View mindmap
  • Meta-ethics
    • definitions
      • meta-ethics examines what moral language is about and how it can be justified. Meta=beyond so it goes beyond to ask questions of what is good?
      • ethical non-naturalism. moral values can be known, but they can't be identified by natural properties.
      • ethical naturalism. this is the view that moral values can be described in terms of natural properties. they are an objective part of the universe
    • divine command theory
      • the belief that what's moral and immoral is given by God, as he is the source of all goodness
      • Protestants believe God created everything, and there's an organic link between creator and created 'imago Dei'. therefore, we should follow commands
        • supported by sola scripture 'by scripture alone'
        • DCT is based on God's moral character and God's moral commands, understood as statements of God's will
      • John Calvin in 'the institutes of Christian religion' argues God can't be caused to do anything as this would mean there's an external force. God is omnipotent, so DCT is a result of God's absolute power and sovreignity
        • The will of God is the supreme rule of righteousness
      • Karl Barth in 'church dogmatics' argued man's obedience to God answers all ethical dilemmas. God's commands override moral issues
        • the question of good and evil has been decided and settled once and for all in the decree of God
      • DCT grounds behaviour in the teachings of God. God's omnipotent and benevolent so his commands must be right
        • rules are universal and right for all times and places. the system is clear and straight forward
          • God is the supreme judge so will make sure everyone's actions are accounted for. moral commands link to life after death and an end-goal
      • the bible contains immoral commands like slavery and homosexual behaviour
        • to be morally good, a decision has to be made freely. if God commanded it there's no free choice due to threat of heaven and hell
          • Euthyphro dilemma. did God command it because it's right or is it right because God commanded it?
    • utilitarianism
      • Jeremy Bentham (act utilitarianism) identifies pain and pleasure as that which directs us on what we ought to do. Pain and pleasure rule us, pleasure is the one intrinsic good and pain is the one intrinsic evil
        • the hedonic calculator allows us to calculate how much pleasure/pain is created by duration, remoteness, purity, richness, intensity, certainty and extent
        • in a situation of moral choice, we try to seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number. this is the principle of utility
      • John Stuart Mill argued there's higher pleasures, leading to the claim 'it's better to be a Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied'
        • quality of life is measured by physical, social, cultural and intellectual attributes.
      • ethical propositions are true as they are factual, they reduce to non-ethical properties as these facts are grounded in human nature
        • right and wring are objective, they exist in the world outside us. if there's an objective moral reality, we can know if we are doing right or wrong
          • they give us solid guidelines and rules to follow, and we are judged by our compliance to the rules
      • Ayer argued statements which can't be verified are meaningless. morality is subjective and an internal feeling, so rules are a matter of convention
        • G.E.Moore argues the naturalistic fallacy- it's a mistake to try and define good. we can't derive an ought from an is. she is old, you ought to help her. she is old you ought to euthanise her
    • intuitionism
      • W.D.Ross in 'the right and the good' argued that people have conflicting duties, and our moral intuition tells us how to deal with this. common sense will tell us what to do
        • we have 6 prima facie 'at first face' absolute duties. keep promises, pay back the harm we do, not injure, return favours, not harm innocent and look after parents
      • G.E.Moore in 'principia ethica' argued that ethical naturalism committed naturalistic fallacy, so to avoid this we don't define good. a horse can be defined by its parts, but good is too complex to do this.
        • we have a working sense of what goodness is, and it always goes beyond any definition
      • everyone has moral intuitions, and we use them to check moral arguments
        • a form of moral realism, it admits that moral intuition isn't perfect
      • Ayer claims ethical ethica statements aren't statements
        • Foot and Midgley argue neo-naturalism- virtues depend on biological and sociological facts about humans


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Ethics resources »