What is Psychological Egoism? Are we selfish as humans or not? This is the question to ponder. I believe that Psychological Egoism is morally wrong in relation to other theories like Utilitarianism, Kantian, and Divine Command Morality. Psychological Egoism as a moral theory describes self-centeredness.
Some people believe that culture is a way that morality can be established, but morality differs from culture to culture. In Doing Ethics, Lewis Vaughn talks about cultural relativism and lays out an argument for it. In the second premise it states “If people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, then right and wrong are relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles” (Vaughn 26). He makes it clear that he does not support this premise and explains his points as to why this is false. Cultural relativism is the idea that the moral principles someone has are solely determined by the culture one lives in.
Meta-Ethics is a branch of ethics which is concerned with the language that is used in ethical arguments. Many would say that if we do not know what we are talking about, then there is not point to ethical debate. This differs from normative which deicides whether or not something is bad or good and gives us a guide for moral behaviour. Meta-ethics is about normative ethics and tried to make sense of the terms and concepts used. The terms good and bad are used a lot in day to day sentences - but what do they really mean?
The voice of conscience acts as a moral sensor, which is triggered whenever we face an ethical behaviour and fires the alarm once the morality is breached. Utterly, It is up to our will whether to listen irresistibly to the voice that is what Kant calls it “moral predisposition” or mute it which consequently leading to immoral behaviour. The previous argument explains the moral law imposed by Kant. Furthermore, he emphasised that people are rational beings act according to their morals, he considers people as a moral agent and ought to act morally and willingly motivated by the
Since every ethical system should evaluate itself as the best and only moral system, and every other system is flawed and immoral, it is assumed that moral judgements about ethical systems are meaningless. Moral Relativism rests on the belief that values are subjective. It is holds the belief that there is no objective morality, that there is no such thing as right or wrong, good or evil. Only that, moral systems are just made up and supported by the circumstances of the action. Moral Relativism cannot and does not accept the idea that an objective moral system exists.
Yet, if we observe that pleasure is good, we should be able to ask is good pleasure. However if an individual gains pleasure through inflicting harm can we conclude that good and pleasure are one and the same thing? In short ethical naturalism is unable to define good, yet continues to claim that ethical language is based on objective truth. Non Cognitive approaches to meta ethics such as emotivism and prescriptivism argue that ethical language is subjective. A. J. Ayer claims that ethical language
Meta ethics tries to make sense of the terms and concepts used in ethical theories such as Utilitarianism and Natural Law. Some people believe that ethical language is extremely meaningful as they argue it is essential to be able to define terms such as “good” and “bad” before we can even begin to discuss ethical theories. However others disagree with this and argue that moral statements are subjective so are meaningless, as they cannot be described as either true or false. Those who hold cognitive theories about ethical language would argue that ethical statements are not meaningless as they are about facts, and can therefore be proved true or false. Ethical Naturalism is a cognitive theory of meta ethics which holds the belief that
Kant devised two different types of imperatives which allow us to make our decisions, hypothetical imperatives are the rules that we follow to attain a personal outcome or a selfish wish whereas categorical imperatives are intrinsically right. His first categorical imperative was meant to establish that humans should only act according to a law that can be universalised. ‘’Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law’’ – (Kant the moral order). The second of the imperatives is that we as humans should never use another human as a means to an end, treat them all with value. ‘’Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end’’.
Kant’s view uses a categorical imperative, in which ethics is based upon an absolute, objective, deontologcial theory, in which intentions are more important than consequences. Kant believed that an ethics should be based around something entirely good. He decided that the only thing entirely good in the whole universe is ‘good will’. Everybody must decide ethical decisions in a way in which they put themselves last, fulfill their duty, and commit only selfless acts. This may be psychologically impossible, as many believe there is always a selfish reason for any good deed, however Kant only proposed a theory, and
In order to evaluate the claim that the possession of knowledge carries ethical responsibility, it is important to understand ethics and knowledge in the general sense To put it simply, ethics is moral philosophy, or rationalization of conduct as either right or wrong. Normative ethics is the study of determining a moral course of action. The two most prominent ethical guidelines are Kantianism and Utilitarianism. Immanuel Kant suggested that ethics revolve around duty, rather than emotions. All actions are related to an underlying principle.