Intro to Philosophy - Midterm 2 Study Guide
Intro to Philosophy - Midterm 2 Study Guide PHILOS 1100
Popular in Introduction to Philosophy
Popular in PHIL-Philosophy
This 13 page Study Guide was uploaded by KR on Sunday November 8, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to PHILOS 1100 at Ohio State University taught by Jerilyn Tinio in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 110 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy in PHIL-Philosophy at Ohio State University.
Reviews for Intro to Philosophy - Midterm 2 Study Guide
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 11/08/15
10/18/2015 KR PHILOSOPHY LECTURE NOTES 10/12/2015 Pojman/Vaughn, "Why Is There Evil?” I. The Problem of Evil A. description 1. does the problem of evil pose a challenge to the rationality of belief in the existence of God? That is, does existence of pain + suffering in world count as evidence that judeo christian god doesn’t exist? 2. agnostic/atheist usually appeals to the fact that there is no clear evidence that God actually exists a. agnostic/atheist however has own positive argument against existence of God: argument from evil 3. kinds of evils: a.Moral Evil = involves bad things that humans are responsible for (eg crime betrayal destruction) b.Natural Evil = involves terrible events that happen naturally, events which often bring human and animal suffering (eg hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, nat disasters) B. The Paradox 1. the judeochristian God is a. omnipotent (all powerful) b. omniscient (allknowing) c. omnibenevolent (perfectly good) 2. if God is all of these things, why does he allow evil to exist in world he created? a. existence of evil is said to be incompatible w/ existence of God C. Argument from Evil (agnostic/atheist) 1. Roughly: (P1) if the JudeoChristian god exists, there would be no (or no unnecessary) evil in the world (P2) there is evil (or unnecessary evil) in the world (C) Therefore, God does not exist. → 2. The Freewill defense a. in hopes of partially countering argument from evil, theists appeal to freewill defense to explain how existence of moral evil is compatible w/ God’s existence i. Defense: “It islogically impossible for God to create free creatures and guarantee that they will never do evil.” (PV 115) ii. Allmoral evil is brought about by the free actions of humans, not by God → → 3. what about nat evil? a. 2 ways of natural evil i. natural evil = work of devil ii. natural evil = simply part of natural world, results from deterministic physical laws + human freedom D. JOHN HICK (1922 2012) 1. “There is A Reason Why God Allows Evil” a. 2 styles of theodicy i.augustinian = god created humans w/ out sin and set them out into world of paradise, humanity fell through “misuse of its free will” (PV 126) = story of adam and eve ii.irenaean = adam didn’t misuse free will or rebel against god, was placed n imperfect world to cultivate virtue god = little more responsible b. presents theodicy = “justification of God’s creation in the face of evil (PV 126) i. Hick = irenaean theodicy 2. Hick on problem of evil a. for hick, problem of evil is presented as dilemma: 10/18/2015 KR i. Either God is perfectly loving and all powerful, i.e. he must wish to abolish evil and must be able to or evil would not exist. Evil does exist. Therefore, God is not perfectly loving and all powerful. b. The problem, again, is to figure out how we can render the existence of evil and the existence of the JudeoChristian God compatible. 3. Hick rejects possible solutions (of theists) a. theist: fact of suffering is a mere illusion i. Hick: bible is accurate description of history; suffering of Jesus is real b. theist: appealing to deity that is finite, not omnipotent i. Hick: evil exists b/c deity that created the world is finite, god is allgood, allknowing, but not all powerful, just doing the best that he can, doesn’t have enough power → argument: but this is just to reject truth of conception of judeochristian god, existence of which we are trying to prove… 4. Hick on theodicies a. amodest enterprise (trying to make problem of evil less of a problem) b. is merely negative, doesn’t seek positive conclusions c. doesn’t claim to: i. “explain, nor explain away every instance of evil in human experience, but only to point to certain considerations which prevent fact of evil...from constituting a final and insuperable bar to rational belief in God” (Hick 127) 5. Structure of Hick’s subsequent discussion a. Deals with objections to the existence of the JudeoChristian God that deal with moral evil b. Deals with objections to the existence of the JudeoChristian God that deal with non moral or natural evil 6. Hick on