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SOURCE OF ETHICS

SUBJECTIVITY
VS. OBJECTIVITY
MORALITY AS OBJECTIVE
A. Morality comes from supernatural
being
 The objectivists believe that morality comes
from the higher, supernatural or absolute
being.
E.g. gods-Greeks and Romans; Yahweh- Jews;
Trinity- Catholics; Allah-Muslims; Brahma-
Hindus.
• Objectivists hold that supernatural beings
possess morality and reveal it only to human
beings.
MORALITY AS OBJECTIVE
B. Morality comes from natural law
According to the objectivists, there are natural
laws that humans must adhere to, for him to be
considered moral.

These natural laws are embedded in nature.

E.g. Homosexuality is wrong because…..


NATURAL LAW
SUBJECTIVE VIEW
“I don’t believe in morality of the
individual, and I consider Ethics
to be an exclusively human
concern with no superhuman
authority behind it.”
SUBJECTIVE VIEW OF
MORALITY
A. Morality strictly comes from human
beings
 Things can have values only if there is human being
who put values on it.

 If there are no human beings there will have no


values.
…..SUBJECTIVE VIEW
• Possibility of the existence of supernatural
being but…..
• based on faith and there is no conclusive
proof of the existence of supernatural
being.
• There are diverse practices and traditions in
beliefs and values.

(Jacques Thiroux: Ethics: Theory and Practice)


B. Moral laws as prescriptive
Natural laws in science are
descriptive.
E.g. Law of gravity

Moral laws are prescriptive in a sense


that it tells what should and should not;
ought to and ought not to.
ETHICAL
THEORIES
1. ETHICAL RELATIVISM

• holds that there is no correct moral


code at all times and peoples, that
each group has its own morality
relative to its wants and values, and
that at all moral ideas are relative to
particular culture.
• It is the view that there is no absolute
morality, what is good is different for
each:
a.) individual,
b.)social group
c.)historic period
• Goodness is relative to the
circumstances of
the knowing subject.
……ETHICAL RELATIVISM
• E.G. Artic Eskimos practice abandoning
old folks in the snow and allowing them
to die of starvation and exposure is
morally legitimate. Likewise, among
some Eskimos, lending or allowing one’s
life to sleep with one’s special guest
overnight is an expression of hospitality
and respect.
All these varying traditional practices
attest to the moral claims of ethical
relativism. Whether an action is
regarded right or wrong depends
upon the society judging it. Of equal
……ETHICAL value are different sets or moral
RELATIVISM principles, and when an individual
legitimizes one set over another, it is
simply the outcome of having been
raised in a particular culture. (E.G.
Christians and Muslims on marriage)
2. Hedonism- is an ethical doctrine which
claims pleasure as norm of morality.
• pleasurable is good pain is evil
• is a view that good involves happiness
and pleasure and evil as unhappiness
and pain.
• Pleasure in the context means
satisfaction of desire; hence the
greater the pleasure, the better.
A. A. INTELLECTUAL PLEASURE- DERIVES
FROM ONE’S DISCOVERY OF TRUTH,
 DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE
B. Aesthetic pleasure
C. PHYSICAL PLEASURE

 satisfaction of
sensuous or sexual
desire.
2. GOOD IN THE
HEDONISTIC VIEW
• To understand hedonism is to
understand hedonist philosophy of life.
• For a hedonist, happiness is the
highest good, and so it must be made
the ultimate goal of life.
• To realize and attain highest good, we
have to satisfy our desires.
Suppress of desires = Pain
Suppress of desires = Suffering
Suffering = Pain

• “Eat, drink, and be merry, for


tomorrow you’ll die.”-
formula of life
• Happiness for a hedonist can be gained
by satisfying one’s desires.

