Today’s S4 Class – Utilitarian vs Kant’s Ethics


Is lying always wrong or does Jack Black do the right thing?

In this clip Elliot Vaugn decides that it is better to speed up Tom’s impending death in order to preserve DEX (life-preserving drug) to increase his own chances of survival. Utilitarianism in action or breaking a moral absolute?

Questions

On a piece of paper and for each clip:

  • Describe what happens in the clip you watched.
  • How would a good utilitarian have acted in this situation – you must explain why as well as what you think.
  • How would Kant insist one should act in this situation? Again you must argue for your answer. (We only began to talk about this last day so you may struggle to remember that Kant said “if you’re not sure what to do you should imagine that everyone will do what you’re about to do all the time”. If you think everyone doing that would be okay then you can do the action, if you wouldn’t – you shouldn’t.) Remember, Kant is concerned with whether the action is logical – whether then intentions are good or selfish – think Sheldon Cooper!

Need more help? Click the image below.
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  • What did you think was the right thing to do here? Were your reasons more Kantian or utilitarian?

End of S4 Euthanasia responses…

Having watched the two videos and thought about some of the arguments, you should be in a place where you can give a reasoned response to the question posed by the cases of Tony Nicklinson and Diane Pretty.

Guardian on law change in Scotland

Telegraph on Tony Nicklinson 

BBC on A campaign to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.

 

Benefits and dangers of Invol. Euthanasia – Int2 / Higher RMPS

 

To post your opinion on the view you signed up for in class just press comment below. Usual options (initials) apply and make sure you make your answer balanced and clear. We can all use each others answers for revising for the NAB… If you want to see a bigger version of the slide above just click on it… [Make sure you submit your answer to the correct post]

Your Choices:

Benefits and Dangers of Voluntary Euthanasia – Int 2 RMPS

To post your opinion on the view you signed up for in class just press comment below. Usual options (initials) apply and make sure you make your answer balanced and clear. We can all use each others answers for revising for the NAB… If you want to see a bigger version of the slide above just click on it…

Sign up sheet:

 

The Prozium World: Utilitarian Dream or Nightmare?

This is the opening scene from 2002 film Equlibrium. As (now) experts in Bentham’s moral philosophy you are equipped to engage with many of the issues the film raises.

Would you take prozium? Why?

Would you want to live in Libria (this is sightly different question)? Why why not?

What would Bentham have said, do you think (answer with support from the core texts)?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbNh6QubxCM

Knowing the ‘right’ thing to do…

Here’s the video clip we watched in class last week. Post your answers to the question below. You will need to use an alias.

1. Do you think Peter does the ‘right’ thing in the clip. This is not a yes or no question. You will need to highlight the complexities as you see them and explain how they impact your thoughts.

2. Who was Jeremy Bentham? What would he have thought was the right thing to do? Why?

3. Do you think he gives us a solution to thinking about life decisions? Why/ Why Not? Again this will be a thoughtful and extended answer. You will probably need to think through several real life situations as ‘thought-experiments’ to help you decide on this.

S4 Cover work – Moral Philosophy Recap

This clip shows a Captain in the British Navy in the Second World War. He is forced to make a difficult decision. As part of a convoy containing many ships he must decide whether to drop depth charges killing some allied sailors who are known to many of his on crew. To decide to save these men would be to risk the lives of every other seaman in the convoy…

Questions:

1. Why is the Captain’s decision so difficult?

2. Why do you think the Captain makes the decision he did? Was he right?

3. What sort of moral philosophy is underlying this action? Why?

4. What do you think Kant would have claimed was the right thing to do (think duty, moral absolutes, universalisability)?

5. What ‘Duties’ are involved in this decision? Do they conflict?

Watch the second clip:

Questions:

1. Is the Captain a murderer? Why/why not?

2. Does the action become more or less ‘right’ if the U-boat was not where they though it was? Explain your answer.

3. Do you find Kant’s approach or that of the Utilitarian more satisfactory in this case? Why?

4. What is moral luck? How does it fit in with this situation?

5. The Captains of the other ships recommend he drink away his ‘thoughts’. How did you feel when you heard them suggest this? What role does your conscience play in determining what is ‘right’?

Revision for the Unit Assessment

Make sure you revise the place of ‘peace’ in Christianity. This will involve understanding the terms ‘forgiveness’, ‘pacifism’, ‘reconciliation’, ‘justice’ and ‘retribution.’ Do all Christians follow the example and teachings of Jesus?

Also look at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa in a great deal of detail. Did it work? You need to be able to give an evaluated response to this question.

jesuschristpassionpainting