Ethics

 

Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy as well as a necessary investigation within the realm of human sciences. For all the areas of human sciences seek to investigate certain aspects of human nature, and in the end, prescribe practices, structures and modifications with the goal  of increasing ethical behavior.

However that desired outcome of course begs the question, WHAT IS ETHICAL BEHAVIOR?

We’ll investigate morality and ethics from a philosophical perspective as well as a psychological one.

Philosophy: 

Immanuel Kant is one of the most famous ethical philosophers. He developed Deontological Ethics and is famous for his “categorical imperative”   read about Kantian Ethics Here:

http://www.csus.edu/indiv/g/gaskilld/ethics/Kantian%20Ethics.htm

These Kantian beliefs are in contrast to the ethical school of UTILITARIANISM made famous by John Stuart Mill.  You can read about utilitarianism here on the Carnegie Mellon philosophy page:

http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/Cavalier/80130/part2/sect9.html

Understanding Kantian and Utilitarian Ethics:

Kantian Ethics Vs Utilitarianism

Consider these two schools of thought in relation to the Moral Dilemmas  on the following incredibly awesome online simulation:

 

http://www.philosophyexperiments.com/fatman/Default.aspx

 Discussion Questions: 

1.  Which moral approach do you follow, Utilitarianism or Kantian Morality?

2.  Which moral approach do you believe is BEST for society? Why?

3.  Is it possible for a society to adopt Kant’s moral beliefs?

4.  Which approach causes the practitioner to be in touch with more ways of knowing? Which ways of knowing does each approach rely on?

Journal Entry: 

1. Read Shirley Jackson’s Famous Short story, “The Lottery” linked below. 

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

You just read the above short story. Pretend you’re the head of the government of a town just over the mountains from this one.  A traveler has come into your town asking for your help in eliminating this practice. Your community is 10 times as large and you possess 10 times the weaponry as your stone throwing neighbors. What do you do and why? 

**In answering the above, you must address and integrate into your response: Different Perspectives and Ways of Knowing. How do they factor into your response?  You should also address MORAL RELATIVISM. If you don’t know what that is: Read this, actually, read this anyway!

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/02/why-our-children-dont-think-there-are-moral-facts/?_r=0

2.  Kant famously wrote “I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith”? Unpack and discuss this statement in a TOK way!!

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