desire pleasure happiness

PROBLEM
• Desire------Pleasure-----Satisfaction---Desire…..
3. STOICISM
• a school of Hellenistic philosophy
founded in Athens by Zeno of
Citium in the early 3rd century BC.
• The Stoics considered destructive
emotions to be the result of errors
in judgment.
• Desires are endless cycles.
• Satisfaction of desire leads us to
suffer.
• For the Stoics to attain
lasting happiness, we have
to control our desires and
passions.
4. EPICUREANISM
• Advocates moderate pleasure.
• The Epicureans agree with the hedonists that
pain must be avoided, so that even the
pleasure which leads to pain must beevaded.
Epicurus
The purpose of philosophy is to
attain the happy, tranquil life,
characterized by ataraxia, peace
and freedom from fear.
The purpose of Philosophy is also
to attain aponia, the absence of
pain, and to be able to live a self-
sufficient life.

PLEASURE AND PAINARE THE


MEASURES OF WHAT IS GOOD
AND BAD.
..EPICUREANISM
• There are three causes of pains that
should be avoided according to the
Epicureans:
• A. excessive use; B.) abuse; C.) nonuse
• Too much sex or overuse cause pain and
nonuse also leads to pain while abuse of
the body to whatever way e.g. smoking,
intoxication and the like also leads to pain.
EPICUREANS TEACH 3 KINDS
OF DESIRES:

a. Natural and necessary- refers to the need


for food, drink, rest, sleep which should
be satisfied moderately.
b. Natural and unnecessary- refers to man’s
urge for sex and marriage but man can
survive without it.
c. Unnatural and unnecessary- needs that
are dangerous and detrimental (injurious).
(power, fame, money)
..EPICUREANISM

• In opposition to Hedonists’ dictum: “Eat, drink


and be merry for you will die tomorrow.”, it
would be all right if the person will really die
tomorrow. But more often than not, one
miserable suffers today for what he/she has
eaten, drunk and sexually enjoyed yesterday.
5. NATURAL
LAW ETHICS
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
• Teaches that there exists a natural moral law
which is manifested by natural light of human
reason,
• It demands the preservation of natural order
and forbidding its violation.
• In this theory, moral law is apprehended by
reason, which directs us towards good as goal
of our action.
• In the operation of the reason, it
recognizes the principle: do good and
avoid evil, which is known as voice of
reason or conscience.
• I know I am doing the right thing if and
when I follow the voice of conscience; I
feel a sense of guilt or remorse
otherwise.
• This theory says that we cannot run
away from our conscience, as Judas
Iscariot allegedly tried but failed when
he betrayed Jesus.
NATURAL LAW- NATURAL ORDER
OF THINGS.

• The law derived from the nature of man.


• States the first and essential precepts
which govern the moral life.
• Expresses the original moral sense
which enables man to discern by
reason the good and evil.
THE CONCEPT OF GOOD:

1. Good is built in nature

• We have three natural inclinations: self-


preservation, just dealings and propagation
of our species.
• We are naturally inclined to preserve life
and self-destruction is unnatural for
natural law ethics.
• This natural urges led us to take care of
one’s life and life of others.
2. Goodis treatingotherswith same dignity
and respect as we treat ourselves.
• This is the basis of justice which arises out
of human relations.
• Any act of injustice such as subjecting
others to indignities, degradations, and
inhumanities is against nature.

3. We are naturallyinclined to perpetuate our


species which is viewed as good.
6. CONSEQUENTIALISM
• maintains that morality of an action is
determined solely by its consequences.
• Basically, it looks on the outcomes,
situation and from that one decides
what is ethical.
• Thus, from a consequentialist
standpoint, a morally right action is
one that produces a good outcome,
or consequence.
7. DEONTOLOGISM- DUTY ETHICS

• Greek: deontos: that which is binding,


right, proper; deon-duty
• Emphasis on universal imperatives such
moral laws, duties, obligations,
prohibitions.
• It is sometimes also called imperativism.
• It looks on one’s duties and obligations in
determining what isethical.
• It is also known as Duty Ethics.
• An ethical act is the one that meets
obligations, responsibilities and
duties.
KANT’S ETHICS
• Others call it for on
deontologism
Its emphasis is duty
or obligation.
• Others call it
intuitionism for its
claim that morality is
founded in human
personality.
• What is morally right is solely a matter of
intent, motive andwill.

