Essay about What Is Morality? By James Rachels

1199 Words Oct 21st, 2014 5 Pages
What is Morality? by James Rachels attempts to provide us with a core understanding of morals and a set of guidelines all decisions should follow to be considered morally correct. Rachels asserts morality is conduct guided by impartial reason, which implies that the decision is backed by solid rationale and that the morally correct thing to do is determined by what solution is supported the most logically. The issue must be looked at impartially to achieve a moral judgment, meaning giving equal weight to the interests of each individual affected by the judgment. An unbiased position must be established to achieve an impartial view on any circumstance. Rachels uses three examples of situations where it was difficult to determine what the right action to take was. By applying the methodical reasoning and core principles of morality he describes, Rachels is able to show what he believes the moral choice is in each case. In doing so, Rachels claims that morals are always backed by reason, and to make the correct moral decision is to make the decision that makes the most sense and comes from an impartial perspective.
The first case presented is that of Baby Tereasa, an anencephalic infant. Anencephalic infants are born with neither a cerebrum nor cerebellum, portions of the brain that are necessary for higher brain functions and consciousness. Such infants usually die within a few days of being born. Taking the grim outlook into consideration the parents of Baby Theresa…

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