one question

October 27, 2008

My one question to mill would be that why is it that the effect of an action on people having overall happiness or not could be the sole factor that decides if that action is moral or not.  For example your in some different country and you happen to save a random man’s life you saw in trouble.  That man happens to be one of the most hated/wanted people in that country and he was better off being left for dead.  In that country you might cause overall unhappiness but once you are back home in your own country it is looked at as a moral deed or action that you did overseas.  In that situation it is simply a matter of different culture/society which determines over happiness of people and i do not think that should be the sole reason for defining an action as moral or not.

I think that mill would respond somehow by saying that the overall happiness of that country does not matter in the “bigger” scale.  Where everyone in the world would be happy because you saved a life. Im not too sure what he would think of this situation but i think he would believe that every action no matter where has some kind of moral value and once again depending on overall happiness of the people no matter what country or type of society.

Demands

October 27, 2008

The question of if utilitarianism really does demand too much from moral agents i think i have to say that it does.  In theory striving for the happiness of the majority is a great idea for most but there are always going to be people who are not happy from the outcome of your actions.  Sometimes taking action based on your own needs or your own want is just something that is going to happen from time to time.  Honestly a lot of times the action that will leave the majority of the people happy will leave you yourself at some standpoint where yes it is good for the majority but what about myself.  I am not trying to sound like being selfish is good or doing things soley for your own happiness is what must be done, but i think that the way utilitarianism works asks for normal people with problems of their own and who make mistakes to do too much based on the overall happiness of the people.

Mill

September 22, 2008

Mill claims that people who are more intellectual and understanding of the pleasures experience a “higher” pleasure than others who may experience a more instinctual “lower” pleasure.  I don’t think that this is necessarily true because i think that pleasure is different for each person and that just because a person is more aware or more in depth about the pleasure they are feeling does that mean they enjoy something more than someone who just enjoys it with no thought to why.  For example you can watch a little kid do the most repetitive mundane thing but to them is extremely enjoyable and you hear people say i wish i could still have as much fun doing the things i use to do.  I think that our standards for “pleasure or enjoyment” as we get older may get more complex.  It may take more to make us as happy as we use to be as a kid playing with blocks.  I think that the pleasures felt as a kid may be more pure in a sense because you have no prenotion of what makes you enjoy something but it is just something you feel.

Our Actions

September 22, 2008

To what extent are we morally responsible for our actions?  There are many situations that can change the answer to this question.  I believe that we are entirely responsible for our actions as long as we can forsee the consequences.  Like the example you gave in class with saving the boy drowning and later on finding out he is a mass murderer is not your responsibility.  There was no way for you to know that the boy was going to be a mass murderer and the act of you saving the boy was still a morally correct thing to do.  Life consists of causal effects having one thing effect another and so on.  I believe that even if you are one part of that chain of events it is not your moral responsibility for every single thing that might happen due to your one action.  On the other hand there are consequences that you are able to for see, it may not be directly but if you are still able to see how your action can result in something else i believe is your responsibility.  This would not coincide with utilitarianism in that your action is only morally right if it effects the majority of the people in a positive way.  There are some things you may do that is morally correct but in the utilitarian perspective might not be because it does not effect the majority.

DCT

September 15, 2008

The divine command theory states that morals are set according to what god says is moral or not.  I think that an irrational god can be moral, i think it just depends on who you are asking.  I believe that an irrational god can state if things are moral or not and still have it make sense to people where they will follow his word and believe that what he has to say ir right.  Even if god was irrational does not mean that he cannot make up or clarify  what is right from wrong.  I think god would be able to state things as moral or not also based on the best interest of the people.  On the other hand people who do not already believe in the dct would say that if god were irrational obviously he is not moral because of the simple fact that he can not have a logical rational train of thought would result him in not being able to seperate what is moral.  I think that he is still moral even if god is irrational because of the fact that people will still abide by his theory of morals and what is right or wrong.

Divine Command Theory

September 10, 2008

The divine command theory says that ideas and concepts are considered “good” or not based on what god says.  If this theory is false, ideas and concepts would be good whether or not god mentions if it is or not.  I think if this theory of having god set moral standards is false that it would not be good for religion.  I think of religion as something where people can turn to for answers that they do not know.  If somone is torn between two things because of moral issues it is easiest to turn to see if god says if it moral or not.  I believe that if morality were independent of god, morals would have a more structured definition behind the word.  Im not saying that it would easily be defined because morality is not something that can be defined in one sentence.  But at the same time, forcing people to think through the situation or the idea to come up with the conclusion of whether or not its moral i believe is better than turning to god having a yes or a no answer.  With the divine command theory there is no explanation as why it is a good thing or a bad thing, it just is because god says so.  For the people in this world who are not religious good and bad are all based on their personal morals and what and why they beleive that something is good or bad.  In the end i think having the divine command theory being false would be a bad thing for religion and leave a lot of people confused with nowhere to turn.

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September 4, 2008

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