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70 Cards in this Set

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What is objective truth?
X is objectively true iff:
1.) X is the case, whether or not we can prove it.
What is subjective truth?
X is subjectively true for S iff:
1.) X coheres with S's world view.
What is personal-belief relativism?
Personal-belief relativism asserts that moral beliefs of one person may be different from those of another.
What is societal-belief relativism?
Societal-belief relativism asserts that the moral beliefs of a society might be different from another's.
What are the arguments for moral relativism?
1.) The Cultural Differences Argument
2.) The Psychological Conditioning Argument
3.) The No Proof Argument
What is the most popular argument for moral relativism?
The Cultural Differences Argument
What is the Cultural Differences Argument?
1.) If different cultures have different moral beliefs, then there is no objective truth concerning morality.
2.) Different cultures have different moral beliefs.
3.) There is no objective truth.
What is the Psychological Conditioning Argument?
1.) If we acquire our moral beliefs via a process of psychological conditioning, then our moral beliefs are neither objectively true nor false.
2.) We do acquire our moral beliefs via psychological conditioning.
3.) Our moral beliefs are neither objectively true nor false.
What is the No Proof Argument?
1.) If moral claims are objectively true or false, then one ought to be able to prove what is objectively true or false.
2.) But one cannot prove what is objectively true or false.
3.) Therefore, moral claims are not objectively true or false.
What problem is there with the most popular argument for moral relativism?
Problem with the Cultural Differences Argument: Doesn't premise 1. essentially say that if people disagree about X, there is no fact of the matter concerning X? What about God's existence? Somebody is right. Therefore, 1. is false, and moral relativism is unsupported.
What is the problem with the Psychological Conditioning Argument?
Suppose one person is conditioned to believe in God, and one isn't. One of them is right. Therefore, 1. is false, and moral relativism is unfounded.
What is the problem with the No Proof Argument?
1. implies that X is true if X can be proven. However, no one can prove whether or not God exists. Therefore, 1. is false and moral relativism is unsupported.
Is Rachels a relativist?
No.
What are Rachels' observations?
1. There is less moral disagreement than there seems to be.
2. There are some values that all cultures must have in order to survive.
According to Rachels, what are the values that all cultures must have in order to survive?
1. A prohibition against killing.
2. A prohibition against lying.
3. Support for the production and education of children.
Is abortion a moral dispute?
No. It's an argument over when life starts.
What does the idea of persons have to do with?
Personhood has to do with the ability to suffer. Persons are sentient beings.
What is the Divine Command Theory?
X is morally right iff:
1.) God says so.
2.) Only because God says so.
What is the Right Becomes Wrong Argument?
1.) If the DCT is true, then if God said child molesting is OK, it would be.
2.) But child molesting is wrong.
3.) Therefore, the DCT is false.
How would a person who believes in the DCT reply to the Right Becomes Wrong Argument? Is this a reasonable reply?
They would say that God would never say that child molesting is OK, because it's wrong. This is a bad reply, because it proves that we have an independent standard of right and wrong.
What is the Morality is Fixed Argument?
1.) If the DCT is true, then if God said rape were permissible three days a week, then it would be.
2.) But what is right is always right.
3.) Therefore, the DCT is false.
What is the Morality Becomes Arbitrary Argument?
1.) If the DCT is true, then what is right and wrong is just a matter of God's whim.
2.) But what is right and wrong is not a matter of God's whim.
3.) Therefore, the DCT is false.
To secure moral truth, what could one do?
1. Ask God (revelation).
2. Think it out (reason).
Does denying the DCT imply that God is not omnipotent?
No. God is limited to what is logically possible (?)
Can both God's omnipotence and the DCT be true?
No (?
What is the strongest objection to the DCT?
The God is Good Argument:
1.) If the DCT is true, then the phrase "God is good" loses meaning.
2.) But the phrase "God is good" is meaningful. It means that God does certain sorts of things (good things) but not others (bad things).
3.) Therefore, the DCT is false.
What is Rawls' original position?
"Initial status quo which insures that the fundamental agreements reached in it are fair."
One ought to design society as if he didn't know what he would be in society. One ought to design society behind a "veil of ignorance"; this forces us to be fair to everyone.
What do we have to forget in order to design a fair society?
1. Socio-economic standing
2. Race
3. Religion
4. Gender
5. Age
6. Physical, mental abilities
7. Sexual orientation
What must we remember behind the veil of ignorance?
1. General facts about society
2. That there are diverse views about lifestyles
3. People value autonomy
What does Rawls say about rights and the first principle of justice?
People's freedom can't violate others' freedom. People can't harm others. Remember: Offense is not the same as harm.
What is the first principle of justice?
1. Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.
What is the second principle of justice?
Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are
1.) reasonably expected to be to the greatest advantage to the least advantaged.
2.) attached to offices and positions equally open to all.
