Normative ethics is the exploration of the question if religion dictates morality and what the foundation of morality is. Whether it is even possible to combine them and if possible identify a set of basic moral rules that unify all the principles.
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Plato’s argument in Euthyphro conceptualizes that a benevolent being exists. But also fundamentally questions the nature of the relationship between a benevolent being and the forum of morality. That a benevolent being was loved by all gods thus one being “pious” would be the rule of morality. What makes Socrates’ father guilty of murder begs the moral question of, at that time in history, if humanity believed murder is truly evil or if it just depends on the situation. Or in that case wether the gods agreed amongst themselves if the murder was just or unjust.
Natural law theorists see morality as a matter of fulfilling our human nature, that it is not a benevolent being that conceptualizes rules of morality. That we use reason to analyze human nature in order to produce binding rules of moral behavior. Good must be done and evil must be avoided at all costs.
Aquinas theorizes that as humans we can never complete pure happiness and that pure happiness can only be accomplished in spiritual union with God. He characterizes that happiness consisting of well being, completion and perfection. Achieving happiness can only be achieved in the way of intellectual and moral virtues. Using intellect to achieve happiness in a consistent way. He believed that God gave us the ability to generally know what is good and seek good. We naturally desire goodness that facilitates perfection but excessive passion, unreasonable fear, and self-interest can distort the way we think about what is good. Just as sex is inherently good, excessive passion can corrupt what the role of sex is and make us want to pursue temporary pleasure instead of the more enduring good of the act.
Utilitarianism expresses that we must maximize overall happiness in our actions. Mill believes “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness”. That we will do good as long as we follow the familiar rules of, don’t lie, don’t kill others and keep your promises. That these rules are justified because they usually produces good that increases happiness. Mill also goes along and says that no ones happiness is less important than another’s. One argument that Utilitarianism “demands too much of us” and requires us to “always be motivated to promote the greater good” is denied by Mill. Mill’s response was by saying that only a small handful of people are capable of doing good on a large scale so people must not be faulted if they try to do good but fail.
Ross believes that Utilitarianism “ignores the highly personal character of duty”. Does not distinguish who receives the good actions only that happiness is in itself of the good actions. This belief does not account for how general the theory is. That Utilitarianism is not just about duty but is about promotion of good. Ross only tries to find a flaw in a simple belief that regardless of the good it is inherently creating happiness. Not all people can do good on a large scale, any attempt to do good is in fact still creating happiness.
Kantianism theory requires us to embrace principles that demand fairness and consistency. A theory that certain moral rules must be followed without exception. Kant’s argument is morality based and is for practical reasons. He argues that the goal of humanity is to achieve perfect happiness and virtue. That an afterlife must exist in order for humanities virtue to be possible and that such a God must exist to provide those things.
Hobbs believes in self-interest and that one must look out for themselves. Argues that breaking promises is unjust and one is a “fool” for thinking that it is just to sometimes do so. One must always do the rational thing in ones duty.
What makes a persons actions just? Ross sees the flaws in both Utilitarianism and Kantianism theories. Believes that most moral philosophers agree that these theories are unsatisfactory. Ross adopted a theory that there are distinct moral duties of “benevolence, fidelity, truth telling, gratitude, justice, reparation and fidelity to premises”. A basis for prima facie duty, but says that it is “sometimes acceptable to violate” such duty. A theory that consists of more than one element and asserts the existence of a variety of moral rules. Each rule is independent of the other and that not one rule or element has absolute strength.
Contractarianism, refers to both the theory of legitimacy of political authority, and the ethical theory concerning the origin, or legitimate content, of moral norms.
Virtue ethics explains that we must place character in the middle of morality and view moral actions as the conduct that people should undertake.
Aristotle believed that
Lindemman explains that women must not be compared to men and must be individualized as to have thought of their own. That women are capable of conceptualizing in a different way but in essence have the same ability as men. She argues that gender is primarily normative and that gender only prescribes rules of behavior that is separate from one another and depreciates or devalues women’s moral experiences.
The belief that there is a benevolent being that controls morality is very compelling. One must conceptualize that a moral guide must come from something other than from just imperfect beings or objects. The belief that there is a benevolent being must be true because morality is not based off of the physical nature. Simply existing is physical so morality must be based of of rules that go beyond existing.
That we must have the belief that good is good and bad is bad. But the question of what is good or bad is in the hands of the physical world so it must be viewed in a spiritual way. The other question is who is to say what is just and what is unjust in a spiritual context? We must view this intellectually and embrace the thought that we inherently do want to be good. Is it true that we must view our actions in a view of what we believe is virtuous? Intellect dictates that we must utilize our feelings because, as said before, we inherently want to do good. The argument that we must question our actions and not latch on to a norm is also compelling. But the norm is ever changing so how can we latch on to a norm? We must always question our actions. This can be exhausting but the end result of happiness is worth it. What is agreed upon by humanity as to be the ethical norm, can only be followed cautiously for that reason. Our actions must not be dictated by just a few simple rules or guidelines. Simplicity is compelling but can be conflicting because then who is to say what is good or evil if it falls in the grey area beyond the simple rules. Humans have always longed for simplicity, an excuse to hide behind ignorance instead of embracing intellect and feelings for truth in morality.
Antigone Nature Of The Relationship. (2022, Apr 06).
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