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12

In addition to the conflicting "duties" to friend and law, there is a third duty to yourself, both as a duty to your principles and a duty to those who depend on on you. The case of Antigone correctly raised by John Am and famously discussed by Hegel has a few complexities. She dies, causing other deaths and bereavements as well. Nor does she seem to ...


10

the categorical imperative asks whether the maxim of your action could become one that everyone could act upon in similar circumstances. If the action could be universalized (i.e., everyone could do it), then it is morally acceptable Kant's principle only applies to the maxim of your action. Eating a potato in and of itself is not a maxim nor does it ...


8

In The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant examines the question of how humans can act in a good way. For Kant, the basis for acting good is the good will. His criterion for the good will is acting from duty. Kant gives the example of a salesman, who serves his customers honestly and for fair prices. But one cannot see from the outside if the ...


7

How can I will a maxim to become a universal law, surely that kind of power can only be wielded by a god? He means "will" as "desire" or "intend" here; he's not suggesting that, through the efforts of our will alone, the maxim will actually become a universal law.


6

In terms of balancing duties, I would follow the example of Antigone by Sophocles and I would put the trust of my fellow man superior to the law of the state. The reason is that I think the immigration law anti-social, whose existence relies on to cover imperfections and problems in the existing structure of modern societies. For me being a betrayal of the ...


5

States don't participate in duty-based ethics. They offer or impose social contracts. So the result of trying to adopt a consistent personal ethics based upon abstract duty within a state context ultimately results in a sort of 'theory sandwich', a layered approach to ethics where the layers clearly conflict, and one or the other is taken to be primary in ...


4

I would say that in practise, there are formal (i.e. legal) rights, and informal (i.e. social conventional) rights. The phrase "What gives you the right to [...]?" is often used in the context of interpersonal interaction in circumstances which only the most repressive regimes feel the need to express opinions on; but we certainly acknowledge that ...


3

E M Forster wrote an essay in 1938, titled like one by Russell On what I believe where he said: Personal relations are despised today, they are seen as bourgeois luxuries, as products of a time of fair weather which has now passed and we are urged to get rid of them and dedicate ourselves to some movement or cause instead. To place this in context, this ...


3

Unlike utilitarianism I do not think everyone has a duty to maximize happiness. Simply, people have a duty to increase happiness more then they decrease it in order to remain moral. Your position is still essentially a weak utilitarian position if the only consideration of a particular action (or set of actions in ones life) is the moral "goodness" it ...


3

The idea that there is one fixed concept of either duty or obligation is probably in doubt, but there could probably be drawn a distinction in, say, Kantian philosophy. Kant in his Critique of Practical Reason states the following (in his typical, idiosyncratic way): [Concerning human agents], therefore, the moral law is an imperative, which commands ...


3

It would be interesting to have some passages to compare from these authors that you speak about. I too would say, intuitively, that they can't mean exactly the same. So I put my head into some books (not really) to see what I can come up with. I do not find my finding interesting enough to earn a bounty, but nonetheless I prefer to share. What I did find ...


2

In the United States, and many other countries with similar legal systems, a defense attorney is required to represent the interests of his/her client, regardless of whether the client is actually innocent. This is a legal requirement and a moral duty of the legal profession. To that end, one could also argue that everyone has a moral obligation to stop a ...


2

Well this has been subject to various philosophical debates for a very long time. If you look at the definition of the two terms, you will get what seems like a circular answer. One refers to the other and the other refers back, case in point: Definition of duty (n) obligation: something that somebody is obliged to do for moral, legal, or ...


2

How can I will a maxim to become a universal law, surely that kind of power can only be wielded by a god? The categorical imperative was to Kant a universal law, I think it can be useful to think of it as an example when considering the positive features these laws would possess. I think your confusion may be based on the difference between laws which you ...


2

I don't know how other people think, but to me, I usually follow the rule: it is not ethical if you do something to somebody, and you wish that thing is not done to you. Update: per @Keelan's statement, this is the philiosophy 己所不欲,勿施於人, from the book Analects of Confucius. It means "(if) self not wanting it, don't apply it to another person." In terms of ...


2

Since the author doesn't explain what they mean by a rights-based ethics, it's a little hard to tell. But rights are often understood as only "negative rights," what you call "rights to be left alone in doing certain acts." Ever since Isaiah Berlin's "Two Concepts of Liberty," academic political philosophers frequently associate "positive rights" with "...


1

What about Burke's Social Contract For The Ages? As much as society is the balance of our momentary self-concerned needs with those of others, there is an extent to which we must balance our eras momentary or short-term needs with long-term concerns that reach beyond the lives of individuals and even nations - likely say climate change, or nuclear waste. ...


1

Its a difficult topic to do philosophy on because not everyone agrees on how you should treat other's happiness's. We tried the golden rule, and the platinum rule. Both have their quirks. Arne Naess sought a solution which sidestepped the argument entirely. He defined what he called the "Ecological Self" as "that which one relates to." He gave the ...


1

The act you are describing is extremely unethical. First off, I want to point out that comparing human beings to stray dogs is disturbing to say the least, and is not the mark of an unbiased point of view. More importantly though - this is someone who possibly views you as a friend, and you are about to turn them in to a massive mindless bureaucracy whose ...


1

Kant actually has such a feature in his moral system: it's called imperfect duty. Kant specifies two: Your Own improvement and Helping Others. In both cases, the means of fulfillment are not specified but that you have a duty to help others is specified. Similarly, you as a rational being in need of the developed aid of others have an obligation to improve ...


1

In a criminal court case, there isn't just the question whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty. Depending on the situation, the punishment for guilty people might be quite different. You might be hundred percent guilty of illegally killing a person, yet there is the question (in the USA) of whether this is first degree murder, second degree murder, or ...


1

Rules in a civil trial and a criminal trial are different. What I say should be only applied to criminal trial. When someone is accused of a crime, there isn't just "guilty" and "not guilty". Many actions could be different crimes depending on the circumstances - like theft, robbery or armed robbery, like manslaughter, second degree or first degree murder. ...


1

Realistically, morality and guilt have nothing to do with this question. Every lawyer knows, guilt on the part of the client has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of a trial, only guilt that can be proven, or absence of proof, will effect the outcome. A lawyer with a conscience might wrestle with the dilemma, but to assume all lawyers have a conscience is ...


1

The answer to this question depends on which school of morality you subscribe to. Certain utilitarians (people who try to maximize utility/happiness) would claim that one has the duty to do whatever it takes to increase happiness. Thus, it would claim that you have a duty to educate people with lower intelligence or with less knowledge. However there are ...


1

i think what you're missing is Nietzsche at no point accepts the idea that notions such as duty are able to carry an absolute neccessity. his direction was not to affirm or deny duty, but arrive at why a duty is what it is through investigating its historical conditions of emergence, through 'genealogy', in order to realise it's contingency and deny its ...


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