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Non-Consequentialism Kantianism and Natural Law Theory.

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Presentation on theme: "Non-Consequentialism Kantianism and Natural Law Theory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Non-Consequentialism Kantianism and Natural Law Theory

2 Consequentialism Ethical Egoism. Act- & Rule-Utilitarianism. What act will generate circumstances that are most aligned with my individual interests (egoism) OR what act that will generate the greatest amount of pleasure/happiness for the greatest number (utilitarianism).

3 Kantianism (Deontology) Immanuel Kant ( CE) Human beings are creatures with reason. Reason depends on respect for rules. As creatures with reason, we are duty bound to follow logical ethical principles (avoid contradiction). Deon=duty. To bind.

4 Imperatives Action X is required. Action X is commanded. Hypothetical Imperative In these circumstances…. Under these conditions…. To satisfy this desire…. If you want to earn an Associates of Arts degree, you must…. When youre at a restaurant and you desire a glass of water, you must… If falling rain is causing you to not be able to see through the windshield on your car, you have to….

5 Imperatives Continued Categorical Imperative Always…. Never…. Unconditional. Universal. Universalizable. Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become universal law. In other words, a moral action is revealed via thought experiment: what happens if everyone does what I am contemplating doing?

6 An Example You owe a friend $5. You could kill him and avoid paying. Universalize: Everyone ought to kill the person he/she is indebted to.

7 You could lie. Universalize: Everyone ought to lie to the person he/she is indebted to.

8 You could steal from someone else to repay. Universalize: Everyone ought to steal to in order to pay back those he/she is indebted to. Everyone ought to pay his/her debts with the resources he/she rightfully claims ownership of.

9 Practical Imperative Humans are the source of values in the worldno humans, no values, no worth. Therefore, humans are the necessary condition of worth. As a necessary condition of worth, humans are worthy (i.e. possess dignity) Therefore, they have intrinsic not instrumental value. Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person, or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.

10 Implications? Consequences are morally irrelevant. Actions have intrinsic value because they conform to logical principles. Ethics is rooted in logic and reason rather than empathy and feeling (Cat. Imp. is NOT the Golden Rule).

11 Motive What is it? Does motive matter? What is most ethically significant: Doing the right thing. Wanting to do the right thing. Avoiding doing the wrong thing? Good willi.e. doing ones duty for the sake of doing ones duty.

12 Problem: What if Duties Conflict? I take you to be my (wife/husband), to have and behold from this day on, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part. What if…. The partner no longer loves you or upholds his/her vow? You no longer love your partner? Always be honest. Always keep promises.

13 Natural Law Theory Nature is rationally ordered and purposeful. How nature is is how nature should be. Human beings are a part of nature, have a human nature, and are rational beings. Human beings should use their power of reason/rationality to discover how nature is in order to determine how we should act.

14 Whats Natural? Marriage/relationships. Parenting. Work. Money. Community.

15 Doctrine of Double Effect Performing a good action may be permissible even if it has bad effects, but performing a bad action for the purpose of achieving good effects is never permissible.

16 The 4 Requirements for Moral Permissibility The action is inherently morally good or neutral (without regard for consequences). Any bad effects are not used to produce good effects. The intention must always be to bring about good effects. The good effect must be at least as important as the bad effect.

17 The action is inherently morally good or neutral (without regard for consequences). Any bad effects are not used to produce good effects. The intention must always be to bring about good effects. The good effect must be at least as important as the bad effect.

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19 Organ Donation vs. Organ Selling It is currently legal to donate but illegal to sell a kidney in US. Practical result? Lots of people die waiting for kidneys. Proposal: Allow kidneys to be sold.


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