‘Our ethical decisions are merely the result of our social conditioning’. Discuss. The base of our ethical decisions can only be described as a mystery to a non-philosopher, but debates have taken place between many philosophers determining whether our decisions are due to having free will, or if everything we do is pre-determined anyway. Libertarianism is the view that human agents can, when faced with a moral choice, freely act and retain moral responsibility for that act. However determinism take an opposite view to this; hard determinism is the theory that everything in the universe, including all human actions and choices has a cause which proceeds it.
Personality and moral self explain how and why human beings make free choices. The libertarianism theory has been explained by CA Campbell, who said that human beings see themselves as free agents and therefore accept moral responsibility for their actions. Humans must accept responsibility for these actions and face any consequences that may come their way. John Stuart Mill - an influencal figure in Liberatarianism – believe we are free and morally responsible for all our actions. Mill believed it was extremely important that an indivduals free will should not be crushed by society.
(Solomon, Higgins, 2010:235) Soft determinism maintains that we possess the freedom required for moral responsibility, and that this is compatible with determinism, even though determinism is true a person can still be deserving of blame if they perform a wrongful act. (Pereboom, 2009:308) The immense issue I have with soft determinism is that how can you have free will if everything is determined, this contradicts
But unlike earlier philosophers, such as Socrates who were concerned with how to live a good/ethical life, and famously said ‘the unexamined life is hardly worth living’, both Nietzsche and Sartre are concerned with being and existence. The first and most important tenet of Existentialist thought is that Man Is Free. Nietzsche believed that the ‘will to power’, was the primary drive and the source of all creative activity and the key to human freedom. It was the all-important way to achieve freedom of the individual and that absolute objective truth of the world was an illusion and our search for such a truth is bred from fear. While having much in common with Nietzsche, both are atheistic existentialists, Sartre proposed that man is nothing but what he makes of himself and therefore by taking responsibility for his actions he can change his life and create a new Man.
Immanuel Kant puts forward an argument from deontological ethics and therefore is an ethical theory considered solely on duty and obligations, where one has an unchanging moral obligation to abide by a set of defined principles. Thus the ends of any action do not justify the means, i.e. if someone were to do their moral duties, then it would not matter if it had negative consequences. Thus, rules come above all else according to Kant. Kant argues that only one fact is undisputable, and that simply is that there is a moral law in existence, which then leads to the existence of God.
Ones holding the conception of freedom as a means for justice would believe this. Libertarianism is the idea that government regulation should be limited or even seize to exist, in the name of innate human freedom. Justifying a situation would ultimately require simply making sure ones liberties are intact and a third party wasn't harmed. This would call for a minimal state where people work for the good of themselves and only
In the article titled “The Folly of Capital Punishment”, Jeffrey Reinam concludes that capital punishment is immoral to our society; and thus, should not be legalized. Reinam reasons the death penalty is unjust, inhuman, and goes against the progress of civilization. Reinam’s primary argument and rebuttal to Ernest Van Den Haags deterrence argument, is that the death penalty goes against the advancement of civilization. Reinam explains that throughout history we take steps to "lower tolerance for one's own pain and that suffered by others". Due to the states high visibility, size, and moral authority, it is capable to have an impact on citizens beyond the immediate act it authorizes.
His belief of going against emotion, goes against moral relativism, as moral relativism is when a morally good act is entirely dependent on the circumstances where said act takes place, instead believing in the necessity of a perfectly universal moral law. Human reasoning was a significant area of ethical study for Kant. Kant’s views were in response to the empiricists and rationalists, with the rationalists beliefs being closer to his than the empiricists. (The rationalists attempted to prove that we can understand the world purely be using our reasoning, while empiricists argued that all of our knowledge comes from experience.) Kant believed that the only way we gain knowledge of the world is through our senses, and that us humans will never experience the true reality of the world as we experience it through our own minds, of which different categories of thought have been built into, which led him to believe that all scientific knowledge discovered, is only facts about our own experiences and perceptions.
Immanuel Kant was a deontologist who believed that reason was the final authority for morality, not the consequences of one’s actions as believed by the utilitarians. In other words, all actions would be undertaken with a sense of duty that has been dictated by reason. Kant recognized two types of imperatives by which we act: the Hypothetical Imperative, which stipulates an instrumental action to a goal/result/end; and the Categorical Imperative, which stipulates that the actions we take are irrespective of one’s desires/goals/ends but are bound by duty. The ‘Inquiring Murderer’ is one example of how Kant shows that we should use the Categorical Imperative (CI) to obtain an answer according to his version of morality. We must lie to be a moral person, sending our friend to their impending death.
It basically is saying that emotion can cause us to be irrational and make the wrong decisions, and that it is difficult to make a morally sound decision when you base it on your emotion. This objection can challenge physician assisted suicide by showing that because you care to much you can allow someone to take their life. Many people believe that taking your life in any way is immoral. Someone could argue that Care Ethics could lead you to allow someone to take away their life just because your emotions have told you that it is okay. You feel bad for them, or you just want it to get better so you allow them to end their life which to some is believed to be immoral.