Possibility of Moral Evil…. a. presents version of “freewill defense” of existence of moral evil and addresses objections to this defense i. “freewill defense”: “To be a person is to be a finite center of freedom, a (relatively) free and selfdirecting agent responsible for one’s own decisions. This involves being free to act wrongly as well as to act rightly. The idea of a person who can be infallibly guaranteed always to act rightly is self contradictory. There can be no guarantee in advance that a genuinely free moral agent will never choose amiss.” (Hick 127) ii. “freewill defense” simplified: basically, to be a person is by definition to be free, and freedom requires possibility of wrongdoing. there is a contradiction in assuming a person that never does wrong. ⇒ response to first b. Hick thinks of 2 objections to his freewill defense i. no contradiction in “saying that God might have made ppl who would be genuinely free and who could yet to be guaranteed always to act rightly” (Hick 127) so is there actually a contradiction (if person = free)? person doesn’t always do right thing, but can always do right thing ii. to say that god could not “create persons who are free from risks inherent in personal freedom” (Hick 128), is denial of omnipotence of God c. Hick responds to these 2 objections i. We might be “free” in relation to ourselves; we do what we choose, but a contradiction results when we assume that we are free and God created us such that we always choose the right thing God could’ve created us that we always do the right thing as puppets of God So if God created us as always doing right things, we wouldn’t be free ii. For God to create persons incapable of doing wrong is a logical impossibility, to do so would be to create a different kind of being altogether; this is not to call into question God’s omnipotence, but only to say that he would be doing something entirely different part of being a person is to be free, and being free is to do wrong complete good = creation of different being, not people 10/18/2015 KR 7. Hick on the Possibility of Natural Evil a. The skeptic’s (agnostic/atheist) premise: i. God is supposed to have made humans perfect and made a perfect world in which his perfect creatures live. b. The existence of suffering and pain is evidence that the JudeoChristian God does not exist. 8. Hick’s Response to This a. not fair representation of God’s purpose b. If God were to make a world where suffering were physically impossible, then: i. there would be no objective environment one could use to guide their action simpler: can’t co conceive of how we’re acting if we can’t rely on physical environment ii. there would be no opportunity for right or wrong action c. world is a place for “soulmaking” and place for humans to develop moral qualities PHILOSOPHY LECTURE NOTES 10/14/2015 I. William Rowe (1931 2015) A. Rowe, “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism” 1. Rowe focused on 3 questions a. is there an argument for atheism based on existence of evil that may rationally justify someone in being an atheist? b. how can theist best defend his position against the argument for atheism based on the existence of evil? c. what position should the informed atheist take concerning the rationality of theistic belief? B. An Argument for Atheism (P1) There are instances of intense suffering which OG could have prevented w/ out thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. evil exists for greater good to exist, evil exists to prevent something bad from happening (like Hick), for greater purpose seems some evil could’ve been prevented w/ out losing greater good (P2) OG would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so w/ out thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse unnecessary instances of suffering, God would prevent it if he could, wouldn’t let something happen unless some good could come about ======================= (C) OG doesn’t exist he would’ve prevented bad from happening *OG = God = omniscient, omni, omnipotent evil exists for greater good to exist, evil exists to prevent something bad from happening (like Hick) for greater purpose C. On the Atheism Argument (criticism) 1. might be able to challenge premises by “direct attack” a. challenge truth or rational basis of each 2. P2) seems to be something that we can all agree w/ even the theist would seem to want to accept this a. both theist + atheist would accept this b/c it’s definition of God b. describes necessary condition and not sufficient condition for God’s failure c. if suffering exists, exists because god needed it to exist to prevent bad, do something good i. sick child exists either some greater good came out of it, or some