PHILOSOPHY 1001-PPT 11
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
EARLY, LATE, POST-MODERN AGES
SEGMENT 5 – TIME FRAME
Early Modern Ages 1300AD- 1700 AD
Renaissance (same approximate dates)
Reformation (1517- 1685)
Late Modern Ages 1700AD- 1969AD
Post-Modern Ages- 1969AD – present
TERMS TO KNOW
WHAT IS ETHICS?
Ethics is a formal study of right and wrong – also called Moral Philosophy – the study of moral decision making.
Ethics are the values, principles and practices which direct individual and corporate behavior.
Ethics is about protecting and promoting the well being of people (and things)
Ethics is an attempt to bridge the gap between the world as it is and the world as our hearts tell us it should and could be.
We can shape the world through ethics.
Ethics 2002 – UMC
Ethics 2002 – UMC
A formal study- but we all have also had “informal” training in Ethics
Ethics; The Rules of the Game of Life
Ethics is a sub-topic under the major field of Philosophy called Value Theory. Ethics, however, gets the most attention in Philosophy. It is where our metaphysical and epistemological ideas are applied to real life.
Ethics is always a crucial topic but in our ethically challenging day, it is crucial.
Ethics are the rules of the game of life.
Rules help create meaning
In sports, the rules protect and promote the well being of players, game and audience and create a way for the best qualities in people to come forth. Without the rules, there is chaos and no meaning.
WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF ETHICS?
Survival Ethics – our most important rights and wrongs; self and society. (often become law)
Guidelines- ethical ideas give structure to life
Ethics can be understood as not only having to do with personal behaviors but also social, economic, political, entertainment, educational worlds.
Ethics are also positive, they are values and ideas that move us toward personal and corporate goods.
Morality – an intuitive sense that people and things should be treated in “good” ways- that the well being of people and things should be protected and promoted.
Ethics- the specific standards, values, ideas and rules we create to validate and apply our moral sense.
Morals- usually means the same as Ethics
Mores – the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of a community. (pronounced Mor-ays)
THREE FOCUSES OF ETHICAL STUDY
Metaethics – (Metaphysics) examines the source of our ethical ideas
Normative Ethics- theories, principles, ideas used to formulate ethical norms?
Applied Ethics- applying ethical ideas to real life situations
The “Great Debate” in Ethical Philosophy today; is there an objective moral reality or not?
4 ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ETHICS
Ethical thinking generally assumes that the following things are true.
Value of life – life has a special value
Altruism – people should act in ways to help others
Choice – people must have the choice to be altruistic
Consistency – ethical rules should stay more or less the same through time
But- there are challenges to the very idea of ethics
CHALLENGES TO ETHICS
While there have always been challenges to ethics, in recent decades in Western society, the rejection of traditional religious based norms and the move toward moral pluralism has created new and numerous challenges to ethical thinking and practice.
Death of God – traditional religious based ethics rejected
Relativism – non-consistent base for ethics
Egoism – egoism seems to go against altruism
Evolutionary Theory – ever changing basis for ethics
Determinism and Futility – no ability to choose ethical actions
Unreasonable Demands – ethical demands are too difficult
Ethical propositions have no meaning – language confuses us- analytic
(Consider the conflict some of these ideas have with the assumptions about ethics listed on the previous slide.)
(Consider that one’s personal ethics may conflict with those held by society in general.)
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Natural Rights/Natural Law
TERMS TO KNOW
THINGS TO PONDER
Think about the many decisions and actions you take everyday that are part of the “rules of the game” of life.
Are there any actions in life which have no relationship at all to the idea of protecting and promoting the well being of people and things?
Can you describe the “Great Debate” in Ethical Philosophy and explain why it is important.
GENERAL ETHICAL CONCEPTS
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