• Intuition here means internal motive or


intention, hence it is motivisttheory.
UNIVERSALITY?

• How can one know one’s duty in a given


situation?

• Is there a test for determining what one’s duty


will be under a particular set of
circumstances?
• One must judge his action in the light of how
it would appear if it were to become a
universal precept or codeof behavior.

• One must test the act’s universability by


means of categorical imperative.

• E.g. Do I want every pregnant woman, without


exception, whether she be my sister, mother or
daughter, who is in the situation similar to mine, to abort
her deformed fetus?
CATEGORICAL
• It mandates
IMPERATIVE
an action without any
condition.

• It is a command or maxim that enjoins a


person to do such act without
qualification, thus lay down to universal
rule and ensures that person is acting out
of duty.
CATEGORICALIMPERATIVE

• Distinguished from hypothetical imperative-


a command with condition or limitation.

Categorical imperative- performed out of duty


-entails oughtness, an obligation irrespective
of results, at alltimes and places.
Hypothetical imperative- out of prudence

-if you wish to achieve such end, you must


act in suchmanner.

E.g. If you wish to be physically fit, you will


have physical exercise.
FORMULATION OF CATEGORICAL
IMPERATIVE
1. Act only the maxim which you can at the
same time will to become universal law.
E.g. Stealing: Let the maxim be “should everyone
steal”.

• It would become universal law if everyone is


mandated to steal.

• You will then recognize your duty not to steal.


2. Always act so as to treat humanity, either
yourself or others, as end and never only as
means.
-No individual should be discriminated before
the law.

Different formulation:

“Do unto others what you want others do unto


you.”
• Everyone must be treated equally.

• Persons have inherent value of dignity.

• E.g. prostitutes (they are treated as


means)
8. Utilitarianism- (Latin utilis, “useful”),
-Greatest Happiness Principle

 the greatest happiness of the greatest


number is the test of rightand wrong

 action is good if it produces as much or


more good than the alternative behavior.
……UTILITARIANISM
• what is useful is good, and consequently,

• the ethical value of conduct is determined by


the utility of itsresults.

• Opposed to doctrine which claims, inner sense


or faculty, often called the conscience, is
made the absolute arbiter ofright and wrong.
• No action is intrinsically right, moral orgood.

• Choose the action the produce the most


benefits and least cost of pain andunhappiness.

????? Woman in vehicular accident or one who


needs kidney transplant?????
PRINCIPLE OF UTILITY

• By utility, we mean property in any object,


whereby it tends to produce benefit,
advantage, pleasure or happiness or

• By preventing mischief, pain, evil or


unhappiness to happen.
It is also called:
Principle of Greatest Happiness
- An action is good insofar as it produces the
greatest happiness for greatest number of
people, and bad insofar it produces more
harm than benefit for the greatest number
of individuals.
• Faced with moral decision, one should not
just consider one’s happiness or benefit, or
happiness of a particular person or group
but the overall balance of the greatest
benefits for greatest number of people.

• “Equal benefits or happiness for greatest


number of individuals concerned.”
……UTILITARIANISM
PRINCIPLE OF UTILITY

Jeremy Bentham
Birth: London (1748)

• Bentham employed the utilitarian theory as a


foundation, not merely of an ethical system, but
also of legal and political reforms.
MILL’S UTILITARIANISM
• John Stuart Mill, who made utilitarianism the
subject of one of his philosophical treatises
(Utilitarianism,1863), is the ablest champion
of the doctrine afterBentham.

• His contribution to the theory consists in his


recognition of distinctions of quality, in
addition to those of intensity, among
pleasures.
• Happiness for Bentham and Mill is intrinsic
good or good per se.

• Happiness is intended pleasure and absence


of pain.

• Pain- unhappiness.