equally bad/worse evil was actually prevented d. move on to P1) 3. P1) there is unnecessary evil in world 10/18/2015 KR a. Row tells us that while atheist cannot prove this is true, atheist seems to have rational grounds for believing it to be true b. Rowe wishes us to think about whether we have rational grounds for believing P1 to be false c. ex: fawn dying in forest → connected to greater good? prevent bad thing from happening? i. is it reasonable to answer yes to any of these questions? to answer yes to all either of these question would be to claim falsity of P1 ii. what would Hick say about this case of natural evil? PHILOSOPHY LECTURE NOTES 10/19/2015 I. Possible theist defense/indirect attack (in response to Rowe) A. P1) there exists omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being. (it is not the case that he does not exist) P2) omniscient ,wholly good being would prevent occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. ______________________________________________ (C) It is not the case that there exists (i.e., there are no) instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. B. simplification of theist defense: Pt1) god does exist. Pt2) god would prevent any unnecessary evil in the world. Pt3) there is no unnecessary evil in the world. *this is just an argument against p1 of the atheist's argument from evil. C. on the theist’s defense 1. hence, the theist also has rational grounds for taking p1 to be false. 2. this relies merely on having a rational basis for the claim that god exists. 3. what is this rational basis? pick an argument… teleological, cosmological, ontological, etc II. What is to be said by the atheist about the rationality of the theist’s belief? A. some varieties of atheism: 1. unfriendly a. no one is rationally justified in believing God exists B. indifferent 1. no concern over rationality of belief in god C. friendly 1. some theists are rationally justified in believing that the theistic god exists 2. Rowe’s examples: a. Your plane going down on your way to hawaii b. friends are rationally justified in believing you are dead c. you are rationally justified in believing you are not dead. 3. Rowe: theists, in the end, can be rationally justified believing a false belief, even from the standpoint of the atheist III. Louis M. Anthony “Good Minus God” A. Antony introduces us to 2 important theories concerning nature of morality: 1. Divine Command Theory (DCT) = God makes good good 2. Divine Independent Theory (DIT) = moral worth independent from go’d demands B. Antony tells us, ultimately, that the claim of DIT is actually, contrary to popular opinion, more pious than DCT C. The Nihilistic Atheist says: 10/18/2015 KR 1. if God doesn’t exist then there simply is no objective “oughts” and “ought nots” 2. Morality is a mere fiction that we invent to control our “innate, bestial selfishness” 3. . Morality should be rejected if “there is no universal enforcer to dish out rewards and punishments in the afterlife.” 4. .Without God, we are in a Hobbesian “State of Nature” D. Antony nihilism doesn’t imply the rejection of morality 1. enter the possibility of the “moralistic atheist” 2. the moralistic atheist holds that: a. ”we find moral value to be immanent in the natural world” 3. but actually, Antony tells us, we don’t need to be atheists to believe that goodness is “a moral dimension of things” E. Antony—Consider some Consequences of pinning morality to the existence of God: 1. Slavery or human torture is not wrong if God doesn’t exist. 2. The moral value of individuals depends on God, your loved ones are worth nothing if God doesn’t exist. 3. Ultimately, Antony tells us, pinning morality to the existence of God is just as bad as being a nihilistic atheist. F. Terms: 1. Divine Command Theory: DCT: the view that what is morally good is constituted by what God commands a. Popular opinion may have it that DCT can explain morality. b. Antony: DCT can explain the objectivity or universality of morality (unlike the atheists). i. Given God’s status, it follows that what he commands is objective and universal. ii. But, it doesn’t follow from God’s status that his commands are morally good. 2. The Euthyphro Dilemma: a. Question: Which acts are pious (or good)? b. Answer: “The pious acts are the ones that are loved by the gods.” c. Socrates Asks: “Are the pious acts pious because they are loved by the gods, or are the pious acts loved by the gods because they are pious?” d. Problem: What is it that explains the piety of pious actions? e. The Euthyphro Dilemma: Two possible explanations for why pious acts are pious: i. (1) the pious acts are pious because they are loved by the gods—the gods make them pious (the gods