Non-Consequentialism

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• Ethical Egoism.
• Act- & Rule-Utilitarianism.
What act will generate
circumstances that are most
aligned with my individual
interests (egoism) OR what act
that will generate the greatest
amount of pleasure/happiness
for the greatest number
(utilitarianism).
Immanuel Kant (1724-804CE)
Human beings are creatures with
reason.
Reason depends on respect for
rules (i.e. logic).
As creatures with reason, we are
“duty bound” to follow logical
ethical principles (avoid
contradiction).
Deon=duty. To bind.
Action X is required.
Action X is commanded.
In these circumstances….
Under these conditions….
To satisfy this desire….
If you want to earn an
Associates of Arts degree, you
must….
When you’re at a restaurant
and you desire a glass of
water, you must…
If falling rain is causing you to
not be able to see through the
windshield on your car, you
have to….
Always….
Never….
Unconditional.
Universal.
Universalizable.
“Act only according to that
maxim by which you can at
the same time will that it
should become universal
law.”
In other words, a moral
action is revealed via
thought experiment: what
happens if everyone does
what I am contemplating
doing?
You owe a friend $5.
You could kill him and
avoid paying.
“Everyone
ought to kill the person
he/she is indebted to.”
You could lie.
“Everyone ought to
lie to the person
he/she is indebted
to.”
You could steal from
someone else to repay.
“Everyone
ought to steal to in order to
pay back those he/she is
indebted to.”
Humans are the source of values in
the world—no humans, no values,
no worth.
Therefore, humans are the necessary
condition of worth.
As a necessary condition of worth,
humans are worthy (i.e. possess
dignity)
Therefore, they have intrinsic not
instrumental value.
“Act so that you treat humanity,
whether in your own person, or in
that of another, always as an end and
never as a means only.”
Consequences are morally
irrelevant.
Actions have intrinsic value
because they conform to logical
principles.
Ethics is rooted in logic and
reason rather than empathy and
feeling (Cat. Imp. is NOT the
Golden Rule).
What is it?
Does motive matter?
What is most ethically significant:
• Doing the right thing.
• Wanting to do the right thing.
• Avoiding doing the wrong thing?
“Good will”—i.e. doing one’s duty for
the sake of doing one’s duty.
“I take you to be my
(wife/husband), to have and
behold from this day on, for
better or for worse, for richer,
for poorer, in sickness and in
health, to love and to cherish;
until death do us part.”
What if….
The partner no longer
loves you or upholds
his/her vow?
You no longer love your
partner?
Always be honest.
Always keep promises.
Nature is rationally ordered
and purposeful.
How nature
is how nature
Human beings are a part of
nature, have a “human nature,”
and are rational beings.
Human beings should use their
power of reason/rationality to
discover how nature is in order
to determine how we should
act.
Marriage/relationships.
Parenting.
Work.
Money.
Community.
Performing a good action
may be permissible even
if it has bad effects, but
performing a bad action
for the purpose of
achieving good effects is
never permissible.
The action is inherently
morally good or neutral
(without regard for
consequences).
Any bad effects are not
to produce good effects.
The intention must always be
to bring about good effects.
The good effect must be at
least as important as the bad
effect.
The action is inherently
morally good or neutral
(without regard for
consequences).
Any bad effects are not used
to produce good effects.
The intention must always
be to bring about good
effects.
The good effect must be at
least as important as the
bad effect.
It is currently legal to donate but
illegal to sell a kidney in US.
Practical result? Lots of people
die waiting for kidneys.
Proposal: Allow kidneys to be
sold.

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