evil, everyone considered.
Right actions are those that directly produce the greatest overall good.
The morally right action is the one covered by a rule that if generally followed would produce the most favorable balance of good over evil, everyone considered.
The morally right action is the one that produces the most favorable balance of good over evil for oneself.
An imperative that we should follow regardless of our particular wants and needs; also, the principles that defines Kant's ethical system.
Tells us that we should do something in all situations regardless or our wants and needs.
A theory asserting that the morally right action is the one done in accordance with the categorical imperative.
Natural law theory
A theory asserting that the morally right action is the one that follows the dictates of nature.
Divine Command theory
A theory asserting that the morally right action is the one that God commands.
Moral Criteria of Adequacy
1. Consistency with considered judgments.
2. Consistency with our moral experiments.
3. Usefulness in moral problem solving.
To determine right actions, you must apply the egoistic principle to individual acts.
To determine right actions, you must see if an act falls under a rule that if consistently followed would maximize your self-interest.
The view that the motive for all our actions is self-interest
Principle of utility
Bentham's definition: "that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in questions."
Greatest happiness principle
Mill's definition: "the principle that "hold actions right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness."
Tells us what we should do is we have certain desires.
Those that absolutely must be followed without fail; they have no exceptions.
• Some duties cited by Kant include duties not to break a promise, not to lie, and not to commit suicide.
Are not always to be followed; they do have exceptions.
• Ex: Kant mentions duties to develop your talents and to help others in need.
Says that we must always treat people (including ourselves) as ends in themselves, as creatures of great intrinsic worth, never merely as things of instrumental value, never merely as tools to be used for someone else's purpose.
Three of morality's most important features:
3. Respect for persons