Reference no: EM132184941
Question: Go to webtext section 9.5 on ethical theories. Which one comes closest to your own ethical philosophy? Consider at least one strength and one weakness of it when applied to your life and decisions.
Information: Webtext 9.5
Theory Criticisms Kantian Ethics
• Immanuel Kant put forth the categorical imperative, which states that you should only act on moral principles that you would be willing to turn into universal laws mandating that everyone act the same way.
• This is a version of the question, "How would you like it if everyone did that?"
Any two people who want to get married should be able to.
• This theory is so absolute that it sometimes goes against moral common sense.
It's wrong to kiss my spouse because I would not like it if everyone kissed my spouse.
• The morally right course of action is the one that will produce the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people.
• The only thing that matters is the consequences of the action, not the intentions behind the action (the ends justify the means).
• Ignores people's rights, duties, and intentions.
• Could be used to justify an act that most would consider morally wrong because it inflicts harm on one person unjustly, even if it brings great happiness to many others.
It's okay to steal money from my neighbor and take my family on a vacation, because then my whole family would be happy, and only my neighbor would be harmed.
• Doing whatever is best for your own interests or would make you happy.
• This is not necessarily the same thing as doing whatever you want in the moment, because that might not be in your best interests in the long term.
• Can be used to justify terrible actions.
• Doing whatever is best for others or would bring the greatest amount of happiness to people besides yourself.
• Sometimes it's hard to figure out what is best for everyone involved.
Authoritarian Moral Theory
• Doing whatever an authority figure (a teacher, your boss, the president, etc.) tells you is the right thing to do.
• You're sacrificing your critical thinking skills when you blindly follow what someone else says without scrutinizing it.
• Doing whatever your religion, deity, or sacred text says is right.
• Like the authoritarian moral theory, it can be dangerous to blindly follow any authority.
• There is enduring controversy over which religion is the "correct" one.
• Historically, religion has been used to justify many actions generally considered immoral.
• Believing that morality is completely subjective and each person decides for themselves what they think is right.
• Implies that you can't pass judgment on anybody for anything, assuming they're doing what they believe is right.
• Becomes contradictory-what if you believe an action is wrong and another person believes the same action is right? According to moral relativism, the action would then seem to be both right and wrong.
• Believing that whatever your culture approves of is the right thing for you to do.
• Has the same problems as moral relativism.
• How do you determine what counts as a culture or group? And what if there is disagreement within that group?
• Believing that whatever your religion approves of is the right thing for you to do.
• Has the same problems as the other relativism theories.
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