What makes an action right? To what extent, if any,can the question be answered by drawing on ideas or findings in natural and social sciences?Illustrate your answer with an example.

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What makes an action right? To what extent, if any,can the question be answered by drawing on ideas or findings in natural and social sciences?Illustrate your answer with an example.

1. briefly explain the pros/cons of deontology, utilitarianism and virtue

2. Our groups think that utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism is the better option in real life

3. explain why, give examples

4. “can the question be answered by drawing on ideas or findings in natural and social sciences? “talk about how natural and social sciences is related/ helpful to moral ethics

simple english and grammar , dont be fansy



Title: 7. What makes an action right? To what extent, if any, can the question be answered by drawing on ideas or findings in natural and social sciences? Illustrate your answer with an example. Introduction Ethics •Meta-ethics •The underlying foundation of the other two •Focuses on what morality is •Normative Ethics •Framework for ethics •How should we act •Applied Ethics •Apply normative ethical theories to specific issues Meta-ethics •The underlying foundation of the other two •Focuses on what morality is Cognitivism vs Non-Cognitivism Cognitivism: •Relativism, Realism (e.g. Neturalism) •Moral claims are describing or attempting to describe reality, •“Belief: it is …” Non – Cognitivism •Emotivism •they are expressing a non-belief state such as an emotion •“killing is wrong” “ah” •Only a disapproval towards killing, but not giving other things •Emotional expressions are hard to be true of false What makes an action right? (act) utilitarianism deontology virtue Definition (act) utilitarianism the amount of social utility of an action deontology what we ought to do virtue the virtues that you will flourish as a human being Focus (act) utilitarianism deontology virtue consequences of the action duty that pass 3 criteria categorical imperatives character normative ethics (metaethics: cognitivism) Limitations (act) utilitarianism ● difficult to quantify the value of happiness ● different from each deontology ● ethical disaster ● rigid framework ● conflicts of the duties virtue ● different from the cultural context Rule utilitarianism makes an action right. Rule utilitarianism “… adopt general rules about the kinds of action which tend to produce greater happiness for the greatest number of people.” (Warburton, 2012) Happiness > painfulness (in social) X category of the action action itself Advantages of rule utilitarianism (1) it is simple (2) the rules are publicly understood (3) it respects individual freedom (4) it promotes trust and cooperation (5) it allows for progress. (Miller, 2009) Comparison with Act Utilitarianism Solve the problem of considering too many details in each scenario – Framework: consequences of the category of an act X consequences of each individual action – Difficult to notice and take all of the details into consideration – Only determine which category an action belongs to, then act according to the rule Example: driving on the road Option 1: – rule utilitarianism make decision according to – traffic signs – traffic lights – traffic rules Option 2: – act utilitarianism make decision by the drivers, according to – amount of cars – types of the cars – amount of pedestrian – speed rate – weather – condition of the driver, etc. Example: consider the scientific facts Fatigue driving behavior ↑↑↑: Truck drivers & Driving at night without street-lights (Zhang, Yau, Zhang & Li, 2016) Serious traffic accidents ↑↑↑: midnight & careless a top five cause of mortality in South-East Asian countries Improving by setting up traffic lights (Erdogan, Yilmaz, Baybura & Gullu, 2008) Traffic rules: driving safely & effectively (Aberg, 1998) Example: follow the traffic rules during driving ● simplifies the considerations ● enhance the safety, reduce the traffic accidents Rule utilitarianism > Act utilitarianism Avoid breaking the trust between people – Follow the rule that has been proven that the happiness will overweigh the unhappiness Following rules ↑↑↑ utilities Breaking rules in long term ↑ utilities because people have the same expectation of what to do and what not to do – the expectation effect by Harsanyl (1977) Example: – Killing healthy patients to use the organs of one person to save more lives – Consider which rule will maximize utility: kill healthy patients or not kill – According to Act Utilitarianism, killing 1 patient to save more lives has greater utility so it would be right to kill healthy patients – However, if first rule