A virtue worth killing for.

December 8, 2008

An Aristotelian moral worth of murder would be someone who is in charge of capital punishment. A person in charge of executing people would have to be virtuous at their job in order to keep it. Just like the fireman having a certain amount of bravery to enter a burning building. This form of murder would have to be virtuous enough in Aristotle’s eyes.

Moral Dilemma

November 30, 2008

Hobbes feels that we should be obedient to sovereigns or governments. He feels that government should determine laws and hold all authority; he believes that this is the only sure means of maintaining a civil, peaceful society. From this theory governments cannot be subjected to moral judgment because they hold all authority. I totally disagree with this position because, governments are people just like the people they preside over; therefore they are capable of making the same wrong decisions as the people the hold authority over.

Is war the answer?

November 30, 2008

Hobbes believes that in the “Right of Nature” it is every mans inborn right to use whatever means available to preserve his own life. Although war may be necessary for self preservation, the state of nature dictates that humans must seek peace to fulfill their right to preserve their own lives.

With the limited resources this world contains its would make sense that humans will stop at nothing to preserve their own lives, including war. And I do feel Hobbes is correct with noting that I would be the worst possible situation because, rather than preserving the resources we have now, humans would prefer to control all the resources to preserve their own lives.

The categorical imperative

November 30, 2008

The categorical imperative states that we must act in such a way that we could will the maxim according to which we act to be a universal law. Kant believes there are no ifs in moral action; he feels that morality works according to a categorical imperative because we must act in a given way simply because the motive is admirable, not because we have calculated that we can achieve certain ends as a result. This is why it would immoral to cheat on an exam. If you were to cheat on a exam, you would be doing so to achieve a certain result, which is why Kant feels that it is immoral.

Least troubling argument.

November 18, 2008

I would have to say I’m bothered more by the shortcomings of Mill over Kant. The view Mill uses on Utilitarianism is vague and to general, Mill bases all of his conclusions on how it affects overall happiness. Kant believes in a universal maxim, in which what would be the result if everyone chose to do the same idea. Although this theory is to general, his premise is a good idea. Mill does not give the benefit of the doubt in any situation, and feels the only thing that matters is overall happiness. This theory is incomplete and vague. Therefore I feel that Kant has the least troubling problems.

Irrational thinking

November 10, 2008

Kant believes that we must act in such a way that we could will the maxim according to which we act to be universal law. He also feels that morality works according to a categorical imperative because we must act in a given way simply because the motive is admirable, not because we have calculated that we can achieve certain ends as a result. According to Kant, he feels that lying is wrong because we cannot will it as a universal maxim to make it ok, but what about lying for a purpose to save your life or the life of someone you love. Kant also believes that committing suicide is immoral because it does not fit into his categorical imperative. I believe this idea that someone committing suicide is immoral is not thinking outside the box. If an individual is in pain and sees no end in sight then it should be up to that individual to determine the approach the would like to use to achieve a particular result.

Does happiness have intrinsic value?

October 30, 2008

I personally feel that happiness does not have intrinsic value. Happiness is a feeling that comes from experiencing something good, but at times comes in a different form. A basketball player who scores the last shot which wins the game for his team feel happiness that comes from an accomplishment. A father who watches that same game feels happiness because of his son’s accomplishment. Are the two the same? Obviously not. If happiness was intrinsic then all happiness we experience would be the same and would feel the same.

Dear Mill

October 30, 2008

After reading your mind-numbing essay on utilitarianism, I got a couple questions for you. First of all why do you feel everything is as simple as overall happiness? Don’t you think that if you categorize life like that it’s a little too simple? I personally think that life is a little more complicated than overall happiness, like what variables affect overall happiness? And on what grounds is a person bad, or wrong for causing overall happiness? Finally what makes one pleasure better than the other? How is one pleasure like reading valued higher than watching a football game? If they bring the same amount of pleasure how are they weighed the same if they are completely different?

overall happiness

October 16, 2008

The utilitarians believe that overall happiness cannot be achieved, in class we discussed why, an example given was because happiness and sadness has to be a balance and as we move from one end to another we will never be at one end of either emotion. I agree with this perception because if a person is constantly doing a specific thing to make them happy, eventually they will get bored or frustrated with whatever they are doing. Therefore, happiness and sadness have to be a balance to cancel out each other.

Self Sacrafice

October 16, 2008

Of course self sacrifice has moral value, with regards to utilitarian approach it of course depends on overall happiness. Self sacrifice can mean a firefighter rushing into a burning building to save someone, which is sacrificing his own safety. This example would of course bring overall happiness. Now say someone decides to donate a kidney to save someone else, not knowing that the kidney they donated could potentially harm or kill that other person. Would the utilitatarians think this action would be morally good or bad? I for one think it should not matter because in both scenarios the person was doing a good deed to save someone else.