Philosophy 1332: Week 1-2 Reading Summaries
Philosophy 1332: Week 1-2 Reading Summaries PHILOS 1332
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lilian Zyzanski on Thursday January 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHILOS 1332 at Ohio State University taught by Andrew Kissel in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see Engineering Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Ohio State University.
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Date Created: 01/21/16
EE Introduction Thursday, December 17, 2015 4:11 PM • Ford ○ Ford car was hit and the tank ruptured and three teenage girls died ○ Ford was charged in Criminal court ○ Potential jail time for ford engineers who worked on that car ○ Engineers knew about design flaw, but management forced them to use plan ○ Had to balance duty to employerto duty to the public • Engineers will run into ethical dilemnas • Engineering ethics--rules and standards governing the conduct of engineers in their role as professionals • Why study engineering ethics? ○ Bad stuff will come up, studying ethics will help guide you in what to do • Personal vs. ProfessionalEthics ○ Personal ethics--how we treat each other ○ Professionalethics--choices on an organizational level • Origin of Ethical Thought ○ Originates in ancient greek, some judeo christian stuff • Ethics and the law ○ Engineering governed by international, federal, state, and local laws, some practical, some based on ethics ○ Distinction between legal and ethical • Ethics problems are like design problems ○ Range of solutions • Case studies ○ Challenger was in cold weather ○ O-ring made brittle by the cold ○ Explosion ○ Engineers had concerns about launching, but management didn't like that ○ We all know what happened • Space shuttle challenger and columbia accidents ○ Challenger disaster is mostwidely written about ○ What is proper role of engineer when safety is a concern? ○ Who should have the decision to order a launch? ○ Background Supposed to be reusable Accident was the result of a rocket booster Rocket boosterhad more thrust but not able to turn it off or change amount of thrust, liquid fuel throttle can be controlled NASA awarded contract to MortonThiokol Individual cylinders inside each other, sealed by O-rings Test launches had O-ring erosion Not enough time to fit it on the challenger ○ Political Climate NASA's budget was determined by Congress, which was annoyed at delays Challenger was billed as reusable Pressure led to NASA scheduling a lot of missions in 86 to prove to congress they were on track Ethics and Religion by Don Hubin Thursday, January 7, 2016 9:45 PM • Dostoyevskywries, "If God is dead, then all things are permissible" • Religious moralism--no basis for morality or moral claims without God • Secular moralism--moralstandards can exist without god • If moral standards come from God, then standards cannot exist independent of God because then we could use our moralityto judge god • Some theists reject religious moralism ○ Most theists believe god is morally perfect ○ Praising God ○ But religious moralism wouldn’t allow us to praise god as standards of goodness and badness are defined by God--it would be meaningless ○ If standards come from god, god being good doesn't mean much ○ When you say god is all-good, then good must have a meaning other than god • Divine command theories of ethics ○ Divine command theory of ethics--rightness or wrongness of an action depends on God's command ○ Some people can believe that there is an independent moral view which requires we listen to god among other things--not the aforementioned ○ Lets further define it Extensional equivalance thesis--an action is morally right if and only if god wills it and is morallywrong if and only if god rorbids it Dependancy theory--God's willing an act is the reason that a morally right act is mroally right and god forgidding an act is the reason that a morallywrong act is morally wrong ○ Argument against-- ○ Good because god willed or does god will because good? If god does not make arbitrary decisions then there must be an independent standard Does Morality Depend on Religion by James Rachel Thursday, January 7, 2016 10:24 PM • Presumed connectionbetween moralityand religion ○ Leaders in religion are considered moral experts ○ Ethics committeesare typically comprised from religious representatives ○ Is there an actual connections? • Divine Command Theory ○ Morally right is commandedby god ○ Morally wrong is banned by god ○ Problems If we mean that conduct is right because god commandsit then gods commands are arbitrary and goodness of god is nonsense If we mean that god commandsright because it is right then that gives us different moral standards ○ Summary 1. Suppose God commands us to do what is right. Then either (a) the right actions are right because he commandsthem or (b) he commandsthem because they are right. 2. If we take option (a), then God's commands are, from a moral point of view, arbitrary; moreover,the doctrine of the goodness of God is rendered meaningless. 3. If we take option (b), then we have admitted there is a standard of right and wrong that is independent of God's will. 4. Therefore, we must either regard God's commandsas arbitrary, and give up the doctrine of the goodness of God, or admit that there is a standard of right and wrong that is independent of his will, and give up the theological definitions of right and wrong. 5. From a religious point of view, it is undesirable to regard God's commands as arbitrary or to give up the doctrine of the goodness of God. 6. Therefore, even from a religious point of view, a standard of right and wrong that is independent of God's will must be accepted • Theory of natural law ○ World is a rational order with values and purposes built into nature ○ Four questions must be asked What is it What is it made of How did it come to exist What is it for ○ Teeth are for eating ○ Theists added god in ○ Not only how things are, but what they ought to be, eyes that cannot see are defective ○ Moral rules are derived from laws of nature ○ Problems Confuses is and ought Modern science explains nature better Trying Out One's Sword by Mary Midgley Friday, January 8, 201611:01 AM • Other cultures are strange to us • How do we (in the current system)deal with this difficulty? ○ Many people revert to 'moral isolationism' Where we don't know enough about another's culture to really place judgement on it Must have respect and tolerance for other cultures ○ Criticisms of this approach This is not a respectful approach □ If you don't know enough about a culture to cast judgement, then you don't know enough about it to make a favorable judgement, to truly respect it ○ Example of this approach Samurai swords in japan had to be tried out □ To try it out you had to slice through someonein a single blow, shoulder to the opposite flank, otherwise sword wasn't good enough and his honor was injured □ Any wayfarer would do as a test subject, kill the rando □ How do we condemn this without knowing moreabout their culture? You must spend a lot of time in culture and know it more first Does the isolating barrier between cultures block praise as well as blame? ◊ If we can't criticize then we also can't blame What is involvedin the judging? If we can't judge other cultures, can we judge our own? Moral isolationism brings about quandaries like this, don't be a moral isolationism ○ Moral judgements necessary We say something is good or bad, to aim for or to abide We need this frameworkof comparisonfor our own policy, so we can change If we think judging other cultures is wrong, then that itself is a judgement, contradictory • Summary ○ There is no isolating box between cultures ○ We can judge other cultures ○ People who say we can't judge other cultures use arguments that are self defeating--ie defend some practice in that culture that someoneis condemning, by defending it by explaining the background within that culture they're showing that they are capable of judging that culture, they're just judging it favorably