confer moral worth to them) ii. (2) the pious acts are loved by the gods because they are pious—the gods love them because they are pious in and of themselves (they have intrinsic moral worth, recognized by the gods) 3. Competing Explanations of Morality: a. DCT provides the first explanation— things/actions/persons have moral value because God makes them that way b. Divine Independence Theory (DIT): The goodness of an action (or thing or person) is a feature that is independent of, and antecedent to God’s willing it. i. According to Antony, only DIT can successfully explain morality. ii. It explains: (1) why God is good; and (2) what it is that makes God’s commands good. PHILOSOPHY NOTES 10/21/2015 I. Our Topic: A. Value theory branch of philosophy concerned w/ what we value (good/bad, beauty, justice, animal rights, abortion 1. In our survey of Ethical theories, we study how one ought to act, or what the right or good thing 10/18/2015 KR to do would be 2. Some questions may be raised: Why do certain actions count as good and other as evil? If there is no real difference, why should it matter how we act? B. Problem (of what’s good/bad): is there and objective basis for morality, a basis that gives us a compelling to do the right thing, or pursue the good? C. What needs to be explained? 1. the reality of moral values the real difference b/n good and evil, what makes things or actions good or evil a. slavery, torture, and rape are evil b. healing the suffering, treating people equally and taking care of loved ones are good 2. Possible responses to this question: a. what we call “good” and “evil” aren’t really either of these things; our labels are just the result of social and cultural conditioning. there is no objective basis: anything goes i. slavery, human/animal torture, rape aren’t really wrong, just what we’ve been taught to believe b. there is an objective basis: god and his commands. God is basis of morality. i. god commanded that one should honor thy neighbor, → treating people badly is wrong II. Kurtz/Craig Debate = Question: is goodness w/ out God good enough? A. Kurtz’s positive view: 1. humanist on moral values = ppl can be moral w/ out belief in god; moral values grounded in human beings a. writes: i. “Morality and moral behavior do not depend on divine commandments but on the development of an internal moral sense and, particularly in the young, the growth of moral character, and the capacity for moral reasoning.” (Kurtz 25) b. nonbelievers have made significant contributions to society 2. holds that human beings are potentially moral; moral education is essential to moral development 3. life is meaningful on its own terms; no need to view afterlife as necessary for morality 4. how we figure out solutions to moral dilemmas is largely contextdependent 5. rational, ethical inquiry is best process of determining solutions to oral dilemmas; such inquiry is sensitive to dilemmas specific to our current historical context B. Kurtz’s objections to theism 1. excessively religious countries correlated w/ lower quality of life (27) 2. relying on religion tells us what the right thing to do is problematic be/c belief in god, even the same god, doesn’t generate commands that are thought to apply universally (27) 3. hazardous to rest our moral reasoning upon absolute principles handed from on high (29) B. Craig’s Positive View 1. theist on moral values: moral values grounded in God (DCT 2. argues that truth of theism is necessary for objective foundation for morality 3. if theism is true: a. basis for morality = things are good / evil independent of whether we believe i. (slavery, rape, etc) b. basis for moral duties = we have moral obligations independent of whether we think we do i. just b/c we think we don’t have to do right thing, we should c. basis for moral accountability = evil and wrong will be punished, righteousness will be vindicated, in the afterlife and for eternity i. reward/punishment for good/bad C. Craig’s main objection concerned w/ what makes morality objective 10/18/2015 KR 1. Kurtz’s humanism only works if he can show that a. theism is wrong and b. nihilism is wrong i. “…humanism is not a default position. That is to say, if the theist is wrong, that does not mean that the humanist is right.” (Craig 30) ii. humanist must also explain how he can provide a basis for morality, moral duties and moral accountability 2. objections to humanism a. if theist is false i. no basis for morality why think, as the humanist do, that humans are the basis of objective moral values? what's special about humans? → how can it get to objectivity? ii. no basis for moral duties? human beings are just animals, who impose moral duties on us? fish don’t