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Chapters 3 and 4

by: Katlyn Burkitt

Chapters 3 and 4 Phil 103

Katlyn Burkitt
GPA 3.2

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These are the notes from chapters 3 and 4 for this class
Intro to Ethics
Class Notes
Ehics, wilson
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katlyn Burkitt on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Phil 103 at Towson University taught by Wilson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Intro to Ethics in philosphy at Towson University.


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Date Created: 09/27/16
Chapter 3 Ethics 3.1. The basic idea of ethical subjectivism  Ethical subjectivism: Moral opinions are based on our feelings and nothing more 3.2. The evolution of the Theory  Starts in simple attractive terms  Examined to find defects  People are impressed by the objections and abandon the theory  Then they retain confidence in the basic idea  Then they refine it  Which makes it seem like they can rescue the theory  But the original process begins again 3.3. The First Stage: Simple Subjectivism  If someone says thing X is good or bad they just mean that they approve or disapprove of thing X  The problem with this is that it doesn’t account for disagreement  The reason it doesn’t is because it’s simply a statement, I approve of this but you don’t but we both feel what we feel so neither of us are wrong  Because of this it also implies that we’re always right by the fact that it’s only the statement of approval or disapproval as long as your honest then your judgement is always correct. 3.4. The Second Stage: Emotivism  Popular during the mid-20 century due to Charles L Stevenson  Facts vs emotional language o Emotional language portrays a specific emotion (Good job) which is determined by tone  This theory changed the belief from simple subjectivism that moral language was stating a fact. Instead of saying I approve or disprove but instead to influence people’s behavior  This theory allows for disagreement o Disagree on facts/beliefs or in desires 3.5. The role of Reason in Ethics  You don’t’ have to defend your own opinions such as liking a peach but you have to defend telling someone that they shouldn’t or can’t do something  There are moral facts  Our values are nothing more than the expression of our subjective feelings  Moral truths are truths or reason but moral judgement is true if its backed by better reasons than the alternatives 3.6. Are there proofs in Ethics?  No you can’t prove opinions to be correct but you can persuade others to accept your “proof” 3.7. The question of Homosexuality Chapter 3 Ethics  This goes into a case study discussion of the moral implications of the arguments for and against homosexuality  Chapter 4 Ethics 4.1. The presumed connection between morality and religion  A belief that gods law is above human law 4.2. The divine command theory  Basic Idea: God decides what is right or wrong, actions he commands are morally required, ones he forbids are morally wrong, and everything else is morally neutral  Difficulties o This conception of morality is mysterious because the idea that God can make something like truth morally right or wrong is beyond human conception. o This conception of morality makes God’s commands arbitrary because he could in theory command anything he wants so what he does command doesn’t matter o This conception of morality provides the wrong reasons for moral principles because if something is malicious or dangerous then it is considered wrong except this theory disregards any of those potential reasons, instead the only question is if it is right or wrong according to God. 4.3. The theory of Natural Law  The idea that everything in nature has a purpose  That when they are serving that purpose the world is in harmony because natural law also shows how things ought to be 4.4. Religion and Particular Moral issues  This section explains the attempts to take scriptures and church traditions and apply the to cases such as abortions.


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