Philosophy and Ethics Assignment
What is wrong with each of these theories?
- Subjective relativism – Subjective relativism has the intended effect of making ethics impossible(Zhu, 2017). This theory also violates commitments to ethics, making it challenging to decide what is right or wrong.
- Cultural relativism – This theory wrongly asserts that each culture holds a unique but equally valid perception, choice, and thought mode(Carros, 2014). It argues that absolute right or wrong does not exist.
- Divine command theory – This theory wrongfully posits that the moral attributes of action(s) are solely specifiable as per God’s commands(Quinn, 2013).
- Ethical egoism – Ethical egoism rejects caring for other people for their self-sake. It wrongly argues that people should pursue their self-interests(Goldman, 2015).
- Categorical imperative: Kant – This theory is inflexible and creates a lack of motivation. It wrongly considers non-human animals of no intrinsic value(Goldman, 2015).
- Act utilitarianism – It wrongly argues that specific actions of enslavement or torture can be morally acceptable if they generated sufficient happiness(Goldman, 2015).
- Rule utilitarianism – Rather than understanding the consequences of an act, this theory finds out the rightness of the act using a different approach/method(Goldman, 2015). Thus, it is wrong to consider the general consequences of an act using a particular rule.
- Social contract theory – The theory provides excess power to the government in enacting laws under the context of enhancing public protection(Gaus, 2018).
- Virtual ethics – Virtue ethics theory does not provide any single definition to “ethics” and “moral dilemmas.” Also, it is challenging to use virtual ethics in understanding someone’s motives(Morris & Jason, 2016).
Which theory you think is most acceptable for you?
Cultural relativism – We live in a culturally-diverse society whereby every culture has a unique heritage. I believe that each person’s culture should be fairly and equally treated (Carros, 2014). Cultural relativism theory explains the importance of understanding cultures on their distinct terms and not imposing judgments over others’ cultures using standards of one’s own culture. This theory is acceptable to people who are against cultural bias, discrimination, and insensitivity. There should be no culture considered as superior to others; all people are the same. Cultural relativism tolerates the view and appropriately fits with how different cultures transition, for cultures are continually evolving as the world continues to advance, evolve, and develop. The aspect of creating a positive outlook and perspective to all cultures, which is the main idea of cultural relativism, is what I appreciate most about this culture.
Which one is most supportive of your values?
Virtue ethics – Virtue ethics theory asserts that an action is deemed right or moral if it is what a virtuous individual would conduct themselves under the same circumstances. A virtuous individual is a person possessing the right virtuous. In my position, if people reason in the same manner over an issue, and have non-conflicting ideas over what is right, then it is right. This is driven by the query, “what type of an individual should I be?” Virtue ethics is supportive of my values, such as happiness, good habits, excellence, sensitiveness, moral motivation, role model traits, rational conduct, and more. According to (Morris & Jason, 2016), virtue ethics encourages people to develop habits that uphold human happiness and excellence. This theory also recognizes how rational conduct needs to be sensitive to personal and social life dimensions. These are the life values that I envy, values that motivate me to stay positive, sensitive, happy, and moral with the people I interact with. In addition, rational actions, as per virtue ethics, are based on moderation and not on abstract principles. Besides, virtue ethics gives moral motivation, which strengthens excellence and resolves, while enriching attitudes of doing moral deeds in healthy ways. Last, virtue ethics are good traits for individuals to flourish in an ideal life.
Which one should serve as the foundation for the society’s moral order where you want to live?
Social contract theory – The society we live in requires social order. In this perspective, social contract theory seeks to show society members the reason to support and adhere with the fundamental social laws, institutions, rules, and principles governing society (Gaus, 2018). Political, moral, and social rules are rationally justified. With the social contract in action, civilized behavior flows in society. Most people want to live in a liberalized society. In a liberalism society, the value of liberty must be measured as society’s highest political good. Thus, the social contract theory would serve as a firm foundation for society’s moral order due to its legitimate approach to establishing liberty within the society where we live in. A legitimate government is what the social contract theory recommends, for this ensures fairness in the enactment and implementation of laws governing what is right or wrong within the society.
Carros, O. (2014). Pros & cons of cultural relativism. Philosophy, 6-10.
Gaus, G. (2018). Self-organizing moral systems: Beyond social contract theory. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 17(2), 119-147.
Goldman, A. I. (2015). Theory of human action. Boston: Princeton University Press.
Morris, M. C., & Jason, M. Z. (2016). The importance of virtue ethics in the IRB. Research Ethics, 12(4), 201-216.
Quinn, P. L. (2013). Divine command theory. The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory, 81-102.
Zhu, J. (2017). Epistemological developmental theories. Understanding Chinese Engineering Doctoral Students in US Institutions, 11-28.