MORALITY PAPER AND CASES 7
MoralityPaper and Cases
MoralityPaper and Cases
Moralvalues are either chosen by a person or imposed on a person based onhis or her upbringing. In my case, I have chosen my own moral valuesafter shedding off the influence of my parents in terms of moralvalues. I learned my own moral values by embracing the good valuesfrom my parents and shedding of the values that were not in line withmy principles. However, my moral values have been influenced by thesociety, parents, schools and peers.
Theextent at which the society, parents, peers and school haveinfluenced my moral values is limited to what I perceive. I do notjust embrace all values because I have been exposed to them, instead,I evaluate every value and morals that I am exposed to and willinglyembrace the good morals. This is my main principle of forming mymoral values and avoiding negative influence from the environment.
Ethicsare rules that guide the conduct of people and are recognized byparticular classes of people based on their actions, practice orculture. Ethics are socially based external rules that are adheredto, as a way of acting right. This means that people do thingsaccording to ethics because the society has set it as the rightthings to do. According to Boylan (2009),ethicsare dependent on the society and on others in relation to anindividual.
Onthe other hand, morality is the principality guided by habits inregard to doing the right of wrong based by individual practice ofthe do`s and Don’ts of the society. Contrary to ethics, morality isindividualized and people practice morality because they feel orbelieve it is right to do so. According toVelasquez (2007), moralityis dependent on a person, but transcends from the prevailing culturaland societal norms.
Culturalrelativism is the view the diverse groups or classes of people areguided by different moral standards that evaluate the acts of peopleas right or wrong. The descriptive view of cultural relativism is notan ethical believe, but a social aspect (Boylan, 2009). This meansthat cultural relativism is an observational or a sociologicalconclusion. However, the concept is an ambiguous in practice sincedifferent groups have same moral principles but practice themdifferently. At the same time, different cultures have differentmoral rules based on the same moral principles. For instance, theprinciple of fairness can be interpreted to mean the moral value of“an eye for an eye” in one community, while in the other it means“love your neighbor” moral value.
Onthe other hand, ethical relativism is the prescriptive view thatdifferent social groupings should have different standards forevaluating the acts ethically as right or wrong. According toVelasquez (2007), ethicalrelativism also views that the different beliefs are regarded as truein the respective societies, and that they are not examples of basicmoral principles. Therefore, ethical relativism perceives there is nouniversal or permanent way of determining what is ethical orunethical.
Ithink that ethical relativism is true because it explains thediversities in definition of right or wrong. Most importantly, thefact that people disagree about moral right and wrong vindicates thetruth of ethical relativism. According to Velasquez(2007), thisis because ethical relativism proposes the existence of differentstandards of judging an act as ethical or unethical. Moreover,ethical relativism recognizes the differences among people and notethat there is no universal standard of judging ethics.
Inthis case, an act utilitarian solution would be for the president tofollow the recommendation of his Aide to win the election. Thesolution provided by his aide is intended to ensure that thepresident wins the upcoming election. From the perspective of actutilitarianism, the morally right case is the one that leads to morepleasure. In this case, the more pleasure of the president and hisgovernment will be to remain in power after being reelected. It isthe action that is more critical of the consequences of the decision.
However,the rule utilitarian solution would be different by taking the firstoption given by the aide. The president would present the public withall the facts and leave them to decide. By leaving people to decidefrom the facts, the solution would therefore not be critical of theconsequences of their actions. It is the rule utilitarian act becauseit assumes the intuitive level of the general public observance.
Thekidnapping of the wealthy man’s daughter brings two scenarios ofany of his decisions. The act utilitarian solution would be to givethe kidnappers the ransom money and secure his daughter from theirdanger. As an act utilitarian solution, giving of money achievesmore pleasure by taking the morally right action of securing thedaughter at any cost. Moreover, it is the most critical decision thatconsiders the consequences for the life of the daughter.
Onthe other hand, the rule utilitarian solution would be to follow theadvice of the police. This will see him ignore the kidnappers andrefuse to give the ransom. The solution considers the generalbetterment of the society and is less critical of the life of thedaughter. Moreover, the solution will be seen as an act of moralvalue by creating a sense of more happiness to the police bypreventing future kidnappings.
Theact utilitarian solution for taxpayer Smith would be refusal to paytaxes because of the mismanagement of public funds by governments.This is the solution that brings more pleasure and happiness toSmith, who is concerned over the running of the U.S government.Moreover, this is the most critical solution as it looks into thecurrent situation deeply.
Onthe other hand, the rule utilitarian solution is to continue payingtaxes as a good citizen despite the mismanagement in the government.More importantly, this is the solution that is more intuitive bybeing less critical of the mismanagement of the government and themoral consequences of tax evasion. According to Smith, themismanagement acts as the justification of his solution.
Thecase of saving Tom or the five presents a situation of choice ofeither happier ending or following immediate ethics. The actutilitarian solution would be to charge him out using the smalldynamite, leading to his death but saving the lives of the five. Thisis the solution that is more critical of the current situation andthe lives of the five. Moreover, this is the decision that leads tomore happiness of the five rather than that of one.
However,the rule utilitarian solution is to leave Tom in the hole and hope hewill survive to receive the help. The decision would lead to thedeath of the five, thereby adhering to the moral rule and generalobservance that tends to bring a sense of happiness to all. Thesolution seeks to make all the people in the cave happy, rather thantake a critical look at the consequences.
Boylan,M. (2009). Basicethics(2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
Velasquez,M. (2007). Philosophy:A Text with Readings. Stamford:Cengage Learning