• Pleasure-calculus of Bentham
Pleasure-pain calculus
1. intensity
• The more intense the pleasure, the better

2. Duration
-the longer it lasts, the better

3. Certainty
-the more certain and sure we are that it will
happen, the better
4. Propinquity
-the near or closer or more often it occurs,
the better

5. Fecundity
-the greater chance that it willbe followed by
more pleasures, the better
6. Purity
-the purer the pleasure, thebetter

7. Extent
-the greater the number ofbenefited, the
better
• In Bentham’s view, ethical attitude is to
calculate carefully the amount of pleasure
and the amount of pain that any act would
bring; then the pain from the pleasure is
subtracted and the balance determined. If
there is balance in favor of pleasure then
that act is morally legitimate.
• Ethics can be put into scientific basis that is:

a.) Add the pleasures, b.) subtract thepains,


c.) strike the balance, and d.) makedecision.

“It is better to human being dissatisfied than a


pig satisfied.”- Mill
9. PRAGMATISM

• Pragmatism is more of a theory of


knowledge than moral principle.
• As an epistemological view, pragmatism
holds that the true and valid form of
knowledge is one which is
a.) practical
b.) workable
c.) beneficial.
…..PRAGMATISM
PRACTICAL IT IS THE ONE WHICH CAN BE
PRACTICED AND PRODUCES PRACTICAL
RESULTS;
workable- one that can be put to work and
works;

beneficial- it benefits people.


10. EGOISM
• Ethical doctrine that puts the self as
priority.

• Sometimes referred as mightism or power


ethics.

• One must seek to cultivate his skills,


empower himself and grab opportunities
that serve him.
.....EGOISM
• Attacks altruism-selflessness.

• Ayn Rand has her own egoism she called


objectivism.

• She calls altruism as fake morality.

SELFISHNESSISAVIRTUE!!!!!!!!!
E.g. A man helping a beggar....
11. SITUATIONETHICS
• Joseph Fletcher- American Protestant medical
doctor.
• According to him, there are:
1.Legalistic approach-prescribes certain moral
prescriptions and norms
2.antinomianism- frees Christian from moral
laws.
-too liberal and unconventional, which maylead
to anarchy and more chaos.
• The ethical theory states that moral
norms depends upon a given situation,
but whatever the situation may be, one
must always act in the name of Christian
love.

• A situation in this context refers to human


condition or any state of moral affairs and
issues that demands judgment or action.
…SITUATIONISM
• Situationists cite 3 kinds of love:
1. Erotic love- means sexual love, which
normally relates a man to woman (may exist
between homosexuals)

2. Filial love- refers to affection that binds a


parent to his/her child, brother to sister.

3. Agapeic love- refers to love to one’s care,


concern, and kindness to others. It is
Christian love.
WHY NEITHER EROS NORFILIA?

• These are biased and partial.

• It has preferences and motivated byinterests.

• Agape is what Christ exemplified a love that


cares one well-being, regardless of hisstations
of life.
• Love of or for one’s neighbor is love which
….SITUATIONISM
concerns for the well-being regardless of his
status in life asChrist Himself exemplified.

• It is characterized by charity, respect and


responsibility.

• This is the kind of love by which an individual


should act and settle what is right or wrong,
just and unjust, in a complicated situation.
• For a situationist, Evil means does not always
nullify a good end; for only the end justifies the
means; it all depends on the situation.
Circumstancesdo alter cases.

• An act that is right in some circumstances may


be wrong in others, that is, we may do what
would be evil in somesituations.

• It is agapeic love that weigh the act means,


motives and consequences). E.g. lying to save
other’s life
CONCLUSION

• Making moral decisions manifests the


existence of freedom and rationality making
human existence different from otherbeings.

• Different ethical theories present the diversity


of human thought in the history of
Philosophy.
• One can be ethical and not moral but one
cannot be moral without being ethical
(employing the use of Ethics andMorality.)

• Ethical theories provide norms or even


guidelines but the moral aspect rests on the
praxis (acting part).

•A person thinks, decides and more


importantly, acts.