Index Card Assignment Due Thursday: What are your ethical obligations as:
- a reporter reading a press release (public relations)
- a viewer of television news (broadcast)
- a listener in a conversation (human communication)
- The Religious roots of morality
- fundamental assumptions
- There are correct modes of behavior
- a higher power has provided laws
- we know what they are
- It is useful to notice, however, that the laws differ little from one religion to another
- either the same diety supplied the same rules to all
- or there was emergent social value in those rules
- Other key notions of religious morality
- There is an elite that knows the rules and is good at deciding
- Social consensus matters
- As does personal conscience
- Sometimes religions freeze morality by trying to seal off the future
- Example: Shakers
- But time marches on
- Somtimes religions attempt to freeze morality by trying to force their beliefs on others
- Example: Muslims
- Example: Christians
- Counter: Judism
- But oppressed beliefs take on power in their oppression
- Decision Tool: Consider the ways in which your actions might violate your religious beliefs and morality. Do not violate those beliefs.
- Our religion and values often exist as a "life script"
- we are schooled in them going back before we can remember
- how we learn to behave seems right without even thinking about it
- we make assumptions about virtue from observing others acting with virtue
- we make assumptions about duty based on watching others do theirs and being given some of our own
- Decision Tool: If something feels like the right thing to do, but you don't know why, consider the possibility that you have adopted the principle as a life script. Ask yourself why it is the right thing to do, and if you can't come up with a valid reason, question the feeling.
- Plato (about 400 B.C.): Established "The Academy"
- introduced the socratic method
- a means of exploring issues via question and answer
- through a debate of answers
- cast as a discussion between people, including Socrates
- is largely responsible for the concept of "character" as it is used today
- two core questions drive dialogues
- how ought we to live?
- how can we know how we ought to live?
- Advocated Cardinal Qualities
- Based on
- The good
- an end of ethical action
- the pleasant is simply a means for attaining the good
- Took an elitest stance
- most people are incapable of deciding between good and bad
- largely due to vices
- lack of discipline
- lack of temperance in pleasure
- Decision Tool: use personal knowledge, ignoring the view of society, to act in a way that pleases yourself and serves others. These actions should exhibits courage moderation, respect, wisdom, and justice. Refrain from wrongdoing regardless of the consequences.
- Aristotle (mid-300 bc): tutor to Alexander the Great
- The good is the object of all human striving
- Find the "mean": the just right point of balance between excess and defect
- excess and deficiency destroy perfection
- the mean preserves it
- this principle is sometimes called the golden mean
- we have a choice
- we can think about our actions before acting
- we can one can act from good habit
- Still an elitist - doesn't grant this kind of decision capability to slaves or women.
- Decision Tool: Find the just-right mean after considering all relevant factors
Exercise based on Index card assignment due today: Name two things you love to do and two things you hate to do.
|| -- Last edited September 18, 2015 |
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