Week One Content Outline
TOPIC and Objectives
ETHICAL AND MORAL PERSPECTIVES
• Describe the difference between ethics and morality.
• Compare major ethical theories.
• Explain the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts.
1. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ETHICS AND MORALITY
a. Ethics and morality often confused
1) Definitions blur the line between the two.
2) Difficult to have a set definition due to subjective nature. b. Personal views of ethics and morality
1) According to Basic Ethics, those who believe in religious connection to ethics and morality “there is an independent source of goodness that exists in some other (supernatural) realm” (Boylan, 2009, p. 58). 2) According to Basic Ethics, those who hold nonreligious views believe that ethics and morality are more consistent, coherent and complete and any other views would be redundant (Boylan, 2009, p.,58). 2. Major ethical theories
a. Ethical contractarianism
1) Freely made agreements between individuals, individuals and the community 2) Implicit contracts
3) Key theorist
4) Major arguments against ethical contractarianism
a) “Agreement only indicates assent among like-minded people” (Boylan, 2009, p. 130). b) What if what is agreed upon is evil?
1) Rightness is determined by rightness of the actions, not rightness of the outcomes 2) No single deontological theory
3) Kant is one practitioner
a) Prohibitions: things you should not do
b) Obligations: Things you must do
c) Permissions: Things you may do if you want
d) Looked for “science of right and wrong in human action” (Boylan, 2009, p. 176). e) Supreme principle of morality
1) Categorical imperatives
2) Hypothetical imperatives
4) Major criticisms of theory
a) Not enough substance
b) Major practitioner, Kant, contradicts himself in his two different forms of categorical imperatives. c. Virtue theory
1) What it means to be good
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