kant v. mill

November 13, 2008

When comparing both theories of Kant and Mill, taking into consideration the amount of troubling problems, clearly Mill for me would be a better fit.  A decent arguement to support this would be, that Mill has come to a conclusion when speaking of what is morally right and wrong.   The Utiltarian would want overall happines. So even if Mill was not happy, but overall happiness was present regardless of the way he felt, then that would be whats best for all. 

Kant on the other hand, seems to be a little more less guiding.  He wants us to cultivate our talents & have self love.  Only when self love is achieved he tells us how we somehow are going against something morally.  For example if we are a good liar we are suppose to improve those talents and practice at them, simply because it is almost a sin not to.  However, lying is not honorable, therefore making u someone lesser morally. Kant explains the categorical imperative and tells us how we should be able to act only as such when you can will your maxim into  universal law.  If you cannot then you are not suppose to act that way period.  It all can be a bit confusing.

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Does happiness have an intrinsic value?

November 18, 2008

I am not sure if happiness has an intrinsic value because there are many who go daily without an appreciation or who can find joyment in one single thought or event.  Even if happiness was inborn in you, then, what would be the point of a decision making process or forming rationality?  We all have the option or will to feel anyway we want to.  An  example of someone who finds happiness in something degrading such as a pedafile, makes others feel inside the norm or majority, that it is not socially or morally acceptable.  Now that individual is then a psycho or freak to society.  It is extremely hard to figure out exactly where to draw the line when distinguishing whether or not showing that happiness is any good or not.

State of Nature.

November 18, 2008

I would have to agree with Hobbes about all havoc becoming when those who live in the S.O.N. are not in civilized modes. A state of war is exactly what would break out. Not one individual can be expected to have fears because with those fears you are essentially bringing weakness to yourself. With weakness or vunerability you will eventually die within this S.O.N. Like stated in class, if food is scarce you will end up killing for it, or building something to increase your chances of owing it over the next person. How do those who are hanicapped expected to surivive? They could not, and I feel that those who show emotion towards them by helping will also be leading to their own demise.

The categorical imperative

November 13, 2008

“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” Or how about one should always stay true to themselves as well as everbody else in accordance with the rest.  To me, a short way, in lamens terms, of explaining Kant’s theory on the categorical imperative.  If I go into a candy store, steal something, then run out, morally I did what was wrong.  I am taking away from someone without an exchange, unfairly most importantly as well as depriving them to improve that much greater financially.  When stealing, you are only hurting yourself in the long-run Kant says.  It is the working hard for your money, the paying for your item, the morally right thing to do, which makes it our duty to achieve goals and find an appreciation in it.

Rationality

November 13, 2008

Rationality is extremely important for a person because it allows them to use their better judgement in determing something.  For example, I want to pick up a brick and slam it into my own face, now rationally, it seems like it could be done. It might hurt quite a bit, therefore the pain being far greater then any other form of satisfaction i might receive from hitting myself with the brick, draws the conclusion i do not want to hit myself with a brick.  With this decision making process we can relate rationality itself with something such as self-love, which Kant discusses.  Self -love is intertwined with rationality because usually those who have that ability to rationalize are self loving and looking to improve themselves somehow.

Cultural Relativism

September 22, 2008

There are so many dilemmas when debating over moral disagreements between cultures. Because of that, I took this as an opportunity to elaborate more on an example in my own life. My cousin was diagnosed a paranoid schizophranic, by definition it states that one with paranoid schizophrenia can be a “psychotic patient who has numerous systematized delusions, as well as hallucinations and ideas of reference. He or she may also be agitated, angry, argumentative, and sometimes violent” (http://www.dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section7/glossary/pq.html). This making him somewhat handicapped, within his own mind state. The disease gives him the illusion that by not showering, venturing outside of his home, and badgering his mother with verbal abuse, he is morally doing nothing wrong. To us, or those without paranoia, he pretty much sounds like a freak. The only reason I use this as an example is because we were both born and raised within the same culture, better yet, around the block from one another. I do not think his behavior is acceptable, when speaking in a moral sense, he and I are not on the same page whatsoever. This example makes cultural relativism seem wrong because it clearly does not apply to my own family, deriving from the same roots or backround.

