Explain what is meant by moral absolutism Moral absolutism is the belief that certain actions are right or wrong, no matter what the situation. Moral absolutists might, for example, judge slavery, war, dictatorship, the death penalty, or childhood abuse to be absolutely and inarguably immoral regardless of the beliefs and goals of a culture that engages in these practices. They believe that actions are moral regardless of circumstance. Lying, for instance, would always be immoral, even if done to promote some other good (e.g. saving a life).
Therefore, actions are inherently moral or immoral, regardless of the beliefs and goals of the individual, society or culture that engages in the action. The theory holds that morals are inherent in the law of the universe, the nature of humanity, the will of god, or some other fundamental source. Thus, the theory recognizes objective facts about morality: moral claims are either true or false for everyone. One such relative theorist, Hobbes, argues for morality as a solution for practical problems. Morality, in his system, is a vehicle to move from state of nature into law of nature, and is a move mandated by self-interest.
Our freedom to make ethical choices is an illusion. Discuss. This is a hard determinist statement which I do not agree with, hard determinism states that all your choices including ethical and moral choices, are predetermined and you have absolutely no free will to choose to do anything other. Therefore a person would have no responsibility for their actions. In my own opinion this causes many issues which can lead people to do immoral things and commit bad crimes, and be able to justify their actions by stating it was already determined for them to do it.
If you would not want the rule to be universalised, you should not be completing the action. For example, if you were to lie, you are condoning lying universally so there will be no truth told by anyone, causing disruptions and disagreements. This is an absolutist stance because there are no exceptions to the rule. The Principle of humanity as an end not as a means is the second imperative. The action a person completes should not use another human to achieve a goal, this is because humans have intrinsic value and we have the innate ability to be rational and
The difference is that utilitarianism states that no matter what a person should never stray from the moral that will bring the greatest good. Kant justifies that under certain circumstances one could stray from the moral as long as the truths are logically consistent and universalizable. Utilitarianism is broken down into two categories; act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. The act utilitarian believes that one cannot establish rules in advance to cover all situations, actions and people because they are all different. The rule utilitarian believes that there are enough human motives and situations to justify setting up rules that apply to all humans and situations.
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.
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.
In On Liberty, Mill theorizes the Principle of Liberty, in which he states that mankind has no right to prevent any other man from committing an action unless it is to prevent them from causing harm to others. Society cannot reject an individual’s conduct just because the majority of people find it offensive. However, this doesn’t mean that society can’t enforce certain constraints on people’s conduct through the law. This restriction of actions that impede upon the well being of others is necessary in order to protect an individual’s fundamental rights and basic moral liberties. With this being said, society only has the right to restrict behavior on the basis of justice, and not because society deems it to be immoral.
In the philosophical view of determinism with respect to free will, it focuses more on the circumstances surrounding the agent instead of just the individual agent. A strength to determinism is that there is a cause for everything, therefore nothing is left to chance and that there is always a reason to be traced back to. On the other hand, the same theory states that agents are not responsible for their own actions because previous events dictated their behavior, and that is considered by many to be a weakness of determinism. Critics of determinism claim that having a universal view of determinism will lead to moral irresponsibility and moral decay (Nichols and Knobe 664). Compatibilism, also referred to as soft determinism, is “the view that all events, including human actions, are caused.
Off the Precipice into the Gorge: Why Utilitarianism Can’t Save Us Introduction In his article, “A Critique of Utilitarianism” Bernard Williams is concerned that consequentialism has found plausibility in people’s minds due to a misunderstanding of and negative reaction to non-consequentialist theories.  Though he does not offer an alternative ethical theory, Williams successfully takes on the project of exploring how utilitarianism and those who uncritically embrace it have accepted an unworkable standard for defining right actions. Williams offers a unique and penetrating thesis: to define right action only by reference to whether it produces a good “state of affairs” necessitates a fundamental clash between an agent’s moral character and that allegedly right action.  In its attempt to compensate and maintain viability as a moral theory, utilitarianism smuggles into its calculus the agent’s non-utilitarian-based moral feelings. For a conscientious observer, this double standard should seriously cause him to question the ability of a consequentialist perspective to prescribe satisfactory moral understanding and guidance.