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Flashcards in theme 2 deontological ethics Deck (40)
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who created natural law ?
and intro it

Aquinas who wrote about natural laws set in nature telling humans how to act in order to reach eudemia and happiness
- believed all humans lean towards good
- eudamonia for Aquinas means reward in heaven for acting good
- Aquinas was influenced by Aristotle
- Aristotle said all humans have a purpose
- Aquinas said our purpose is God given

why were we given this
- all humans have ability to reason and God given laws to help us act morally


what are the 4 levels of law ?

eternal law
- God creates everything and his wisdom is revealed through
divine law
- sacred texts and Bible guides to goal of perfection, these teachings are known through
natural law
- innate human ability to know what is naturally right from which
human law
- develops, law within society


what are the primary precepts for ?

- help us identify purpose and what is good
- fulfilling purpose = closer to God
- we use reason to apply precepts through casuistry
- general idea is do good and avoid evil


what are the 5 primary precepts ?

- preserve life (this takes precedence in moral dilemmas)
- reproduction
- education
-live in ordered society
- worship God


what are secondary precepts ?

- rules that are deduced from primary precepts through casuistry e.g preservation of life- do not murder
- not absolutist e.g polygamy and monogamy both lead to reproduction
- can break secondary to uphold primary e.g steal from a man to feed a starving child (preserve life)


what are virtues ?

- similar to Aristotle, following these shows a link between following and happiness
- reason guides us in developing the right virtues
- virtues are human qualities that reason suggests reaches the beatific vision


what are the three theological/ revealed virtues ?

- love ('the greatest of these is love')
- hope (constant trust in reaching beatific vision)
- faith


what are the 4 cardinal virtues ?

they are a way of developing reason

1- prudence (basis of casuistic behaviour)
2- temperance
3- courage/fortitude (perseverance in difficult circumstances)
4- justice


what are internal and external acts ?

intention and act is important

internal act= the motive
external act = carrying out the action

- to be good intention and external must be good
- helping old lady across the street to impress = good but if its to impress someone its bad but out of kindness is good


what is the doctrine of double effect ?

- even if a good act has bad secondary consequences it still right
- only if didn't intent bad consequences


real and apparent goods ?

humans fall short of Gods intentions as we confuse real and apparent goods

a real good is a charactersitic that helps reach the ultimate purpose e.g giving to charity

apparent good is incorrectly applied reason e.g taking drugs to be sociable = wrong


abortion in natural law?

- goes against primary precept of reproduction and beatific vision
- against preservation of life, for RCC life begins at conception
- can use reason in some cases to break secondary, do not abort, to preserve mothers life
- doctrine of double effect, if intention is to save mothers life and an abortion is unavoidable its ok


voluntary euthanasia in natural law ?

- goes against preservation of life
- revealed virtues- love- therefore acceptable out of agape
- revealed virtues not of the same importance as precepts
- interior act good (alleviating suffering) exterior act bad
- doctrine of double effect, immediate effect is bad- taking life


who was John Finnis ?

- Australian Catholic philosopher who developedon the natural law
- unlike Aquinas he said the goal was to live a worthwhile life and establish what is good for mankind
- developed natural law in a book so it does not presuppose Gods existence
- rejects the primary precepts and idea that God tells us whats right and wrong and said huamns desire to persue a number of Goods leading to a good life, 7 basic goods


what are Finnis' 7 basic goods ?

number of equally valuable basic goods given to human nature

- human life (preserve)
- knowledge (understand world around us and help us develop as human)
- play (enjoy things)
- aesthetic appreciation (in what we see and create)
-sociability (peace and harmony)
practical reasonableness (use intellegence to decide on moral decisions)
- religion (recognition basic goods are made possible by higher power)

these are all intrinsically good


what does Finnis mean by his basic goods are intrinsically good

e.g knowledge is instrumentally good but also good in and of itself, basic goods are universal and not relative like situation ethics

- said motivations for actions such as materialistic gain human inclination rather than practical reason (Aquinas's apparent goods)
- there is no hierarchy of these goods


according to Finnis what is a moral acts ?

any acts that involves one or a combination of the goods and immoral is one that directly harms any of the basic goods


what is Finnis's theoretical and practical reason ?

theoretical reason describes what is true and the way things are

practical reason describes how to act and how the world should be


how does theoretical reason apply to the 7 basic goods ?

