Austin Community College Ethical Frameworks Utilitarianism Theory Discussion

Austin Community College Ethical Frameworks Utilitarianism Theory Discussion Austin Community College Ethical Frameworks Utilitarianism Theory Discussion ORDER NOW FOR CUSTOMIZED AND ORIGINAL NURSING PAPERS Home > Humanities > Austin Community College Ethical Frameworks Utilitarianism Theory Discussion Question Description 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 Overview 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. Solution: (Utilitarianism) 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). References Byskov, M. F. (2020). Utilitarianism and risk. Journal of Risk Research, 23(2), 259-270. Lyons, D. (2015). Utilitarianism. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, 1-4. Singer, P. (1972). Famine, affluence, and morality. Philosophy & public affairs, 229-243. Text is linked response 300 words James 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.Austin Community College Ethical Frameworks Utilitarianism Theory Discussion Unformatted Attachment Preview Excerpts from Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good, without qualification, except a good will. Intelligence, wit, judgement, and the other talents of the mind, however they may be named, or courage, resolution, perseverance, as qualities of temperament, are undoubtedly good and desirable in many respects; but these gifts of nature may also become extremely bad and mischievous if the will which is to make use of them, and which, therefore, constitutes what is called character, is not good. It is the same with the gifts of fortune. Power, riches, honour, even health, and the general well-being and contentment with one’s condition which is called happiness, inspire pride, and often presumption, if there is not a good will to correct the influence of these on the mind, and with this also to rectify the whole principle of acting and adapt it to its end. The sight of a being who is not adorned with a single feature of a pure and good will, enjoying unbroken prosperity, can never give pleasure to an impartial rational spectator. Thus a good will appears to constitute the indispensable condition even of being worthy of happiness. There are even some qualities which are of service to this good will itself and may facilitate its action, yet which have no intrinsic unconditional value, but always presuppose a good will, and this qualifies the esteem that we justly have for them and does not permit us to regard them as absolutely good. Moderation in the affections and passions, self-control, and calm deliberation are not only good in many respects, but even seem to constitute part of the intrinsic worth of the person; but they are far from deserving to be called good without qualification, although they have been so unconditionally praised by the ancients. For without the principles of a good will, they may become extremely bad, and the coolness of a villain not only makes him far more dangerous, but also directly makes him more abominable in our eyes than he would have been without it. A good will is good not because of what it performs or effects, not by its aptness for the attainment of some proposed end, but simply by virtue of the volition; that is, it is good in itself, and considered by itself is to be esteemed much higher than all that can be brought about by it in favour of any inclination, nay even of the sum total of all inclinations. [….] The conception of an objective principle, in so far as it is obligatory for a will, is called a command (of reason), and the formula of the command is called an imperative. All imperatives are expressed by the word ought [or shall], and thereby indicate the relation of an objective law of reason to a will, which from its subjective constitution is not necessarily determined by it (an obligation). They say that something would be good to do or to forbear, but they say it to a will which does not always do a thing because it is conceived to be good to do it. That is practically good, however, which determines the will by means of the conceptions of reason, and consequently not from subjective causes, but objectively, that is on principles which are valid for every rational being as such. It is distinguished from the pleasant, as that which influences the will only by means of sensation from merely subjective causes, valid only for the sense of this or that one, and not as a principle of reason, which holds for every one. * * The dependence of the desires on sensations is called inclination, and this accordingly always indicates a want. The dependence of a contingently determinable will on principles of reason is called an interest. Austin Community College Ethical Frameworks Utilitarianism Theory Discussion This therefore, is found only in the case of a dependent will which does not always of itself conform to reason; in the Divine will we cannot conceive any interest. But the human will can also take an interest in a thing without therefore acting from interest. The former signifies the practical interest in the action, the latter the pathological in the object of the action. The former indicates only dependence of the will on principles of reason in themselves; the second, dependence on principles of reason for the sake of inclination, reason supplying only the practical rules how the requirement of the inclination may be satisfied. In the first case the action interests me; in the second the object of the action (because it is pleasant to me). We have seen in the first section that in an action done from duty we must look not to the interest in the object, but only to that in the action itself, and in its rational principle (viz., the law). A perfectly good will would therefore be equally subject to objective laws (viz., laws of good), but could not be conceived as obliged thereby to act lawfully, because of itself from its subjective constitution it can only be determined by the conception of good. Therefore no imperatives hold for the Divine will, or in general for a holy will; ought is here out of place, because the volition is already of itself necessarily in unison with the law. Therefore imperatives are only formulae to express the relation of objective laws of all volition to the subjective imperfection of the will of this or that rational being, e.g., the human will. Now all imperatives command either hypothetically or categorically. The former represent the practical necessity of a possible action as means to something else that is willed (or at least which one might possibly will). The categorical imperative would be that which represented an action as necessary of itself without reference to another end, i.e., as objectively necessary. Since every practical law represents a possible action as good and, on this account, for a subject who is practically determinable by reason, necessary, all imperatives