Monday, May 23, 2016

PHI 210 Week 9

The presentation may contain content that is deemed objectionable to a particular viewer because of the view expressed or the conduct depicted. The views expressed are provided for learning purposes only, and do not necessarily express the views, or opinions, of Strayer University, your professor, or those participating in videos or other media.

We will have two ten-minute breaks: at 7:30 and 9 pm; I will take roll early before the Discussion and you are dismissed at 10:15 pm.

9.1 Ethical Claims
A Few Helpful Terms for Discussing Ethics
9.1 Practice: Ethical Claims
Is It Ethical to Refuse to Hire Smokers?
9.2 Ethical Reasoning
9.2 Practice: Ethical Reasoning
A Dietary Dilemma
9.3 Moral Theories
9.3 Practice: Moral Theories
A Disinterested Party?


9.1 Ethical Claims
A Few Helpful Terms for Discussing Ethics
Moral Principles
Moral Dilemma

Ethics is how we look at and understand life while moral theories are frameworks for what we use to decide how to act.

Ethics or moral philosophy is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.[1] The term ethics derives from the Ancient Greek word ἠθικός ethikos, which is derived from the word ἦθος ethos (habit, "custom"). The branch of philosophy axiology comprises the sub-branches of ethics and aesthetics, each concerned with values.[2]

As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions "What is the best way for people to live?" and "What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?" In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality, by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime. As a field of intellectual enquiry, moral philosophy also is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, and value theory.

There are several areas which have become important ethical decision points: e.g., the ethics of organ donation.

ethics grey anatomy.wmv, 5:36

Three major areas of study within ethics recognised today are:[1]

Meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, and how their truth values (if any) can be determined

Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action
Applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated (or permitted) to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action.[1]

An introduction to philosophical ethics, 3:54

This animation was created for Primary Ethics to give people a basic understanding of what philosophical ethics is all about. This four minute video was written and directed by Leonie Johnson, animated by Victoria Moey, voiceover by Finn O'Keefe and soundtrack by Peter Bailey. Thanks to each of them for their skill and generosity in creating this great asset for Primary Ethics.

the office, ethics, 2:38


Is American culture experiencing an “end of moral absolutes?” That’s surely a question that reasonable observers will have after exploring a new study that analyses what’s happening with morals and ethics among the U.S. populace.
“Christian morality is being ushered out of American social structures and off the cultural main stage, leaving a vacuum in its place — and the broader culture is attempting to fill the void,” reads a recent report by the Barna Group.
The report reveals an intriguing — and ironic — dynamic: a population that is increasingly concerned about the state of morals and ethics, while also admitting that there is some internal uncertainty for many citizens in determining right from wrong.
Barna Group
Barna Group
When it comes to moral truth, just 35 percent of Americans surveyed believe that it is absolute, with 44 percent saying that moral truth is related to circumstances and 21 percent admitting that they had not thought much about it.
But there was a notable difference among practicing Christians, with 59 percent saying that moral truth is absolute, compared to just 22 percent of those individuals who have no faith.
Overall, respondents made their concerns over the nation’s moral standing more than clear, though. In fact, 80 percent of those surveyed expressed concern, with Christians distinguishing themselves as the most concerned (90 percent) when compared to people of other faiths (72 percent) or of those with no faith at all (67 percent).
While there’s sweeping concern over the state of morality, 57 percent of Americans said that awareness of what is right or wrong is “a matter of personal experience,” Barna reported, noting that this proportion grew to 74 percent among Millennials.
And 65 percent of Americans agreed that “every culture must determine what is acceptable morality for its people.” Despite believing that culture does play a role in setting cultural norms, there was also widespread support for biblical ideals.
A majority of Americans surveyed — 59 percent — believe that “the Bible provides us with absolute moral truths which are the same for all people in all situations, without exception.” 

