Explain what is meant by moral absolutism Moral absolutism also known as moral objectivism is the belief that there are fixed universal laws which are true irrespective of time, place and situation. This belief is that an action can be intrinsically right or wrong in itself, and this is not dependent on outcome, culture or time. Moral absolutism is a priori and objective; based on facts and logic, and on the most part deontological. It is always right or wrong. It is important to note that although all moral absolutists agree that there are fundamental ethical laws they disagree on the origin or authority of these laws.
Explain the theory of duty in Kantian Ethics (25 marks) Kantian ethics is an absolutist theory as Kant claimed what is morally ‘good’ is constant and unchanging. Because of this, it can be a universal concept applied in different societies and cultures with the idea that an action should only be performed for duty’s sake. His approach was deontological because the idea of right or wrong was based on the action rather than the consequence, he believed that this was the only rational basis for morality and could be proven objectively, independent from emotion and opinion. As humans we have the innate ability to reason, something which we gained prior to any sensory experience in this world. This is an idea which is absolute and according to Kant, the way we decide the morality of an action.
The weakness of Virtue Ethics outweighs its strengths – Discuss. Virtue ethics is the ethics of us as persons and argues that morality is not about duties. There are a number of arguments for and against virtue ethics, and most for, argue for the formation and growth of us via phronesis or practical wisdom, which allows us to make the right decisions by using our conscience. Virtue ethics is mainly supported by Aristotle. It is based on different virtues that a person should have, so that they can then reach Euadamonia.
Next on the basis of James Rachel’s argument against ethical egoism will try to answer the question posed. This essay will also discuss the common sense view is the most appropriate way to act in most of the cases. Ethical Egoism is a normative theory, a theory which states how one should behave. It states that promotion of one’s own good is in accordance with morality. In other way we can state that it is always moral to promote self-interest and it is not moral not to promote it.
According to Kant, right actions are not done by following inclinations, impulses or obeying the principle of greatest happiness but are done simply and purely from the sense of duty. Kessler says that some ethical truths and norms are appropriate to everyone in the society, and therefore, people should always act morally irrespective of the outcome for their morals. In deontology ethics, actions are done for the sake of duty. The intrinsic moral feature determines the rightness or wrongness of the act taken by individuals. The duty should always be done by taking the right.
Ethical Egoism is the idea that each person ought to pursue their own self-interest exclusively. The main concept of chapter five is whether Ethical Egoism is a moral theory. Ethical Egoism does in fact contradict some of our deepest moral beliefs. So in regards to this topic the reading makes us consider the idea on whether we have an obligation to help others and what the actual reasons are that we do assist others. A conclusion can be derived from the reading on whether Ethical Egoism is truly a moral theory.
There are several examples however of Aquinas' theory that disagree with the statement. Firstly, Natural law is the best approach to morality as it helps to establish commonplace rules in a society. Previously, these would have been the ten commandments, however with the development of the primary and secondary as written in Aquinas' book 'Summa Theologica'. These would, so long as people adhered to them, help people achieve what he called their 'telos' or natural purpose, which for humans is to achieve happiness and unity with God, or 'eudaimonia'. The primary precepts are a set of tenants that are vague in their interpret-ability on how they are to be executed.
He is half correct in his statement as a theist does not believe in the proofs individually, but finds enough evidence in them to form the belief that God does exist; He is the creator of the universe, and He is morally perfect. McCloskey touches on faith in his article. It is defined by Tillich: as the state of being ultimately concerned as claiming truth for concern, and is involving commitment, courage, and the taking of risk. Theists have faith in God, and treat Him as the most important person in their lives. To have faith in someone on past knowledge, according to McCloskey, is reasonable however; it is unreasonable to have faith in God as we have no past knowledge of God.
The theory is a priori, some claim we out our duty a priori but it is also argued we need to refer to experience to work out what is right. On the other hand Kantian ethics can be seen as a strong theory as it also has its strengths. Kant’s theory is universal; it provides moral laws that hold universally, regardless of the situations. By doing this it promotes equality and treats everyone the same and is impartial because it is based on reason. The theory is objective, it gives objective standards, independent of our own interests, cultures etc.
"Conscience is the most reliable guide to ethical decision making.” Discuss It is debateable as to whether or not the conscience is the most reliable form of decision making or not. However there are many different opinions on conscience when it comes to decision making. The idea of the conscience has developed from early christian views, however it has now developed through the psychological views of it being linked or part of the mind. The idea of the conscience was also later developed by Freud who suggested that the conscience could be explained best by using scientific knowledge instead of using religious views and opinions on the conscience. St Paul believed the conscience was a moral guide, which is within and doesn’t need any rules or theories to be followed.