2 - John Rawls, A Theory of Justice A conception of justice cannot be deduced from self-evident premises or conditions on principles; instead, its justification is a matter of the mutual support of many considerations, of everything fitting together into one coherent view.- John Rawls, A Theory of Justice
3 Review – Our Three-Step Pie We begin by using this to dissect our problemBut… How do we then define our moral (ethical) problems / questions?Conceptual QuestionsMoral QuestionsFactual Questions
4 Genesis of Ethical Thought Began in ancient GreeceInfluenced by religionCurrent theories derive from western culture:EuropeMiddle EastSource: socialstudiesforkids.comEngineers are used to having just ONE theory to solve problems.Alas, ethics is not that simple.There are many theories to consider concurrently!
5 Do Not Panic! MORAL THEORY Defines issues in UNIFORM ways Links ideas and problems together in CONSISTENT ways
6 Four Evaluative Tools Pop Out of That Box! Duty EthicsVirtue EthicsUtilitarianismRights Ethics
7 Destruction of homes, livelihood of people living in flooded area Utilitarianism(John Stuart Mill)Maximize well-being of society as a whole, rather than the individualProduce most utilityTake consequences of everyone involved into accountConsider construction a damBalance between good and bad consequences of actionBenefitPower, drinking waterFlood control,recreationCostDestruction of homes, livelihood of people living in flooded areaWildlife, history
8 Two Types Utilitarianism (John Stuart Mill)Two TypesAct: Focus on individual actions rather than rules. Rules can be broken if doing so leads to most goodRule: Holds that moral rules are most important. Adhering to ‘do not lie’ or ‘do not harm others’ will lead to most good
9 Actions are our duties because they express respect for others Duty Ethics(Immanuel Kant)Moral duties are fundamentalEthics actions can be written in a list of dutiesBe fair, be honest, do no harm to others, etc.Actions are our duties because they express respect for othersMoral self-knowledge, which requires one to penetrate into the unfathomable depths and abyss of one’s heart, is the beginning of all human wisdom- Immanuel Kant,Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals
10 Rights Ethics (John Locke) We have moral rights, and any action that violates these rights is ethically unacceptableLocke argued that to be a person entails having human rights to life, liberty, and the property generated by one’s labor.Sound Familiar? Jefferson perhaps?People have central rights that other people have a duty to respectHuman rights - not good consequences – are fundamental
11 The Two Frequently Considered Together Rights Ethics(John Locke)Duty Ethics(Immanuel Kant)What if rights conflict? How do we decide whose have priority?These don’t always account for overall good of society well. They focus on the individual.
12 Focus is on the type of person we should strive to be Right actions manifest good character traits (virtues)Wrong actions manifest bad character traits (vices)Closely tied to personal characterRespect, honesty, competence, etc.Virtue Ethics(Aristotle)Focus is on the type of person we should strive to bePragmatism: Emphasize good consequences, BUT embrace a wider range of values than simply maximizing good by IMPARTIALLY considering interests of everyone affected
13 Let’s Consider a Non-Engineering Example What constitutes peaceful to you?How should public land be used?Should boundaries be drawn?Just what is right?
14 The Front Range Roadless Area In 2007, Governor Ritter presented a petition to the Forest Service requesting protection for roadless areas in Colorado as an "insurance policy" in case the regulation that had been protecting them is permanently repealed.Source:
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