I’m trying to learn for my Philosophy class and I’m stuck. Can you help?
Discussion 600 words
Some of the longest going and most active most recent (or “live”) debates among contemporary ethicists concern the conflict between the competing ethical frameworks of Utilitarianism and Deontology. Utilitarianism presents us with a moral philosophy in which the primary concern is the pursuit of the greatest good by way of min maxing happiness (i.e., pleasure) and suffering (i.e., pain). Whatever course of action will lead to the greatest good, on the Utilitarian account, is the one that ought to be pursued. Deontology, in contrast, posits the existence of an absolute moral law, the terms of which can be understood by human reason, and which ought to be obeyed unconditionally (without exception). Kant proposes that, even if one never managed to have any practical impact upon the world, then a will which desired to be in accordance with the moral law would still be in possession of a moral worth that shined like a “jewel.” Kant also says that we never have any excuse to violate the moral law, even if the entire world should go to hell as a result. Is the practical impact of our moral decisions all that ultimately counts? Or is it instead the case that we have an absolute and incorruptible duty to obey the moral law, consequences be damned? Could there potentially be a (intellectually or morally) consistent middle path between these two competing views? Why or why not?
Last week, the prompt asked us to provide a similar evaluation of Utilitarianism on its own terms. Be sure to defend the opposite view to the one you staked out in your response to last week’s discussion prompt.
last weeks response you did was
The Ethical Theory of Utilitarianism
As a normative ethical theory, it recognizes the fundamental role of pleasure and pain in human life and maintains that pain and pleasures are capable of quantification; therefore, ‘measure’ (Lyons, 2015). In addition, it seeks to promote the ability to accomplish happiness or higher pleasure; as such, it is considered the “Greatest Happiness Principle” (Singer, 1972). With this in mind, the paper will provide an example of a moral dilemma and apply the utility principle to determine what the correct utilitarian decision to make would be. In addition, based on this example, it will discuss to what extent you either agree or disagree with the emphasis Utilitarianism places on the promotion of the greater good, and the definition of the greater good in terms of maximizing “utility” (net pleasure vs. pain).
Moral Dilemma or Decision:
A current example of utilitarian ethics’ use can be found in criminal justice of validating the correct punishment for minor offenders. For instance, the ethical issue involved in validating legal punishments for minor offenders revolves around minors who put tattoos while still in high school. It is in the influence of others to put tattoos for their happiness and pleasure; as such, in this case, it becomes a moral dilemma or decision.
Generally, juvenile courts often deal with underage offenders; however, the action of which there is a variation on the judgment passed. Therefore, this details the conflict argument of the correct punitive actions to undertake to correct the minor offender. As such, these legal punishments have raised moral and ethical problems within correctional settings on how kids should be judged; therefore, legal punishments should be based on the aspects of the utilitarian view. Students with tattoos can be a challenging aspect to decide their case since most tattoos are permanently drawn on the skin. Therefore, schools with laws that do not allow tattoos may find possible ways of correcting offenders from repeating such offenses rather than giving them suspensions or chasing them permanently. With this in mind, it is essential to note that the utilitarian view remains an important principle that aids in decreasing offenses; therefore, placing minimal challenges on the culprit.
Solution (Realistic, Moral):
Establishing and implementing school laws that eradicate the putting of tattoos for minors can be unfair. Even if they are not prosecuted or arrested for such crime, it will affect the overall happiness and pleasure of students. A realistic solution to the necessary putting of tattoos is allowing all students to either put it off or be allowed to put tattoos. We would be wrong to try to put everything in the lens of “greater good” for the majority.
As adduced in Byskov’s (2020) views, the ethical framework of utilitarianism primarily portrays an action as either good or bad based on its consequences that determine its moral importance (Byskov, 2020). As said earlier, a greater good, in truth, is good for all, not good for most. The implications of a moral code that is based on the effects of a majority having the favor of the system would mean that one day somebody might be in the majority’s favor, and another, they would be out of it. When performed appropriately, it is what creates the most happiness for the most people. It is the act’s value that is determined by its helpfulness, with a great emphasis on the consequence or result. By this ethical framework, philosophers argue that it is essential to set correctional measures on minor offenders with utilitarianism in mind (Singer, 1972).
Byskov, M. F. (2020). Utilitarianism and risk. Journal of Risk Research, 23(2), 259-270. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2018.1501600
Lyons, D. (2015). Utilitarianism. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118785317.weom020088
Singer, P. (1972). Famine, affluence, and morality. Philosophy & public affairs, 229-243.
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response 300 words
A wise man once said, and would still say, that too much of anything can be bad for you. An extreme of anything is also no exception to this saying. The idea that the practicality of the way you live your life dictates the worthiness of it is no less insane than the idea that there is a moral law that must be upheld regardless of circumstance. The reality that we are faced with is a medium of the extremes is the best solution to a problem with no solution. We must make exceptions to moral “law”, because moral “law” is more similar to moral code than law. It is genuinely impossible to conduct a life than adheres to societal standards while also leading a life that makes no exceptions morally. A good example is dealing with corporate at a job you work for: getting a raise is an absolute moral nightmare. Reserved individuals, typically those who struggle with asking for things like a raise or hour changes, have the moral standard of not being too much of a nuisance or not being too demanding. Archetypes like race, sex, or circumstance cause these moral standards as well. If this individual lived perfectly to this moral standard, they expose themselves to abuse of their skills: not being paid enough for the work that they do. This is why corporations have protocols to deal with individuals asking, or at times, demanding a raise. The practicality of living up to this law wouldn’t make an individual any more significant, if anything, it makes them all the more muted due to the fact that they cannot express their wants and needs due to their strict following of their own moral code. The reality: we meet in the middle. We consider our tones, our demands, the warrant of both of the prior, and draft a plan. If an individual has been working at a company for years, and is planning to ask for a raise for the first time, the tone would typically be relaxed and serious. This conveys a meeting of the middle regarding the urge to receive higher wages while also being patient. There are many other scenarios that could occur, but in any situation where our morals clash with our wants or even our needs, as finance determines your living conditions, we must make compromises. There cannot be an absolute law because there are an endless number of situations in which a compromise must be made. Even if this moral law was a universal one, “do not kill”, “do not steal”, etc. moral dilemmas like feeling as if your life is in danger or needing to steal to save somebody’s life arise. It is genuinely impossible to suggest that, in any event, practicality or loyalty to a code would supersede the necessities of the situation at hand. This middle path is necessary because without it we would be left with extremes or fringe extremes that would isolate us as individuals, leave little room for experimentation, and the whole world would be robotic. Individuality would crumble at the idea of an “incorruptible duty to obey the moral law”, sure problems would be taken care of, but this would happen with a number of other problems taking its place. The extremes presented conflict with individuality, structure, and the human ability to compromise for the best possible result.