steal, they take iii. no basis for moral accountability no afterlife → makes no difference if one lives as Stalin or saint, finality is death no matter how you live PHILOSOPHY LECTURE 10/28/2015 Craig’s claim = If theism is true, then we have a sound basis for morality. I. Kurtz’s objections to Craig: 1) Theism does not tell us (a) which God to believe in, and (b) which moral imperatives or commands to follow. a) theists = moral values grounded in God b) humanity's = moral values grounded in humans i) theist can’t tell us which God to believe and which ones to follow → can’t provide good basis for morality c) Craig’s response = unsuccessful for objection b/c doesn’t provide reason to reject his specific claim → regardless of which God, theism could still be true, we have to keep issues separately (basis of morality and which God) 2) The morals of theists are not “genuine” moral virtue. 3) Craig maintains that God is the only objective basis for morality, and that this allgood and loving God manifests his justice and righteousness in his creation. But this isn’t the case. a) Kurtz’s uses 9/11 as example of argument against that God shows justice/goodness in world (problem of evil) i) bad things happen = evidence that God isn’t good source of morality, God allows unjust things, not all perfect, all good, shouldn’t be basis of morality b) Craig’s response i) Problem of Evil not relevant, only used against existence of God (beyond debate) (1) God could have separate reasons for “bad” things ii) Problem of Evil = could pose problem on how we are understanding God’s goodness → how we are conceiving of God 4) It is hazardous to rest our moral reasoning upon absolute principles handed down from on high. a) We should BE cautious of accepting principles from on high, should make sure our principles are adaptable to world we live in, applicable to modern world i) Bible written long ago, might to be applicable to today’s lives ii) might be some that are incorrect, submit moral commands to rational scrutiny, dangerous to just accept b) Craig: God’s word is source of all moral value, only God can have objectivity of moral principles, need God to make it objective c) Kurtz: humans have natural tendencies to be good II. Craig’s objections to Kurtz 1) The humanist cannot provide moral basis for humanity. 10/18/2015 KR a) human’s just byproduct of nature, like all species, why should humans have power to decide morality instead of God i) if theist is false, why not humanist not nihilism ii) can’t get objective basis b/c human animals can’t get us grounds to actual goodness b) Kurtz = altruism in human nature i) even if there was not God, humans wouldn’t be moral despots, ppl would still act moral (we have lots of nonbelievers who act morally) ii) not species b/c Kurtz is saying how we should act in respect to other human beings, part of human nature to have concerns of how we treat other humans 2) Humanist can’t provide morals a) how can we have moral obligations to each other? Kurtz thinks that humans are animals, animals have no moral obligations to each other, other specifies don’t have that b) Kurtz = human communities have these social interactions, source of obligations 3) humanist has not moral accountability , doesn’t matter if one lives as stalin and saint, not real reasons to live altruistically a) without consequences, why would we be motivated? need heaven and hell, need objective moral basis b) don’t need God to motivate people Some of Craig’s arguments: 1. If theism is true: a. basis for morality = things are good/evil independent of whether we believe it b. basis for moral duties c. basis for moral accountability Some of Kurtz’s arguments: 1. humanist, moral values grounded in human beings 2. moral education is essential to production of moral individual 3. how we figure out solutions to moral dilemmas is largely contextdependent a. there are objective standards that we can use. but these standards are relative to human interest and needs and they change over time. there is an evolution within human history and civilization and a corresponding development of basic moral principles Some objects to Craig’s positions 1. why should we agree w/ craig if we can’t even tell which God is the true God and what God wants us to do in certain situations? adopting truth of atheism is at least impractical if not incorrect 2. belief in God is not sufficient for genuine moral virtue, appealing to authority is not sufficient for being a good person, and doing the right thing Main object to Kurtz 1. humanism can’t give us objectivity Who wins debate? 