is adopted, nobody will choose to go to hospital anymore as they don’t trust their lives in the doctor’s hand – Hence, second rule maximizes the utility in the long run and thus at a larger level as people could visit the hospital to maintain their health Comparison with deontology In comparison with deontology Deontology: based on whether an action is right or wrong under series of rules instead of consequences of action. Rule utilitarianism: based on whether that action as rule can lead to the greatest good. Flexibility – In flexibility, rule utilitarianism > deontology Deontology: conflict of duties Rule utilitarianism: compare the pros and cons between two rules or above ===> decide which rule leads to the greatest good (Nathanson, n.d.) Conflict of duties solved Example – – Social work – the principle of confidentiality – always followed Unless: suicidal, homicidal or threatening a social worker (Malugani, n.d.) Deontology = conflict of duties (principle of confidentiality v.s. best interest of client) Rule utilitarianism = compare pros and cons between two rules ===> decide which rule leads to the greatest good Conflict of duties solved Comparison with virtue ethics In comparision virtue ethics – Virtue ethics: The morality of an action is based on person’ virtue. We should consider the question of “What the kind of person should we be?” rather than the question of “What thing should we do?” – Also, in virtue ethics, An action is moral as long as you follow your virtue. – Rule utilitarianism: The morality of an action is based on whether that action as rule can lead to the greatest good. Imperfection of virtue ethics – list of virtues that is culturally difference lead to different results. Example – Sexism? Saudi Arabia: male guardian for adult female Islamic: female should follow order from male ===> obidient = virtuous ===> right Same scene in HK ===> Can we say that too? No islamic in HK ===> too obidient = not virtuous ===> wrong Rule utilitarianism: ignore culturally difference, decide the rule that lead to the greatest good. Counter argument Counter argument Inconsistency Original rule Social utility↑ VS Alternative rule Social utility ↑ ↑ ↑ → Rule change Counter argument Inconsistency updated → Rule changed, when time flies e.g. the norm in the past was changed, when it was regarded as unethical Polygamy 一夫多妻 – sexually transmitted infection become larger endemic in polygamy system, by a professor of applied mathematics – Insufficient financial resource under the wealth inequality, by professors of anthropology – Avoid the death of the infant & cost of protecting the female by professors of anthropology & psychology – Pair bond in biological perspective which causes the production (Ross, Borgerhoff Mulder, Oh, Bowles, Beheim, Bunce & Ziker, 2018; Bauch & McElreath, 2016; Lukas & Clutton-Brock, 2014; Opie, Atkinson, Dunbar, & Shultz, 2013) cont. Facts from the studies of various disciplines prove : painfulness > happiness of the society → unethical Rule change → monogamy cont. Unchanged & core rule : maximization of the happiness evaluating the consequences of the certain type of the action if not break it, it is a kind of rule-worship (Nathanson, n.d.) as deontology cont. Difference on inconsistency, between the virtue ethic Rule utilitarianism Virtue ethic rules change as time flies rules change as cultural context Rule utilitarianism makes an action right. To what extent, if any, can the question be answered by drawing on ideas or findings in natural and social sciences? Meta-ethics •Focuses on what morality is Moral realism •Kevin DeLapp : “Moral values exist in a way that is causally and evidentially independent from the beliefs of anyone and everyone” •Evidence and beliefs do not determine those values •Moral values are true •Are not determined or dependent on individual •Regardless of what individual thinks •Individual should acquire knowledge about moral truths and learn to abide by them Moral Facts •“moral truths” •how reality relates to morality •truth = language that corresponds to reality appropriately •“I have a nose” • it corresponds to a reality (not an illusion) •(a) suffering is bad •(b) you shouldn’t cause needless suffering •what makes it true? Intrinsic values Is there an objective and ultimate good that we should all pursue? •“Goodness” / “Badness” in itself • happiness is intrinsically good, but suffering is intrinsically bad •we dislike pain or prefer happiness for a reason Experience •persuasive and potentially reliable •Happiness & suffering are real and irreducible parts of reality •has a materialistic origin The fact-value gap what is the case =/= what should be the case something is a matter of fact =/= something that is right it is a mistake to infer any moral