Deontological Ethics. Deontological theory —Asserts that the rightness of actions is determined partly or entirely by their intrinsic value Consequentialist theory —Asserts that the rightness of actions depends solely on their consequences. Deontological Ethics. The Moral Law —Immanuel Kant
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The Moral Law —Immanuel Kant
First Formulation: “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”
Kant thinks that making a lying promise would be wrong because you could not consistently will that everyone should make lying promises.
Second Formulation: “Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.”
People must never be treated as if they were mere instruments for achieving some further end, for people are ends in themselves.
Kant does not prohibit treating a person as a means but forbids treating a person simply, or merely, as a means.
We treat people merely as a means instead of an end in themselves if we disregard their characteristics of personhood (e.g., if we thwart their freely chosen actions, undermine their rational decision-making, or discount their equality by discriminating against them).
Intuitionism —W.D. Ross
Moral principles have prima facie, or conditional, bindingness.
We can discover true moral principles by consulting our intuitions.
The Deep Beauty of the Golden Rule —R.M. MacIver
A Critique of the Golden Rule —Richard Whately
MacIver argues that the best formula for discovering our moral duty is the Golden Rule.
Whately contends that using the Golden Rule as your sole guide to right and wrong actions would leave you perplexed.
Does Morality Depend on Religion? —Plato
The doctrine that morality depends on religion is called the divine command theory (DCT).
The doctrine forces a dilemma: Are actions right because God commands them, or does God command them because they are right?
The first option implies that morality is completely arbitrary.
The Big Question
Is an action right (or wrong) because God commands that it be so—or is it right (or wrong) independent of God’s commands
(so that God himself must answer to the moral law)?
Rachels argues that the DCT is false and that neither the theist nor the nontheist should accept it.
The good and bad angels
of moral luck.