1. can’t tell Might we be at an impasse 1. can humanist get us objectivity we might want? 2. even if thiest is correct, is it practical to construct our ethical theories solely on what god tells us? 3. why do we want objectivity? a. moral principles arise our of culture b. if it’s all context dependent, how can we make legitimate judgments about other cultures that are morally inferior? ETHICS 1. ethics and moral philosophy “seeks to establish principles of right behavior that can serve as action guides for individuals and groups” (PV 474) 2. is ethics distinct from religion? a. close tied together, they need not be, religious ethical systems vs secular/philosophical ethical systems 3. is ethics distinct from law? a. law can be legit, but immoral 10/18/2015 KR b. legal obligations and moral obligations come apart c. intentions can fail to be legally enforceable but are immoral (buying gun w/ intention to murder) 4. is ethics distinct from etiquette a. etiquette = polite behavior but not right behavior in deeper sense i. something that society decides = concerns what’s fashionable and socially acceptable 5. moreover, there are limitations to religions, law and etiquette when it comes to helping us determine what the right things to do is (PV477) a. law = “can’t have a law against every social malady nor can you enforce every desirable rule” b. etiquette: “we don’t get to the heart of what is of vital importance for personal and social existence” c. religion: “it rests on authority, and we are not always sure of or in agreement about the credentials of authority, nor on how the authority would rule in ambiguous or new cases” 6. moral and ethical relativism holds: a. “that there are not universally valid moral principles, but that all moral principles are valid relative to cultural and individual choice” (477) i. to be distinguished from moral skepticism 7. kurtz’s humanism a. does it imply that there are not moral objectives that apply lundie vs lely? b. are objective ones impossible? lead to relativism? 8. moral relativism (2 forms) a. subjectivism i. morality is personal decision: “morality is in eye of beholder b. conventionalism i. matter of determining what’s socially acceptable 9. moral objectivism a. position opposed to moral relativism b. holds that moral principles apply universally, not just to partially societies or contexts Philosophy 10/30/2015 I. Does this mean we are committed to the truth of theism? is god necessary for morality? A. Must we bandom humanism? B. we must separate a position from the argument for the position C. just because someone offers a bad argument for a position, it does not prove the position false D. might there be a better or (any) argument that speaks in favor of humanis? E. can the humanist explain what grounds moral principles that are, as craig puts it “unconditional, objective and categorical?” (p. 37) II. Here’s one way to go.. A. recall, humanism is the position that we can ground morality, and justify it, by appealing to human nature B. if we want to show that human nature can explain how moral principles could apply universally, perhaps we can try and discover some moral principles that are held to be true by all human beings C. if we can find a moral principle (that murder is morally impermissible) that every human accepts as true, then we might think that there is something about humans that tells us what makes something universally good and evil for all humans III. Ruth Benedict: “Morality is Relative” A. human nature doesn’t give us moral principles that are unconditional, objective and categorical. B. if we look at humans on a global scale, we see there is not universal agreement. C. she tells us that what is abnormal in our society is actually normal in others. D. the concept of the normal is a variant of the concept of the good = both just apply to what is socially acceptable E. case studies: 1. trance and catalepsy (exorcized, mystical experiences) = crazy and revered 10/18/2015 KR 2. homoseuxality = indecedent/wicked and part of a good life? 3. berdache and crossdressers = stigmatized or respected 4. northwest melanesia (no one shares, eat someone else’s food is bad w/ harvest, ppl hide harvest, stealing productiveness) = “paranoia” as cornerstone of society 5. kwakiutl = death as insult (loved ones die, man/chief finds random ppl to kill, has to defend honor F. Conclusions (benedicts) 1. These studies “force upon us the fact that normality is culturally defined” 2. The ethics of a society is “selected” through a historical process, and get more deeply entrenched over time 3. “Morality differs in every society, and is a convenient term for socially approved habits” 4. “The concept of the normal is properly a variant of the concept of the good. It is that which society as approved" G. Implications for the golden rule? 