are formulae determining an action which is necessary according to the principle of a will good in some respects. If now the action is good only as a means to something else, then the imperative is hypothetical; if it is conceived as good in itself and consequently as being necessarily the principle of a will which of itself conforms to reason, then it is categorical. Thus the imperative declares what action possible by me would be good and presents the practical rule in relation to a will which does not forthwith perform an action simply because it is good, whether because the subject does not always know that it is good, or because, even if it know this, yet its maxims might be opposed to the objective principles of practical reason. Accordingly the hypothetical imperative only says that the action is good for some purpose, possible or actual. In the first case it is a problematical, in the second an assertorial practical principle. The categorical imperative which declares an action to be objectively necessary in itself without reference to any purpose, i.e., without any other end, is valid as an apodeictic (practical) principle. Whatever is possible only by the power of some rational being may also be conceived as a possible purpose of some will; and therefore the principles of action as regards the means necessary to attain some possible purpose are in fact infinitely numerous. All sciences have a practical part, consisting of problems expressing that some end is possible for us and of imperatives directing how it may be attained. These may, therefore, be called in general imperatives of skill. Here there is no question whether the end is rational and good, but only what one must do in order to attain it. The precepts for the physician to make his patient thoroughly healthy, and for a poisoner to ensure certain death, are of equal value in this respect, that each serves to effect its purpose perfectly. Since in early youth it cannot be known what ends are likely to occur to us in the course of life, parents seek to have their children taught a great many things, and provide for their skill in the use of means for all sorts of arbitrary ends, of none of which can they determine whether it may not perhaps hereafter be an object to their pupil, but which it is at all events possible that he might aim at; and this anxiety is so great that they commonly neglect to form and correct their judgement on the value of the things which may be chosen as ends.Austin Community College Ethical Frameworks Utilitarianism Theory Discussion There is one end, however, which may be assumed to be actually such to all rational beings (so far as imperatives apply to them, viz., as dependent beings), and, therefore, one purpose which they not merely may have, but which we may with certainty assume that they all actually have by a natural necessity, and this is happiness. The hypothetical imperative which expresses the practical necessity of an action as means to the advancement of happiness is assertorial. We are not to present it as necessary for an uncertain and merely possible purpose, but for a purpose which we may presuppose with certainty and a priori in every man, because it belongs to his being. Now skill in the choice of means to his own greatest well-being may be called prudence, * in the narrowest sense. And thus the imperative which refers to the choice of means to one’s own happiness, i.e., the precept of prudence, is still always hypothetical; the action is not commanded absolutely, but only as means to another purpose. * The word prudence is taken in two senses: in the one it may bear the name of knowledge of the world, in the other that of private prudence. The former is a man’s ability to influence others so as to use them for his own purposes. The latter is the sagacity to combine all these purposes for his own lasting benefit. This latter is properly that to which the value even of the former is reduced, and when a man is prudent in the former sense, but not in the latter, we might better say of him that he is clever and cunning, but, on the whole, imprudent. Finally, there is an imperative which commands a certain conduct immediately, without having as its condition any other purpose to be attained by it. This imperative is categorical. It concerns not the matter of the action, or its intended result, but its form and the principle of which it is itself a result; and what is essentially good in it consists in the mental disposition, let the consequence be what it may. This imperative may be called that of morality. [….] There is therefore but one categorical imperative, namely, this: Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law. Now if all imperatives of duty can be deduced from this one imperative as from their principle, then, although it should remain undecided what is called duty is not merely a vain notion, yet at least we shall be able to show what we understand by it and what this notion means. Since the universality of the law according to which effects are produced constitutes what is properly called nature in the most general sense (as to form), that is the existence of things so far as it is determined by general laws, the imperative of duty may be expressed thus: Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature. We will now enumerate a few duties, adopting the usual division of them into duties to ourselves and ourselves and to others, and into perfect and imperfect duties. * * It must be noted here that I reserve the division of duties for a future metaphysic of morals; so that I give it here only as an arbitrary one (in order to arrange my examples). For the rest, I understand by a perfect duty one that admits no exception in favour of inclination and then I have not merely external but also internal perfect duties. Austin Community College Ethical Frameworks Utilitarianism Theory Discussion This is contrary to the use of the word adopted in the schools; but I do not intend to justify there, as it is all one for my purpose whether it is admitted or not. 1. A man reduced to despair by a series of misfortunes feels wearied of life, but is still so far in possession of his reason that he can ask himself whether it would not be contrary to his duty to himself to take his own life. Now he inquires whether the maxim of his action could become a universal law of nature. His maxim is: “From self-love I adopt it as a principle to shorten my life when its longer duration is likely to bring more evil than satisfaction.” It is asked then simply whether this principle founded on self-love can become a universal law of nature. Now we see at once that a system of nature of which it should be a law to destroy life by means of the very feeling whose special nature it is to impel to the improvement of life would contradict itself and, therefore, could not exist as a system of nature; hence that maxim cannot