claim purely on the basis of certain descriptive claims. Be aware of naturalistic fallacy: •Homosexuality is wrong because it is abnormal •cloning is wrong because it is unnatural Can the question be answered by sciences? Science: a branch of knowledge dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws ● morally neutral ● driven by authentic core values and ethical principles ● resolve moral disagreements and ethical dilemmas Science and Ethics Ethics of science: ● evidence warrants ● values relating to human conduct ● demands authentic results ● expected to be honest. ● Lusting after fame or recognition, egoism, greed, prejudice, snobbishness, racism, and political considerations have frequently resulted in immorality in the domain of science Promotion of science + the growth of moral values Phrenology ● Scientific Racism ● study of skull ● justify the continuation of slavery ● “tamableness” Homosexuality ● was classified as a mental illness in the DSM until 1973 ● criminalised ● “sexual deviation” Other Factors ● Mass media, politician ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ propaganda Political Stance Ideologies Post- truth Policy ● what is moral? ○ freedom? ○ human right? (refugees crisis) Coclusion – rule utilitarianism – some degree Reference Åberg, L. (1998). Traffic rules and traffic safety. Safety science, 29(3), 205-215. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092575359800023X Bauch, C. & McElreath, R. (2016). Disease dynamics and costly punishment can foster socially imposed monogamy. Nat Commun 7, 11219. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11219 Erdogan, S., Yilmaz, I., Baybura, T., & Gullu, M. (2008). Geographical information systems aided traffic accident analysis system case study: city of Afyonkarahisar. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 40(1), 174-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2007.05.004 Harsanyi, J.C. (1977). Rule utilitarianism and decision theory. Erkenntnis 11, 25–53. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00169843 Lukas, D., & Clutton-Brock, T. (2014). Costs of mating competition limit male lifetime breeding success in polygynous mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1786). https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0418 Malugani, M. (n.d.). Confidentiality in Social Work. Monster. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/confidentiality-in-social-work Miller, R. (2009). Actual Rule Utilitarianism. The Journal of Philosophy, 106(1), 5-28. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20620148 Opie, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Dunbar, R. I., & Shultz, S. (2013). Male infanticide leads to social monogamy in primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(33), 13328-13332. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1307903110 Ross, C. T., Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Oh, S. Y., Bowles, S., Beheim, B., Bunce, J., … & Ziker, J. (2018). Greater wealth inequality, less polygyny: rethinking the polygyny threshold model. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 15(144), 20180035. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2018.0035 Warburton, N. (2012). Right and wrong. In Philosophy : The basics (eds.). ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral.proquest.com Wrenn, C. B. (n.d.). Act and Rule Utilitarianism. In The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://iep.utm.edu/util-a-r/#H2 Zhang, G., Yau, K. K., Zhang, X., & Li, Y. (2016). Traffic accidents involving fatiguedriving and their extent of casualties. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 87, 34-42. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2015.10.033 The end Thank you!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem#/medi a/File:Trolley_Problem.svg  Would you pull the lever to divert the runaway trolley onto the side track?  https://tomkow.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8342025e153ef0 154320d24ee970c-600wi  Would you push the fat man?  It is the study of what is good/bad and what is right/wrong?  Three Dimensions of Individual Morality:  Motive  Action  Consequences  What constitutes a good motive?  What constitutes a right action?  What constitutes a good consequence?  Which dimension is more fundamental?  Deontology  Utilitarianism  Virtue Theory  “Deon” – Duty  “Logos” – Science  What really matters is whether the action is right.  Kant:  Categorical Imperative: You should do X if and only if everyone in a situation similar to your should also do X.  Respect for persons/humanity: Never treat others merely as means  Categorical – Absolute/Unconditional  Hypothetical – For some purpose/end, e.g., promoting the well-being of yourself or everybody.  