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Philosophy Part II. Spiritual Growth Project.

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spiritual growth project
Spiritual Growth Project
  • “No one in the world can change truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depths of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves defeated in our innermost personal selves?”
    • St. Maximilian Kolbe
  • Daily Examen – See handout
moral dilemmas
Moral dilemmas
  • To make it more real, I need input:
  • What moral dilemmas do you face that you would like to discuss with the class and your parents?
  • Write them on a piece of paper (no names) and turn them in.
immanuel kant
Immanuel Kant
  • 1724-1804
  • Similar to Aristotle’s focus on reason
    • Aristotle – rational overcoming the appetitive leads to virtue which brings happiness.
    • Kant – reason is what sets us apart from other creatures; to be human means to reason fully
  • Kant denies that happiness is the point of life
    • If we were meant to be happy, we would not have been given free will!
    • Virtues are morally neutral – courage, intelligence, self-control can all be used for good or bad
kant and freedom
Kant and Freedom
  • Freedom – autonomy from outside influence
  • Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain makes one a slave to appetites and desires and therefore not free
  • True freedom is to follow reason, which dictates we have a duty to follow moral law.
  • Using reason to follow moral law makes us free.
moral law
Moral Law
  • How do we know the moral law?
  • Categorical Imperative – universal principles that are good in themselves, not for the sake of something else
    • To test it: what if everyone did this?
      • Cheating-if everyone did, there would be no truth.
  • Humanity as an end
    • Humans have absolute, intrinsic value
    • Can never be used as a means to an end
obedience to moral law
Obedience to moral law
  • Humans must obey moral law for the sake of moral law. Why?
  • Doing good for good results (or to avoid bad ones) is not morally good.
    • Shopkeeper – honest to uphold reputation
    • BBB – Honesty is the best policy and is good for business.
  • The ends never justify the means
    • Circumstances and consequences do not affect moral principles.
does this hold up
Does this hold up?
  • Critiques?
  • Murderer at the door
  • Should you tell the truth?
    • Lie vs. misleading truth -
    • lie (white lie) - Do you like the tie? Yes
    • misleading truth - Do you like the tie? It’s unique
  • Kant – it is ok to mislead while telling the truth - still fulfill duty to truth; dignity of moral law
jim and kant
Jim and Kant
  • According to Kant, were Jim’s actions morally good? Why?
kant and christianity both affirm
Kant and Christianity both affirm…
  • Universal moral principle is similar to the golden rule
  • The intrinsic value and worth of humans
  • The ends do not justify the means
    • There are intrinsically evil acts
christianity disagrees with kant
Christianity disagrees with Kant…
  • The reality is that people need more than pure reason to do the right thing.
  • Kant’s morality is ultimately selfish - do good to fulfill one’s duty toward reason.
christianity disagrees with kant1
Christianity disagrees with Kant…
  • Revelation teaches that truth that goes beyond reason to include relationship & love.
    • God is a community of love who created humanity out of love
    • Love - doing something for the good of others - more important than duty
  • Love is gift and not always reasonable - see crucifix.
  • Love (properly understood) is therefore necessary in shaping morality.  
is it moral
Is it moral?
  • Define the object, intention, and circumstance
  • Analyze in light of… Aristotle, Kant, & Locke
  • Jake and his wife have been happily married for eight years. They enjoy watching pornographic movies together. Is this moral?
is it moral1
Is it moral?
  • Beth and her fiancé are both in Law School. They are not yet ready to get married, but they would like to move in together to save money and see if marriage is a good idea. Beth’s parents were angry and hurt when they told them. Is it morally wrong for them to live together before they get married?
    • Define object, intention, & circumstance
    • What would Aristotle, Kant, and Locke say? Why?
  • John Stuart Mill
  • 1806-1873
  • Rejected Christianity outright
  • Focused only on the consequences when making a moral decision
    • Also called a consequentialist moral philosophy
    • Judge good or bad by the results of an action
utilitarianism morality
Utilitarianism Morality
  • Goal of morality - to make the world a better place
  • Results are more important than intention
  • Humans should do what brings the most benefit to all people
  • Right thing to do = greatest happiness for greatest number of people
    • Flight 93 of 9/11
    • Lifeboat - who gets to go?  
utilitarianism morality1
Utilitarianism Morality
  • Requires moral agent to be unbiased.
  • Good of many outweighs good of the few.
    • What if you are one of the few?   
  • Moral decision making is like a mathematical equation
    • Weigh probable good and bad consequences
    • Pick the option that equates to the most good.
  • The ends justifies the means
    • No act if evil if it creates more goodness
critique of utilitarianism
Critique of Utilitarianism
  • Assumes we have no bias when making decisions
  • Assumes we never rationalize our decisions based on desire
  • Assumes we can reasonably know all the short and long term affects of our decisions
  • Sacrifice the weak for the good of the whole society
critique of utilitarianism1
Critique of Utilitarianism
  • John Paul II - Veritatis Splendor - Circumstances or intention can never transform an act that is intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act that is good or defensible.
  • Romans 3:8 - “And why not say—as we are accused and as some claim we say—that we should do evil that good may come of it? Their penalty is what they deserve.”
critique of utilitarianism2
Critique of Utilitarianism
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church 1756
  • It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.
principle of double effect
Principle of Double Effect
  • How do we choose in difficult situations where there is no good option?
    • Such as self defense where moral law conflicts (preserve being vs. not killing)
  • Action may have multiple effects, some of which are not intended.
principle of double effect1
Principle of Double Effect
  • 1. Action must be good or morally neutral
  • 2. Moral agent must not will the bad effects
    • If there was a way to get the good without the bad effect, they should do so
  • 3.  The good effect must flow prior to or simultaneous with the bad effect
    • If bad effect was prior that would be the case of the ends justifying the means
  • 4.  The good effect must sufficiently outweigh the bad effect.
  • Compare and Contrast the moral philosophy of Kant and Mill
  • Define key terms
    • Utilitarianism, Categorical Imperative
  • What aspects of Kant and Mill are helpful in moral decision making?
  • What aspects of Kant and Mill are problematic in moral decision making?
  • How does Longenecker critique Utilitarianism?
  • How does the principle of double effect attempt to take into account the good aspects of other moral philosophies.