Ethics as Philosophic Inquiry

Report
2. What does it mean to say
that an action is
"good?" Think here
about the qualities you
associate with "good"
(and, perhaps, "bad")
3. Do you believe people
should always be moral?
Would you take the money?
• Moral
• Immoral
• Amoral
• Non-moral
“Sam is a good surfer.”
“Sam is a good person.”
“Sam has good manners.”
“Sam always adheres to the speed limit.”
“Sam hid a Jewish family from the Nazi’s.”
“Julie cheats on her husband.”
“Julie has sexual relationships with people other
than her husband.”
“Julie doesn’t understand on any level the pain
her husband feels because of her infidelity and
she doesn’t understand what makes her
infidelity wrong.”
“Rex is a good dog.”
“Julie beats her dog.”
“Sam beats his drum.”
“Berber makes good knives.”
What is the principle that
serves as the basis for
your decision?
When loss of life is
inevitable, sacrificing one
life in order to save five is
the right thing to do.
Numbers count.
We said….
When loss of life is
inevitable, sacrificing one
life in order to save five is
the right thing to do.
Numbers count.
A mental conflict between
moral imperatives.
“Between a rock and a hard
place.”
Rattles us out of habit.
Compels us to find/create
principles to guide decision
making.
Forces us to dig into a
question with more
questions to discover our
assumptions, clarify our
values, and unravel critical
concepts.
When loss of life is
inevitable, sacrificing one life
in order to save five is the
right thing to do.
Numbers count.
Gender.
Age.
Criminal history.
Wealth/power/social status.
Personal relationships.
Uncertainty about whether our
action will work.
Culpability of man on bridge for
situation (i.e. what if he
disabled the brakes?).
The ways we value
different kinds of lives?
Our sense of responsibility
toward others?
The relationships among
knowledge, intention,
consequences, and moral
responsibility?
Our values?
Our loyalties?
No rope to tie them up.
Let them go, and they could give
away location of Seals to Taliban.
Kill them or let them go?
100 goats, two farmers, one
14 year old boy.
All unarmed.
The farmers are women?
You know the farmers are
Taliban sympathizers?
Old women?
You know the farmers are
Taliban opponents?
You know the farmers are
Taliban sympathizers but
the boy is not?
You know the Taliban will
torture them to find out
where the Seals are?
You know the boy is a
Taliban sympathizer but the
farmers are not?
“We’re on active duty
behind enemy lines…and
have a right to do
everything we can to save
our own lives.” (one soldier)
“It would be wrong to
execute these unarmed
men in cold blood.” (Marcus
Luttrell)
Vote: 2 to 1 to let them go (1
abstention).
90 minutes later, 100 Taliban
assault.
3 of the 4 Seals killed.
Rescue helicopter shot down,
killing all 16 soldiers.
Marcus Luttrell survives.
“It was the stupidest, most southernfried, lamebrained decision I ever
made in my life. I must have been out
of my mind. I had actually cast a vote
which I knew could sign our death
warrant….At least, that’s how I look
back on those moments now….The
deciding vote was mine, and it will
haunt me till they rest me in an East
Texas grave.”
Does the
outcome
undermine
Luttrell’s decision
to let the farmers
go?
Does the
outcome affect
your own
decision?
The ways we value
different kinds of lives?
Our sense of responsibility
toward others?
The relationships among
knowledge, uncertainty,
intention, consequences,
and moral responsibility?
Our values?
Our loyalties?

similar documents