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answers to these questions have been in abundance and they constitute the various ethical schools of thought formulated by man over the years. These ethical theories are usually classified as general ethics which refer to all the diverse ethical formulation of general & universal concepts and principles which serve as the foundation of morality.
general ethics raises the problem of moral norms and attempts to formulate and defend a system of fundamental ethical perceptions that settle which acts are good & which ones are evil. For every moral theory these ethical principles are presumed to be valid.
Natural Law Ethics
"there are no
Standards as of right and wrong are always relative to a particular culture or society.
Every culture has its own norm of moral actions. Some societies consider as right several kinds of actions or practices that other societies consider to be wrong.
whether an action is regarded as right or wrong depends upon the society judging it.
many cultures considers human sacrifices, slavery and even cannibalism as ethical.
"pleasure is the
pleasure- satisfaction of desire
"the greater the pleasure, the better."
Pleasure is the one and only good, hence it must be the basis of moral judgement.
3 types of desire:
1. Intellectual- derived from one's discovery of truth or the resolution of a problem that involves intellectual deliberation.
2.Aesthetic- characterized by feeling of awe & disinterestedness; feeling of beholding a beautiful thing and the urge to possess the source of pleasure itself.
3.Physical- satisfaction of sensuous or sexual desire.
pleasure, being the moral norm whenever an act is pleasant it must be done under all circumstance; whenever an act is unpleasant, it must be avoided as much as possible.
hedonist: "Happiness is the highest good & the ultimate goal of life."
pleasure as the
stoics: are known for their exemplary patience, perseverance, self-sacrifice.. etc.
highest virtues : mental tranquility, temperance, contentment, serenity, composure & peace of mind
Apatheia or state of imperturbability is the basis of moral actions
"pleasure as the basis for moral action that leads to an endless cycle of pleasures & pains."
"the most difficult individual to discipline is oneself"
pleasure is the
moderate pleasure- is one with constant reason, which is neither too much or too little.
"anything that is taken in excess is bad, so we should avoid the extremes & live moderately."