Contemporary Moral Values

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Different Types Of Ethics And Their Definitions.

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4 central virtues (cardinal virtues)
Prudence, Temperance, Justice
Normative Ethics
Good is the norm for greek philosophers
1st order ethics:
abortion, poverty, capital punishment ( hot topics )
2nd order ethics
foundations in ethics (is there a god? how do we know? how do we define it?
philosophical realism
things exist independently and they exist independently of what we think of them.
theological realism
god exists whether or not we believe in him or not
moral realism
there is a good whether we believe in it or not
types of moral realism
ethical naturalism

ethical non-naturalism

things are either true or false.
things are not true and false independently of us. true and false are subjective.
moral anti-realism
good exists but it depends on our thinking of it.
the good exists based on how we react to it emotionally.
the idea tha good exists, but it doesn't exist until the moment that we decide what it is.
Deontology - deon means duties
ethics based on rules or duties. this type of ethics is only concerned with the present moment.
ethical naturalism
the good exists and the good has natural properties to it. good has natural properties.
ethical non-naturalism
the good has no natural properties, it simply is.
in the catholic tradition intuitionism is known as natural moral law.
divine command ethics
God commands certain things, based on the ten commandments.
natural law
we know there are certain rules that we have to follow by nature.
categorical imperative
you should only act if that action can be made into a universal rule.
acting based on the expected outcomes or consequences of a situation.
ethics based on achieving particular goals, based on trying to bring the most happiness in the world.
the limits of human knowledge. how do we know what Jesus would do?
based on relationship, that we are going to sacrifice ourselves on behalf of someone else.
based on self interest.
moral relativism
what's good for me may not be good for you.

how we understand good, changes based on who we are; the context we are in.
harsh relativists
what's good for me, may not be good for you - nothing objective.
mild relativists
there may be something objectively good, but it is subject to interpretation.
moral relativists
freedom to make moral decisions and freedom from external coercion.
tolerance of another's moral decisions with the expectations they will tolerate our moral decisions.
the is/ought thesis
facts describe what is and values tell us what ought to be. the distinction between fact and value.
types of ethical relativism
cultural relativism
ethical relativism
conceptual relativism
ethical skepticism
tolerant relativism
five tenants of relativism
1. different societies have different moral codes.
2. the moral code of a society determines what is right within that society.
3. there is no objective standard that can be used to judge one society's code as better than another.
4. the moral code of our own society has no special status, it is but on among many.
5. it is arrogant for us to judge the conduct of other people.
problems with cultural relativism
hard to decide what is a society and who is in it.
it is possible to be a member of more than one society.
one society could be against something another society isn't.
cultural relativism
the consideration of what is right or wrong varies from culture to culture.
ethical relativism
all people should act in ways their societies have deemed appropriate (truth doesn't change. you act in your societies "truth" wherever you go.
conceptual relativism
the very meaning of right is relative to a particular culture, the word right or good has no meaning because they are always changing.
ethical skepticism
no moral claims are every true and even if they were, we couldn't know that.
tolerant relativism
we must tolerate the moral claims of other people.
classical sense - tolerate the person apart from ideas.
modern version - tolerate the person and idea.
fletcher's 3 approaches - best example of a christian relativist - all moral decisions are relative to love.
- legalism - all moral judgements - set of rules and regulations to guide their choices.
- antinomianism - the idea that individuals enter each moment of moral judgment without any rules or regulations to help make their moral judgment.
- situationalism - the idea that each individual enters the moment of moral judgment not with a set of rules, but with a set of maxims or guidelines which help the person make a moral choice.

4 principles of situation ethics
1. pragmatism - success oriented (focus on what is right or good)
2. relativism - base decisions using relativism (related to love, love = God.
3. positivism - a belief is declared and then supported by logic.
4. personalism - we place people at the center of consideration. ( not principles or things)
6 propositions of situation ethics
1. only one thing is good(love), nothing else.
2. the ruling norm of christian decision is love, nothing else.
3. love to justice are the same, for justice is lone distributed, nothing else.
4. love wills the neighbor's good whether we like him or not.
5. only the end justifies the means; nothing else.
6. love's decisions are made situationally, not prescriptively.

Teological ethics -
ethics based on goals or aims that an individual sets.
teology in history
plato: teleology in nature compared with a human (external)
aristotle - the teleology of each thing (internal teleology)
distinctions in teleological ethics
the difference between seeking and setting, when you set a goal, on your way to reaching it you may discover other goods within the path to your goal.
A) goal setting: the kind of thing we do when we seek to achieve a particular end.
B) goal seeking: the kind of thing we do when we are seeking what is good within a goal.
modern examples of teleological ethics
adam smith - free markets and the pursuit of profit are the common goal to which we naturally aim.
Jeremy Bentham - father of utilitarianism
a) act utilitarianism each actions rightness or wrongness depends on the utility it produces in comparison with possible alternatives. depends on the consequences.
b) rules utilitarianism - individual actions are whether they conform to a justified moral rule. one rule exists, and your actions will be evaluated against that rule.
moral subjectivism
the idea that believing a moral proposition is what makes it true relative to those who believe it.

moral subjectivism rejects: all kinds of morality (harsh)
virtue ethics
from the greek, arete, virtue, also referred to as areteleological ethics. concerned with the development of moral character in individuals.
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