- it has many principles which cannot be proved such as the assumption that experience corresponds with reality, principles like thins cannot be derived from logic and can be meaningfully denied. The basic goods are the same as they cannot be derived from Gods ;aw or logic but if you deny them you cannot go anywhere in the realm of practical reason and cant make decisions about the best way to live your life so they are therefore self-evident
- some people don't know the basic good because they aren't educated enough


what are the 9 principles of practical reason ? (as in outline not list them)

- in order to correctly participate in practical reason, you need to fulfil the 9 sub-requirements
- these create the optimum conditions to achieve 7 basic goods
- they are self-evident
- they are 'methods of operation'


what are the 9 principles of practical reason?


-view of life (as a whole)
-efficient (do good e.g where harm is inevatble in a fight, stun rather than punch)
- sit around (do not sit arounf, make effort)
- prioritise certain goods (naturall priorites but take into account other goods)
- act according to practical reason
- harm (never act to harm basic goods)
- foster common good of the community
- obsess (do not obsess)


according to Finnis how should we make decisions in life ?

- think reasonably in accordance with the 9 requirements and describe how you will persue the basic goods


what is the common good in Finnis's natural law ?

- humans naturally need to live in groups
- implied by basic goods and we are the most prodictive this way
- one of the 9 practical reasoning's
-the common good is when each member of the community can effectively pursue the basic goods for themselves


what Does Finnis say about authority and the need for laws ?

like Aquinas Finnis natural law is a theory of ethics and theory of law
- Finnis argues some laws directly serve the basic goods so concludes the law a morally necessary component of society e.g ;aw against murder
- bust most laws aren't direct to the basic goods but create a stable environment for people to follow the basic goods
- believed authors of law need to create a system that supports basic goods and is in accordance to practical reason
- said the law does how ever allow morally just illeagle things and visa versa


what does Finnis natural law say about immigration ? support

- his theory sends mixed messaged about this
- the 9 and 7 goods/ reasons don't give direct guidance
basic goods
- basic good of sociability can be seen to support immigration
- aesthetic appreciation (cultural diversity e.g poetry and art)
- immigration may open up different avenues to ansers of religion

requirement of practical reason
- foster common good of community
- our conscience would support this as the right thing to do


what does Finnis natural law say about immigration ?

basic goods
- friendship and sociability needs to be in a close knit group of friends, doesn't include immigrants we don't know
- allowing immigration could erode cultural identity e.g aesthetic appearance

requirements of practical reason
- foster common good of community and mass immigration disrupts society
- so to foster the common good we must reject immigration

- and if law is to reject immigration (like trump did) then to achieve common good we must follow this law
- Finnis himself said controlled immigration is good but mass is bad


what would Finnis' natural law say about capital punishment ? support

again this theory sends mixed messages

basic goods
- sociability (acting in interests of others), may be in interests of our friends to punish their perpetrator

requirements of practical reason
- for good of the community we should eliminate the threat
- foster common good by removing dangerous members from society


Finnis' natural law against capita; punishment ?

basic goods against
- we should preserve human life
- practical reason would say its morally wrong

requirements of practical reason
- never act to harm a basic good (remove life) even if intended to protect community
- conscience and practical reason tells us killing is wrong

- if law says reject or accept capital punishment we should accept that because following the law is the best way to achieve the comon basic goods


what is proportional-ism ? and background

- originated from Catholic scholars in Europe and America in a period of change
- rose from the concern that ethics was too deontologically rigid


who was Bernard Hoose ?

- proportionalism
- said there certain rules that can never be right to disobey unless there is proportionate reason to justify it
- always follow deontological theological moral rules unless breaking rule potentially creates less evil