possibly exist as a universal law of nature and, consequently, would be wholly inconsistent with the supreme principle of all duty. 2. Another finds himself forced by necessity to borrow money. He knows that he will not be able to repay it, but sees also that nothing will be lent to him unless he promises stoutly to repay it in a definite time. He desires to make this promise, but he has still so much conscience as to ask himself: “Is it not unlawful and inconsistent with duty to get out of a difficulty in this way?” Suppose however that he resolves to do so: then the maxim of his action would be expressed thus: “When I think myself in want of money, I will borrow money and promise to repay it, although I know that I never can do so.” Now this principle of self-love or of one’s own advantage may perhaps be consistent with my whole future welfare; but the question now is, “Is it right?” I change then the suggestion of self-love into a universal law, and state the question thus: “How would it be if my maxim were a universal law?” Then I see at once that it could never hold as a universal law of nature, but would necessarily contradict itself. For supposing it to be a universal law that everyone when he thinks himself in a difficulty should be able to promise whatever he pleases, with the purpose of not keeping his promise, the promise itself would become impossible, as well as the end that one might have in view in it, since no one would consider that anything was promised to him, but would ridicule all such statements as vain pretences. 3. A third finds in himself a talent which with the help of some culture might make him a useful man in many respects. But he finds himself in comfortable circumstances and prefers to indulge in pleasure rather than to take pains in enlarging and improving his happy natural capacities. He asks, however, whether his maxim of neglect of his natural gifts, besides agreeing with his inclination to indulgence, agrees also with what is called duty. He sees then that a system of nature could indeed subsist with such a universal law although men (like the South Sea islanders) should let their talents rest and resolve to devote their lives merely to idleness, amusement, and propagation of their species- in a word, to enjoyment; but he cannot possibly will that this should be a universal law of nature, or be implanted in us as such by a natural instinct. For, as a rational being, he necessarily wills that his faculties be developed, since they serve him and have been given him, for all sorts of possible purposes. 4. A fourth, who is in prosperity, while he sees that others have to contend with great wretchedness and that he could help them, thinks: “What concern is it of mine? Let everyone be as happy as Heaven pleases, or as he can make himself; I will take nothing from him nor even envy him, only I do not wish to contribute anything to his welfare or to his assistance in distress!” Now no doubt if such a mode of thinking were a universal law, the human race might very well subsist and doubtless even better than in a state in which everyone talks of sympathy and good-will, or even takes care occasionally to put it into practice, but, on the other side, also cheats when he can, betrays the rights of men, or otherwise violates them. But although it is possible that a universal law of nature might exist in accordance with that maxim, it is impossible to will that such a principle should have the universal validity of a law of nature. For a will which resolved this would contradict itself, inasmuch as many cases might occur in which one would have need of the love and sympathy of others, and in which, by such a law of nature, sprung from his own will, he would deprive himself of all hope of the aid he desires. These are a few of the many actual duties, or at least what we regard as such, which obviously fall into two classes on the one principle that we have laid down. We must be able to will that a maxim of our action should be a universal law. This is the canon of the moral appreciation of the action generally. Some actions are of such a character that their maxim cannot without contradiction be even conceived as a universal law of nature, far from it being possible that we should will that it should be so. In others this intrinsic impossibility is not found, but still it is impossible to will that their maxim should be raised to the universality of a law of nature, since such a will would contradict itself It is easily seen that the former violate strict or rigorous (inflexible) duty; the latter only laxer (meritorious) duty. Thus it has been completely shown how all duties depend as regards the nature of the obligation (not the object of the action) on the same principle. If now we attend to ourselves on occasion of any transgression of duty, we shall find that we in fact do not will that our maxim should be a universal law, for that is impossible for us; on the contrary, we will that the opposite should remain a universal law, only we assume the liberty of making an exception in our own favour or (just for this time only) in favour of our inclination. Consequently if we considered all cases from one and the same point of view, namely, that of reason, we should find a contradiction in our own will, namely, that a certain principle should be objectively necessary as a universal law, and yet subjectively should not be universal, but admit of exceptions. As however we at one moment regard our action from the point of view of a will wholly conformed to reason, and then again look at the same action from the point of view of a will affected by inclination, there is not really any contradiction, but an antagonism of inclination to the precept of reason, whereby the universality of the principle is changed into a mere generality, so that the practical principle of reason shall meet the maxim half way. Now, although this cannot be justified in our own impartial judgement, yet it proves that we do really recognise the validity of the categorical imperative and (with all respect for it) only allow ourselves a few exceptions, which we think unimportant and forced from us. We have thus established at least this much, that if duty is a conception which is to have any import and real legislative authority for our actions, it can only be expressed in categorical and not at all in hypothetical imperatives. We have also, which is of great importance, exhibited clearly and definitely for every practical application the content of the categorical imperative, which must contain the principle of all duty if there is such a thing at all. We have not yet, however, advanced so far as to prove a priori that there actually is such an imperative, that there is a practical law which commands absolutely of itself and without any other impulse, and that the following of this law is duty. 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