Moral Doctrines and Moral Theories Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life Chapter 4
The Experience Machine, Nozick • What matters to us, apart from having pleasant conscious experiences? • First, we want to actually do certain things. • Second, we want to be a certain kind of people.
The Experience Machine, Nozick • Third, we do not want to be limited to a man-made reality.
The Judeo-Christian Tradition • Genesis: Creation and Fall • Exodus: The 10 Commandments and other moral prescriptions for Israel • Psalms: Happiness in knowing and following God
The Judeo-Christian Tradition • The Sermon on the Mount: Human fulfillment through an inner moral and spiritual transformation
Morality is Based on God’s Commands, Mortimer • The Divine Command Theory of Ethics: God’s will determines what is right and what is wrong. • The ethical person is both merciful and just.
Why Morality Does Not Depend on Religion, Arthur • The Nature of Morality • The Nature of Religion • What is the connection between morality and religion?
Why Morality Does Not Depend on Religion • Religion might motivate moral behavior. • Perhaps God provides us with moral knowledge. • Arthur’s rejection of these 2 claims
Why Morality Does Not Depend on Religion • The Euthyphro Dilemma
Of Benevolence, Hume • Hume believes that all knowledge is based on experience. • Morality is grounded in our human sentiments. • Benevolence is the key moral sentiment.
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, Le Guine • Le Guine’s description of the happiness of the many in Omelas • Le Guine’s description of the misery of the one child
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas • Why do some people walk away from Omelas? • What implications does this have for the credibility of utilitarianism?
Utilitarianism, Mill • Mill’s Principle of Utility • Mill’s Definition of Happiness • There is a difference between the higher and lower pleasures. • How do we discover which pleasures are better?
A Critique of Utilitarianism, Williams • Utilitarianism sometimes might require us to do the wrong thing. • The case of George • The case of Jim and Pedro
A Critique of Utilitarianism • Integrity and the value of our deeply held projects pose problems for utilitarianism.
Good Will, Duty, and the Categorical Imperative, Kant • Kant believes that only a good will is unconditionally good. • The person of good will does her duty for duty’s sake.
Kant cont’d. • Kant’s analysis of the moral worth of actions: impulse, reason, and duty. • Hypothetical and Categorical Imperatives • The Categorical Imperative: act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
The Holocaust and Moral Philosophy, Sommers • Introduction: religion, morality, and the Holocaust • Doing wrong vs. wrongdoing • The rationalist approach to morality, e.g. Kant
The Holocaust and Moral Philosophy • The sentimentalist approach to morality, e.g. Hume • Moral philosophy should prohibit cruelty to sentient non-persons.
A Critique of Kantianism, Taylor • The problem with many moral philosophers is their lack of appreciation for the pain and sorrow that exist in the world. • Such moralists focus on solving abstract philosophical problems.
A Critique of Kantianism • Kant failed to realize that there may be no true morality. • Kant’s theory is divorced from concrete human nature and experience. • We must find moral answers that work.