Divine Command Theory

September 22, 2008

The effect of rejecting the Divine Command Theory would increase the amount of athiest believers. Then again, those who reject the “DCT” aren’t they really eliminating faith as a whole? For example, if I didn’t believe in Jesus as our savior and denied his righteous acts, wouldn’t I essentially be eliminating my religon? Without The Divine Command Theory, the entire foundation and structure of most religons would be ruined.

If you take away Gods power over morality, then morallity would cease to exist. Some people who believe in God, try to be civil by abiding in his Commandments. Without His reign and fear of eternal punishment, DCT would be like any other “Jo-Smo’s” theory. That is why God has the power over morality He does.

Higher Pleasures vs. Lower Pleasures

September 22, 2008

Utilitarians believe that morality is very much linked to pleasure. I think that with both higher and lower pleasures, the ideal person would then be formed, creating a well-rounded individual. A person who appreciates only the lower pleasures, is not necessarily ignorant or diabolic by any means. Those who are fixated on the lower pleasures, share an inability for a more open-minded approach. Those who are myopic must realize that they are only hurting themselves.

The higher pleasures such as beauty, love, and intellectual advancement are the ingridients that mold us into a true being. When I say true, I mean one who is willing to advance and who is true to themself. The first step would be to admit that there is always room for some improvement. Many who think they do not need to improve are either already A) perfect or B) in a state of denial. Without the opportunity to advance mentally or physically, what are we left with? I feel that we would be left with just the lower pleasures. Making us equivalent to species that do not have the ability to reason on such a level.

Utilitarianism

September 22, 2008

We are all morally responsible for our actions to a certain extent.  Without an individual being held accountable for their actions, when something had gone wrong, there would be nobody to blame.  In class, we spoke about those who are less fortunate and who are not mentally equipped or stable enough, to foresee the consequences, in reaction, to their very own actions. It is the less educated or those who do not have enough common sense, who at times, seem better off acting in such a deliquent manor.  The simple fact is, they can get away with it.  I feel like those who aren’t ignorant or mentally handicapped and have the ability to reason, are held to a higher standard of behavior. A utilitarian would hold us responsible for the morality of our actions not our intentions behind such actions.

It reminds me of when my mother would yell at me for “stooping down” to my younger brothers level. If we got into a “brotherly battle” and I started putting him into a headlock, it was I who was frowned upon. I was chastised and told “you should know better”, and I should have, being the older brother.  If I took him by the hand and showed him how to chuck potatoes through a neighbor’s living room window, he wouldn’t be as much at fault as I, due to the fact that I am 2 years older than him.  It it assumed that I am supposed to know better.  All of this is just fine and dandy when he and I had an age difference of 8-10 or even 12-14.  But now that he is 18, I am quite sure that if we started slinging tomatoes into car windshields, when the police arrived to stop us, they would tell us we are both equally responsible.

God’s Sudden Change in Morality

September 11, 2008

God changing his mind about morality, would lead to a huge ripple effect within a religous community. I am not sure about those who do not attend a parish, or how someone from an athiest standpoint might react. I am not at liberty to say what their views and religous beliefs might be, especially if God thought otherwise about morality.

If He were to have an epiphany one magical night, waking the world with a new outlook on morality, then for sure, some changes would come of it. For example, it is now morally wrong to donate to those less fortunate, making it morally right to throw acid on those who are in need. Let’s say there is a transition from ‘moral man’ to ‘immoral demon’, then you would be praised and judged superbly for these actions.

I do not think God should change his current line of thinking, when questioning morality. Then again, maybe if he did, people would then think it was better to love and perform more generous acts, rather then fight and kill.

In addition, how about those whom kill for fun? Like a Mr. Brooks of Hofstra, has an addiction to killing. Also it is possible that those who do have a mentalilty for killing, believing it to be morally correct, have no moral sense at all. Due to its absence, it flares that terror within them.