Which Ethical School Do You Prefer?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Agnapostate, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Agnapostate
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    I would personally say that I prefer utilitarianism, specifically preference utilitarianism. My preferred variety is a combination of the two-level form advocated by R.M. Hare, and the preference form championed by Peter Singer.

    Do you prefer deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, or what?
     
  2. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Utilitarianism - except that I get confused with all the various shades but I do like reading Singer so I suppose I'm there. Also virtue ethics, thanks to Aristototle and Philippa Foot I have a hobby at work trying to put it into real life. I don't know enough and I'm learning too slowly but it's interesting.
     
  3. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    damn.. im having flashbacks of biomedical ethics class. YUK.
     
  4. Agnapostate
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    Excerpted from Bernard Williams's Critique of Utilitarianism:

    "George, who has just taken his Ph.D. in chemistry, finds it extremely difficult to get a job. He is not very robust in health, which cuts down the number of jobs he might be able to do satisfactorily. His wife has to go out to work to keep them, which itself causes a great deal of strain, since they have small children and there are several problems about looking after them. The results of all this, especially on the children, are damaging. An older chemist, who knows about this situation, says that he can get George a decently paid job in a certain laboratory, which pursues research into chemical and biological warfare. Georfe says that he cannot accept this, since he is opposed to chemical and biological warfare. The older man replies that he is not too keen on it himself, come to that, but after all George's refusal is not going to make the job or the laboratory go away; what is more, he happens to know that if George refuses the job, it will certainly go to a contemporary of George's who is not inhibited by any such scruples and is likely if appointed to push along the research with greater zeal than George would. Indeed, it is not merely concern for George and his family, but (to speak frankly and in confidence) some alarm about this other man's excess of zeal, which has led the older man to offer to use his influence to get George the job...George's wife, to whom he is deeply attached, has views (the details of which need not concern us) from which it follows that at least there is nothing particularly wrong with research into CBW. What should he do?"

    What do you say?
     
  5. garyd
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    garyd Senior Member

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    Depends on the lab. A lot of such labs also work on ways to neutralize the effects of such weapons. They are still called bio chem labs.
     
  6. Agnapostate
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    Williams specifically intended for the lab in the analogy to be one that worked to develop such weapons, and one's answer would determine whether you were a deontologist or a consequentialist.
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    He knows that doing something that you think and feel is wrong will cause him and everyone else to be miserable. Keep looking.
     
  8. Agnapostate
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    I'm quite sure that effectively causing the development of weapons to furthered to an extent that they would not have been developed had you taken the job in this scenario could cause quite a bit of misery.
     
  9. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    not sure I understand you---he should take the job on the possiblity that he could sabotage it thus avoiding financail misery ?
     
  10. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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