1. our previous reasoning: a) I wouldn’t want to be stolen from: b) apply the golden rule c) stealing is universally, objectively, and categorically wrong 2. how do we know everyone feels the way we feel? is what’s unacceptable behavior according to me unacceptable according to everyone? IV. James Rachels “Morality is Not Relative” A. Rachel attempts to provide a direct response to benedict’s moral relativist position B. He tells us that benedict's argument, the “cultural differences argument” is a bad one: 1. The cultural differences argument: a) (P) different cultures have different moral codes b) (C) Therefore, there is not objective “truth in morality. right and wrong are only matters of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture 2. The argument is unsound a) premise concerns what ppl believe b) conclusion concerns that actually is case, a matter of fact c) consider past disagreements on heliocentric/geocentric models of solar system d) just b/c ppl disagree doesn't mean there is not fact on matter C. Moral reasons against cultural relativism 1. we could not longer say that customs of other societies are morally inferior to own. 2. we could decide whether actions are right/wrong just by consulting standards of our own society 3. idea of moral progress is called into doubt 4. → but these aren't really arguments against cultural relativism= merely tell us why it’s unattractive position D. Disagreement isn't so deep afterall 1. rachels claims to detect values that are held across cultures and are held run universally in all human communities a) all societies avalue + protect young b) all societies value truthtelling c) all societies value prohibitions on murder d) rachels: “there are some moral rules that all societies will have in common, b/c those rules are necessary for society to exisT” E. But moral relativism isn’t all bad:... 1. not all our practices are based on absolute moral standards. we should be tolerant of other cultures 2. it teaches us to keep an open mind, to not be dogmatic F. Rachel's treatment of benedict's argument 1. rachel's reconstruction of benedict has benedit putting forth a pretty crappy armagnet 2. is this the only way to understand benedict reading for moral relativism? most charitable? 10/18/2015 KR 3. An alternative reconstruction of benedict’s argument a) there is vast disagreement in moral principles of different cultures b) what is best explanation of this disagreement? (1) best explanation for lack of disagreement is that there is simply no fact of the matter . there are not moral objective facts. (2) if there were such facts, wouldn’t we have discovered them long ago? just as we came to discover the truth of the heliocentric model of our solar system? PHILOSOPHY 11/2/2015 I. Review A. Benedict argues in favor or moral, or cultural, relativism 1. Benedict: there are no moral principles that are held to be true by all cultures B. Rachels argues against cultural relativism 1. Rachels = the relativist’s argument is unsound a) ex: heliocentric vs geocentric debate (1) just b/c there are disagreements, doesn’t mean there isn’t a truth 2. Rachels = moral disagreements the cultural anthropologist points to isn’t so deep afterall a) 3 values = protecting young, truth telling, not murdering w/ out reason (1) can say all cultures value this, people can’t coexist w/ out these values II. Implications for the Golden Rule: A. Our previous reasoning: 1. I wouldn’t want to be stolen from . 2. Apply the Golden Rule = treat everyone the way you’d want to be treated 3. Stealing is universally, objectively, and categorically wrong. → We considered how this reading would hold up in a Commune. a) not considered stealing b/c “stealing” doesn’t really exist in this Commune, property doesn’t exist b) stealing only wrong in societies that have concept of “stealing”? B. Our previous reasoning: 1. I wouldn’t want to be killed. 2. Apply the Golden Rule = treat everyone the way you'd want to be treated 3. Killing humans is universally, objectively, and categorically wrong. → Is this line of reasoning wrong across cultures? Do we think that killing is wrong in the Kwakiutl tribe? Is it wrong in the Eskimo culture? a) some people want to be killed b) Kwakiutl chief (1) loved ones die, chief kills random people to maintain his reputation, no one stops him or protests c) Eskimo culture (1) killed young girls to balance out malefemale ratio PHILOSOPHY NOTES 11/4/2015 *Exam II Friday, Nov. 13th (Problem of Evil to Mill) 10/18/2015 KR I. Brief return to KurtzCraig A. So Craig (theist) painted humanist (atheist) as having only one recourse to grounding morality in human nature. 