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What is Morality?. We are discussing no small matter, but how we ought to live -- Socrates.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Morality?. We are discussing no small matter, but how we ought to live -- Socrates."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Morality?

2 We are discussing no small matter, but how we ought to live -- Socrates.

3 Morality is, at very least, the effort to guide one’s conduct by reason -- that is, to do what there are the best reasons for doing-- while giving equal weight to the interests of each individual who will be affected by what one does -- James Rachels.

4 Moral Principles General moral principles make some general statement about what is morally right or wrong, or good or bad, or what we should or ought, or shouldn’t or ought not to do.

5 Moral Principles Duties---Obligations Rights Human Welfare Suffering

6 Characteristics of Moral Principles 1.Prescriptive 2.Universal 3.Overriding 4.Public 5.Practical

7 Some common moral arguments or principles If we can benefit someone, without harming someone else, we ought to do so. If we can prevent harm to someone, without harming someone else, we ought to do so.

8 Some common moral arguments or principles It is wrong to use people as means to other people’s ends.

9 What is wrong about using people? It violates their autonomy. What if the person cannot make decisions for themselves? It may be against their wishes.

10 Some common moral arguments It is wrong to kill one person to save another. Are there exceptions?

11 Some common moral arguments We should save as many as we can. Human life is sacred.

12 Some common moral arguments Human lives are equally valuable. Human lives are equally sacred.

13 What is a moral position? A moral position is one that I can support with reasons.

14 What is moral reasoning? The morally right things to do is whatever there are the best reasons for doing. The facts of the case support our reasoning for a particular choice being right.

15 What is moral reasoning? The reasoning is impartial. The arguments supporting the reasoning are sound. The arguments supporting the reasoning are valid.

16 What is a sound argument A sound argument is one in which the facts of the case support our reasoning and the arguments supporting the reasoning are valid.

17 Dworkin's list of unacceptable reasons to justify a moral position. 1. Prejudice 2. Personal emotional reaction 3.Proposition of fact that is patently false and/or implausible 4.Position that relies completely on the beliefs of others

18 Ethics as the evaluation of other people's behaviour Sources of mistrust about moral judgements Knowing other people Hypocrisy The right to judge Judging and intervention Judging and caring

19 Ethics as the search for the meaning of our own lives How Would You Define Ethics?

20 The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Ethics refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues.

21 Ethics describes the topic, idea, study, analysis, and discussion, of the hypothetical criteria for assessing the appropriateness of behaviors, decisions, actions, and/or intellectual positions. Ethics is concerned with what is right or wrong, good or bad, fair or unfair, responsible or irresponsible, obligatory or permissible, praiseworthy or blameworthy. It is associated with guilt, shame, indignation, resentment, empathy, compassion, and care. It is interested in character as well as conduct.

22 Ethics refers to principles that define behavior as right, good, and proper. Ethics is the study of how we ought to live Ethics tells us what is right or wrong, or good or bad, or what we should or ought, or shouldn’t or ought not to do.


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