Your action should be motivated by what is right, not by your desire, feeling, and consequence.  Thinking about an action morally is thinking about it as if it is a universal requirement applicable to everyone.  Example: You cannot say that it is OK for you to break a promise but not OK for others to do the same thing in similar situations.  Criticism: It is empty  Never kill except in a just war  Never break a promise except in cases similar to this (or except this case).  More and more exceptions can be added and the imperative becomes weaker and weaker.  Reply: Respect for persons/humanity  Never treat others merely as means. It’s OK for you to work for me and I give you are fair pay, but slavery is another story.  Pacifism: you should not kill your enemies even in a just war.  No exception to promising, telling the truth,….  Your desire, emotion and the consequence of your actions are morally irrelevant.  Criticism: How you can get motivated if they are irrelevant?  Maximize the happiness (utility) for the greatest number.  What is happiness? Does quality matter?  Bentham: It doesn’t. Happiness is just a blissful mental state (pleasure). Comparison is based on its intensity, duration, potential for future pleasure and so on.  Mill: Quality matters. Socrates’s life is full of frustration but he lives happier than a fool with a life full of pleasure.  Criticism:  How to measure and compare different kinds of happiness?  Too demanding: you should not buy an ice-cream and donate     the money for charity, especially for those in poor countries. Motivation: My happiness is obvious a motivating factor for my action. Why should I care for others, especially those very distant from me? Many of us have compassion and sympathy, yet many do not care. Is morality a matter of emotion? Reward and punishment: question begging as it assumes that utilitarianism is not problematic. Killing somebody, slavery ,.., and so on is morally permissible under some circumstances.  A virtue consists of a pattern of behavior motivated by some appropriate desire and feeling. The following actions are not virtuous.  Donation solely for the sake of promoting ones’ own fame.  The assassination of Hitler by a serial murderer who was malicious .  Cultivation is needed for becoming virtuous.  Morality is a matter of flourishing, building a character (what a person you want to be), and how to live your life.  William’s story of Jim and the Native Americans  Either one out of twenty is killed by Jim, and if he refuses all of them will be killed.  Killing an innocent undermines one’s integrity.  Criticism:  There is a list of virtues and what is included is culturally dependent.  Different virtues may lead to actions that are incompatible.  Virtue theory can overcome the problem of motivation but it sounds too egoistic or self-centered.  What is the status of moral claims? What is meant by ‘right or wrong’ and ‘good or bad’?  Objectivism  Subjectivism  Relativism  Moral intuitionism:  There are moral facts.  Moral claims are either true or false.  How can we know them? By our moral intuition but what is it?  We would arrive at the same position about any moral issue by exercising our reasoning.  Emotivism:  Moral claims are expression of our feeling or attitude, something like “Yummy” or “Yuck”, “Oh, no”.  People can have different feelings and attitudes.  Prescriptivism  Moral disagreement still exists, for there may be conflicts among people who live in the same group, community or society.  A single policy or action has to be taken (e.g., abortion is either legal or illegal), but different moral claims have different implication for what should be done.  So people will try to persuade one another by appealing to emotions, like what is done in advertising or propaganda.  Criticism:  Morality seems more like a matter of taste and rationality does not have a role to play.  What is right or wrong and good or bad is culturally defined.  An action often has different meanings in different cultures.  Different cultural practices, though incompatible, deserve equal respect.  Criticism:  Inconsistency: Relativism is applicable across all cultures.  Some practices seem outrageous, such as head hunting or circumscription of women. Shouldn’t they be condemned?  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem#/medi a/File:Trolley_Problem.svg  Would you pull the lever to divert the runaway trolley onto the side track?  https://tomkow.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8342025e153ef0 154320d24ee970c-600wi  Would you push the fat man?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0gx_D–iDw  Would you cut the rope if you were the son? …
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