1. humanistatheist (according to Craig) believes that what we ought to focus on is the human animal, ie, through historical and evolutionary processes 2. while biological features of humans are universal, throughout history of philosophy (beginning w/ Aristotle), humans have been seen as having another universal distinctive property that sets them apart from other animals a) What makes human beings different from other animal? (1) throughout history of philosophy, a human being has been defined as a rational animal (2) unlike other animals, human beings have the capacity to reason b) grounding morality in human nature: (1) perhaps we can save humanist by grounding morality in human reason (2) Kurtz seems to be getting at this when he emphasizes rational inquiry as proper method of ethical inquiry (3) new humanist position: What is objectively or universally good/evil is what we ________ II. Normative ethics → operate under the assumption of the truth of humanism A. when we try to determine what the correct ethical theory is, try figuring out what best way of reasoning about our actions is 1. figure out best way to determine whether or not a given way of acting is right/wrong (good/bad) B. some ethical theories: 1. virtue ethics = moral value located in moral character 2. deontological ethics = moral value located in certain acts or types of acts 3. teleological (consequentialist) ethics = rightness and wrongness determined by some non moral (consequence of action) value (e.g. utility) C. Aristotle (384 322 BC) 1. Who? a) student of Plato + tutor to Alexander the Great b) worked on every area of western philosophy c) father of formal logic (premises → conclusion) d) parted w/ Plato on Theory of Forms (1) theory of forms = how to explain uniformity + groupings in nature (a) Plato thought natural categories were divine entities outside of nature (b) Aristotle thought natural categories → in organisms themselves/nature 2. “Ethics of Virtue” a) politics and ethics = definition, relationship, what good (1) politics + ethics = both sciences (knowledge) concerned w/ human good (a) every science is branch of inquiry that aims at, or for sake of some good (b) some sciences are better (subordinate) than other sciences (2) politics superior than ethics b/c concerned w/ good of humankind, not just good of individual b) characteristics of the goood? (1) definition = “well defined as that at which all things aim” (506 (2) highest good = all human activity (arts + sciences) aims (a) desired for own sake (b) happiness is highest good b/c nobody desires it as means to other things, desired for own sake (i) “happiness is something final and selfsufficient and the end of all action” (308) c) function of human beings → happiness (1) human beings similar to artists (flute player plays flute, harp player harp, sculptor sculpts) 10/18/2015 KR (a) all artists have special function (characteristic activity) (b) human beings have characteristic activity (i) rational activity (a) passive human beings can obey reason (b) active human beings exercise reason/intelligence (2) function (characteristic activity) of human beings = “activity of soul in accordance w/ reason, or not apart from reason” (a) ultimate good is to reason well (3) what does it mean to perform functions well? → how is happiness achieved? (a) act virtuously in accordance w/ reason and in the right manner d) relationship b/n habit and ethics? meaning of “a just man becomes just by doing what is just”? how can one do just things if one isn’t already just? (1) ethics → science of human good → being good → acting virtuously (2) moral virtues = “best be acquired by practice and habit” (509) (a) human beings become virtuous through habituation (3) “moral states are the results of activities like the states themselves” (509) (a) the more you do something, the easier it becomes to do it well (b) trains selves to be just (4) → possible problem: if one speaks grammatically, isn’t one already a grammarian? if one acts justly, isn’t one already a just person? (a) solution: acting justly is not enough because one must do right thing in the right awy (i) not about the act itself, but about the character of person doing act (ii) someone may do right thing, perform right act, but by accident or b/c of personal gain (iii) acts in accordance w/ virtue have to be in right conditions: (a) agent “must know what he is doing” (b) agent “must deliberately choose to do it and do it for own sake” (i) no one telling him or forcing him to do it (c) agent “must do it as part of his own firm and immutable character” (511) (d) → b + c set virtuous acts apart from acts performed w/ excellence in arts → virtuous acts are closely linked to character of agent
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'