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TOK: Ethics Presentation

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Ha Le

on 7 January 2013

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Transcript of TOK: Ethics Presentation

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli A TOK presentation by Ha, Yiliang, Vika, and Brayden Ethics Class Activity:
A Board Meeting The situation: You are members of a board listening to a pitch about a new medical development...

The proposition? A super-memory/attention pill

Vote: YES or NO?

To consider...
Can be used for jobs in need of concentration (surgeon, pilot, etc.)
Misuse of pill
The impaired vs. the healthy
What will allowing this pill lead to? Real Life Situation The decision-making process by the class on a hypothetical issue

This can be extended to how everybody comes to a conclusion about a certain controversy, whether it be genetic engineering (as w/ the class activity), social issues, and politics

What helps guide those decisions? What role does ethics play? Knowledge Issue To what extent do beliefs and external factors affect our ethical decisions? What is ethics? Ethics vs. Morals
ethics = rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions, group, culture etc.; external
morals = principles or habits w/ respect to right/wrong conduct; follows individual ideals and principles; internal Theories & Ethics Utilitarianism
Self-interest theory
Moral relativism
Duty ethics Moral Relativism and Evolution Evolution and Creation
Life is ultimately without meaning
Life has a purpose/plan

Morally neutral: sharing wisdom, giving reasons for believing, giving others the choice to think and judge for themselves.

Peter Kreeft says, "Moral relativism is a philosophy that denies moral absolutes. That thought to me is the prime suspect - public enemy number one."

How effective is language in the process of changing a person's views on ethics? Self-interest theory Moral Relativism Four arguments
definitional: "everyone is selfish"
evolutionary: "we are naturally selfish creatures, programmed to pursue our own interests"
hidden benefits: "we act for gratitude, praise, and a positive image of ourselves"
fear of punishment: "we do not do wrong because we fear punishment" The worldwide view that ethical standards, morality, and positions of right and wrong are subject to a person’s individual choice and are culturally based.
Three claims: morality is changeable, subjective, and individual.

Right and wrong are not absolutes. They can be determined by each individual depending on the situation, person, and consequences.

Freedom of choice vs anarchy

Does moral relativism say anything goes? Duty Ethics Self-Interest Theory: Analysis.... Wall Street Journal: 'It's Mine!' The Selfish Gene
To what extent are our ethics guided by self-interest?
To what extent is reason involved? How about emotion? The ethical position that determines moraility based on adherence to rules
Schools of thoughts
Right theory - John Locke
Samuel Pufendorf
Religious Ethics
Kantian Ethics Utilitarianism Religious Ethics Morality is determined through religious belief
It is our duty to follow God's commands Counter-argument - is it good because God commands it, or does God commands it because it is good? Eg. Spanish Inquisition Kant's theory CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE
Act only on those maxims (or rules of action)
that you could at the same time will to be a universal law. Based completely on reason Language - How does one understand God's will? Definition: a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number
actions, including lying, are morally acceptable when the resulting consequences maximize benefit or minimize harm Counter-arguments - consequences of actions are ignore
-absolute, does not adress conflicting duties Pros - certainty
Cons - neglects consequences Area of Knowledge History - Eugenics - Hitler? How do you know that your reasoning is universal? SO.... Let's re-examine our RLS with what has been discussed...

To what extent did each ethical theory affect your decision? What about the WOK's? Issues with utilitarianism... Is the woman right or wrong?
Is it moral to keep aesthetically pleasing objects intact instead of scrapping them in order to provide supplies?
How do you determine which action would benefit society more? A dilemma... According to utilitarianism: an act done in ill will but resulting in good for a majority of people = ETHICALLY SOUND

To what extent do the ends justify the means?
And how can we even measure "happiness" or "common good"?

controversy: one can never foresee an action's consequences; utilitarianism can be used to justify breaches of human rights
a case within history: the bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki Also... homework! Create a visual representation (collage, drawing, etc.) that shows us what factors defines your ethics (min. size - 1/2 page) TED Talks:
Our Buggy Moral Code From the video, what factors appear to affect people's ethics?
How do ethics affect our perception of an event?
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