Flashcards in Why Should I Be Moral? Deck (20):
Hobbes, morality is based on self interest.
State of nature is solitary poor nasty brutish and short
What is psychological egoism?
All action is motivated by self interest
What is ethical egoism
It is rational and right to peruse your interests
Social contract theory
Power is invested in an all mighty sovereign who keeps the peace. Give up freedom for security. Peace = industry, prosperity
What is enlightened self interest?
Give up your immediate desires in favour of long term goals
Criticisms of Hobbes social contract
Free rider problem - it's ultimately in your interest to undermine the contract by taking the benefits without fulfilling your obligations. (Taxes). Social contract is hypothetical not empirical - authority is established through conquest not consent
Problems with the social contract
It presupposes a legal system with the authority to punish and enforce the agreement
Obeying is something we do not choose to do - it is a product of social conditioning
Social contract counter criticisms. Locke 'tacit concent'
If you remain in a society you had already agreed to abide by its rules
Social contract counter criticisms. Hume
It's difficult to leave the culture you are born into
Kant - to be moral is to go against self interest
Being moral means acting against our natures inclinations to be selfish. 'The good will' is the only thing that's good in itself. Deontological duties to others is the basis of moral action.
Criticisms of Kant
Conflict of duties - satre- can't decide whether to join the French resistance or protect family farm.
Impossible to universalise certain maxims 'promotion of life'
Kants examples go against common sense - murderer at the door
'Universalise your maxims' and 'treat people as ends in themselves'
Hume - intentions are not empirical and therefore impossible to know
Kant's example 'the honest shopkeeper'
Consequences are more important than intentions - utilitarianism - the right action is the one to maximise happiness for the greatest number of people
Virtue ethics - Plato
Morality and self interest.
Be moral because it makes me happy
Desires are irrational and if you live your life purely in pursuit of your selfish wants it will make you unhappy because they can change and aren't necessarily good.
Desire mistakes pleasure for good
Morality and self interest are compatible
Reason with courage must control desire. You recognise the good - as it is rational and leads to you achieving long term objectives. You become healthy and strong. You achieve 'eudiamonia' happiness through being the most successful version of you that there can be.
Criticisms of Plato - Aristotle
Acting rational makes you happy. It's every human function to be rational. The good is not absolute and universal but relative to the kind or person you are
Aristotle - moderation
Virtue lies in rationally choosing the moderate path between excess and deficiency. This 'mean' is based on experience and the good example of others. Desires are not necessarily bad if regulated by rational choices
Criticisms of Plato
Good is infallible so there is no alternative point of view. This leads to authoritarianism and tyranny.
Nietzsche- Plato says if you have knowledge of the good you will be compelled to follow it. What about clever bad people?
Virtue sometimes leads to misery EG saint Lucy (no eyes and raped)