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.
Utilitarianism (Utility meaning usefulness) is a theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that means that all actions should be directed towards achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. It is a teleological argument as it is looks at the consequences of an action determining the rightness or wrongness of an action rather than the action itself. Jeremy Bentham (1748) believes in act utilitarianism, this is a theory that states that the act that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people is the right one too choose therefore meaning it is quantitative as it is based on the quantity of happiness rather than quality. Benthams theory is based on 3 main things: 1. His view on what drove human beings and what goodness and badness was all about (he believes we are drive by pleasure opposed to pain – therefore he was a Hedonist), 2.
From these 2 definitions it is apparent that it is a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can only weigh the morality of an action after knowing all its consequences. Bentham summarises this theory  by saying that we should consider the pleasure and pain (pros & cons) of all the consequences of an action and from the resulting ‘net’ score, make decisions based on which course of action will produce the ‘most’ pleasure (happiness). This view has been widely criticised as being ‘hedonistic’, which is an ethical doctrine to wit ‘only that which produces pleasure is intrinsically good.’ However, or maybe in response to this criticism, utilitarianism has been refined into subgroups. I will be talking about the two subsets known as Act Utilitarianism and Rule Utilitarianism, what they each represent and how they differ, then give my own opinion about which of these I prefer and why. Act Utilitarianism states that, when faced with a choice, we must first consider the likely consequences of potential actions and, from that, choose to do what we believe generates the most happiness .
Perhaps more so than Emotivists, Prescriptivists see ethical language as fairly meaningful. They believe that the terms used are able to create absolute rules that everyone ought to follow. It would seem that ethical language is seen by many as very meaningful, although for varying reasons. However agent centred theories such as Virtue Ethics would argue that our main focus of morality should be on becoming as virtuous as possible, rather than deciding what is meant by ethical language. Therefore it would seem that perhaps morality should be more focussed on individuals’ actions rather then defining what is meant by ‘good’ and
The theory’s central question is: how we ought to act. Through a cost-benefit analysis, impartial decisions on actions should be made as long as the end result measures an increase of happiness for the majority. To the contrary, Kantian ethics focus on the intrinsic value and moral standing of human beings as rational agents with autonomy; therefore, they must be treated equally and with dignity. An action is not made right according to its consequences but on the consistency of one’s ethical course of action by means of reasoning to attain the right behavior. The main concepts behind Kantian theory are generated from the Categorical Imperative, used as an ethical rule for decision-making to determine the right action.
Explain the strengths of the Natural Law theory Aquinas thought that all humans had INTRINSIC inclinations which led us to behave a certain way which led us to the highest good and by using our reason we can discover the precepts which further express Gods natural law built into us. We are designed for one purpose- perfection and therefore we do not knowingly pursue evil. Obviously this doesnt happen all the time and aquinas explained this by apparent good and real good. Apparent good is something that seems to be good but which does not fit the perfect human ideal and real good is this right thing to do which fits the human ideal. The natural law theory is absolutist in the sense that the primary precepts that aquinas came up with apply throughout, without exception.
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.
Explain the concept of Relativist Morality. Moral Relativism is an ethical judgement. It is the claim that there is no ethical system better than another. It stems from the fact that to judge an ethical system, it must be judged by a moral standard. 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.
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
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.