Theory of Morality: Monism, Pluralism, Particularism

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Utilitarianism Pages: 3 (1052 words) Published: December 1, 2009
When considering the theory of morality. There are many different views about the guidelines humans should follow in order to be a good human and live in a functional environment. Monism, pluralism, and particularism are three different ideas about how one should make decisions. Pluralism seems to be the most plausible in our society.

Monism states that there is one principle of rightness. An example of this is utilitarianism. The utilitarian view considers the optional, obligatory and forbidden acts. Action X is forbidden if, and only if, x produces less than maximal utility. Action X is obligatory, if and only if, X maximizes utility. Action X is optional if X is one of several actions that maximizes utility. Utility measures amounts of happiness. Another example is consequentialism. It is the belief that all acts should have maximally good consequences. When making choices, a human should always measures the good consequences that would come about from the action. These actions can be measured by a multiple number of things such as religion, happiness, flattery, pleasure, etc. The basic idea behind consequentialism is the question of who would want to do anything else besides produces the maximum amount of goodness? With monism, right and wrong is considered by the majority of people.

Pluralism considers multiple principles of rightness. An example of pluralism is if punching is wrong in a certain instance, it must be wrong in all instances. Pluralism proves this wrong because punching could possibly be a good action when one must defend themselves. Pluralism and consequentialism contradict each other considering that consequentialism is a monistic view. For something to be considered a pluralistic view, it would have to take into consideration that there cannot be a general set of rules for moral choice.

Ross has a non-consequentialist view. His goal is to accommodate the ordinary moral judgments and eliminate inconsistencies. Relationships are...
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