Which of Rawls' principles carries priority, or do they both carry the same weight?
Principle 1 carries priority over Principle 2. You may not trample individual rights for the sake of social welfare.
Who has more than others, and under what conditions?
Because human nature can't be ignored, social inequalities are allowed under Principle 2. Some people ahve to get bigger pieces of the pie in order to provide incentive.
According to Rawls, why would we tax the rich if we're behind the veil of ignorance?
We're supposed to assume the worst situation possible and try to plan for it. In this case, it's that we're poor.
What are the implications of Rawls for:
1. Prayer at graduation
2. Same-sex marriage
1. No
2. Yes
What is the Free Rider Objection?
The Free-Rider Objection -- Because Rawls plans to heavily tax the wealthy and give the money to the lower classes, it will create a welfare state. People will be able to get a free ride.
How does Rawls respond to the Free-Rider Objection?
People do not have a right to public assistance. There is no free ride for those who can pay their own way. If you can work, you should.
Rawls' idea is a blueprint for what kind of society?
A truly free, pluralistic one
What is the Michael Jordan Objection?
(by Robert Nozick): You have a right to keep all the money you acquire in a just and fair manner -- even if it's a lot.
What is Rawls' reply to the Michael Jordan Objection?
It's not OK to let people suffer because of bad luck when others are flourishing because of good luck. Wealth that comes from luck is largely undeserved. We can take money from lucky or talented people like Michael Jordan. Think about what this means for supermodels. It's not OK for these people to hoard their good fortune.
What are the functions of man according to Kant?
The function of man is to reason. Everything has a function: that which the thing does best.
What is Kant's maxim?
Whenever I am in circumstances X, I will always do Y.
What is a maxim?
A general rule of behavior of this form: Whenever I am in circumstances X, I will always do Y.
What is a hypothetical imperative?
If you wish for X, do Y.
What is a categorical imperative?
Always do X.
True or false: Morality is a categorical imperative.
True
Compare categorical imperatives to the Golden Rule.
Categorical imperatives are better than the Golden Rule, because the Golden Rule only covers duties. Categorical imperatives cover charity, etc.
What is the second version of a categorical imperative?
Never treat a person, yourself included, merely as a means to an end. Always treat people as ends. Treat them as intrinsically valuable. Avoid using people by gaining consent.
When does a maxim contain a contradiction in concept?
If it is impossible to achieve the goal of the maxim if everyone followed it.
When does a maxim contain a contradiction in will?
If it is possible to achieve the goal of the maxim if everyone followed the maxim, but doing so would frustrate another goal, such as the goal of a good life.
What kind of duty do we have if a maxim contains a contradiction in concept?
We have a perfect duty to do otherwise.
What is a perfect duty to oneself?
Not to commit suicide
What is a perfect duty to others?
Not to lie (to keep promises)
What is an imperfect duty to oneself?
Not rusting talents
What is an imperfect duty to others?
Giving to charity
What is a perfect duty?
A duty without a contradiction in concept. It avoids a contradiction.
What is an imperfect duty?
A duty that contains a contradiction in the will
Under what conditions is a god act praiseworthy?
A good act is praiseworthy when we are acting out of duty -- doing what is right because it's right.
When are good acts blameworthy?
When people do right for other reasons.
Is acting out of ignorance blameworthy?
No, unless it is self-induced.
How serious an objection is the conflict of duties? Does it destroy Kant's moral theory?
Kant doesn't give us any way to prioritize moral duties, but that doesn't destroy his moral theory. It's only incomplete.
What are three solutions to the Problem of Conflicting Duties?
1.) Do perfect duties before imperfect ones.
2.) Use utilitarianism to prioritize.
3.) Use intuition.
What is the classic objection to Kant?
The Nazis Objection -- Kant says you can't lie, but what if you knew you had Jews in your basement, and Nazis knocked on your door and ask you if you've seen any Jews, because they're going to kill them? Should you lie?
How does Kant respond to the Nazis Objection?
You should not lie. Sometimes, the price of living right is high.
Is Peter Singer's argument for famine relief utilitarian or not?
It is not utilitarian, although Singer is a utilitarian overall.
Is Peter Singer's argument for famine relief consistent or inconsistent with Christian morality?
He says it's very consistent with Christian morality. Even St. Thomas Aquinas says so.
Why does Singer think we should provide relief?
We are morally obligated to provide relief because the sacrifice to us is insignificant. Not to give is the moral equivalent of manslaughter.
What is Garrett Harding's objection to Peter Singer?
The Lifeboat Objection -- If we feed the poor today, they'll only live to produce more children whom we'll have to feed. We should cut our losses now, before there are too many of them starving.
How does Singer reply to the Garrett Harding?
We have enough food now and for the foreseeable future. We'd have even more if we switched from animal protein to vegetable protein.