How Ethical Are You? Take The Ethics Guy's Quiz on CNN, 4:11

Dr. Bruce Weinstein, The Ethics Guy, writes a weekly column on ethics, character, and leadership for FORTUNE and is the author of"THE GOOD ONES: Ten Crucial Qualities of High-Character Employees," as well "Ethical Intelligence" and (for teens) "Is It Still Cheating If I Don't Get Caught?"

He has developed a fun, interactive, high-energy game show on ethics, which he tailors to the needs of businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, and governmental groups, including the military. Book him to speak here:

The five principles of ethical intelligence I present are based on "Principles of Biomedical Ethics" (Oxford University Press) by Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress

Workplace Ethics Scenarios -- Ethics Video | DuPont Sustainable Solutions, 2:28

Preview the full "Wrong Way Right Way: Ethics Cases" training program here: Help inject refreshing laughter into your ethics training with the help of our "Wrong Way Right Way: Ethics Cases" training program. Skip the dry-lecture format and use the program's humorous video snippets to show employees the "wrong way" and the "right way" of handling 17 common ethics issues: - Antitrust - Bribes and Kickbacks - Confidential Information - Conflicts of Interest - Expense Reports - Gifts and Entertainment - Harassment - Insider Trading - Misstatement/Falsifying Company Documents - Misuse of Company Assets - Records and Information Management - Responsible Communication - Retaliation and Speaking Up - Sales - Revenue Recognition - Social Media - Third Party Risk - Bonus: Safety Available on DVD. Individual ethics cases available as streaming videos. ----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­--- Follow us on Twitter: ----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­--- Copyright © 2013 Coastal Training Technologies Corp. All rights reserved. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™ and all products denoted with ® or ™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.

Discussion Wk 9 Ethics.ppt


611. What Is Deontological Ethics? 2:15

Bobby describes deontological ethics.

Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant Biography and Life Story, 2:41

Immanuel Kant (/kænt/;[3] German: [ɪˈmaːnu̯eːl kant]; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher who is considered the central figure of modern philosophy.[4] Kant argued that fundamental concepts of the human mind structure human experience, that reason is the source of morality, that aesthetics arises from a faculty of disinterested judgment, that space and time are forms of our sensibility, and that the world as it is "in-itself" is unknowable. Kant took himself to have effected a Copernican revolution in philosophy, akin to Copernicus' reversal of the age-old belief that the sun revolved around the earth. His beliefs continue to have a major influence on contemporary philosophy, especially the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political theory, and aesthetics.

Kant in his critical phase sought to 'reverse' the orientation of pre-critical philosophy by showing how the traditional problems of metaphysics can be overcome by supposing that the agreement between reality and the concepts we use to conceive it arises not because our mental concepts have come to passively mirror reality, but because reality must conform to the human mind's active concepts to be conceivable and at all possible for us to experience. Kant thus regarded the basic categories of the human mind as the transcendental "condition of possibility" for any experience.[5]

Politically, Kant was one of the earliest exponents of the idea that perpetual peace could be secured through universal democracy and international cooperation. He believed that this eventually will be the outcome of universal history, although it is not rationally planned.[6] The exact nature of Kant's religious ideas continue to be the subject of especially heated philosophical dispute, with viewpoints ranging from the idea that Kant was an early and radical exponent of atheism who finally exploded the ontological argument for God's existence, to more critical treatments epitomized by Nietzsche who claimed that Kant had "theologian blood"[7] and that Kant was merely a sophisticated apologist for traditional Christian religious belief, writing that "Kant wanted to prove, in a way that would dumbfound the common man, that the common man was right: that was the secret joke of this soul."[8]

In Kant's major work, the Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1781),[9] he attempted to explain the relationship between reason and human experience and to move beyond the failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. Kant wanted to put an end to an era of futile and speculative theories of human experience, while resisting the skepticism of thinkers such as David Hume. Kant regarded himself as ending and showing the way beyond the impasse which modern philosophy had led to between rationalists and empiricists,[10] and is widely held to have synthesized these two early modern traditions in his thought.[11]

Kant argued that our experiences are structured by necessary features of our minds. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience so that, on an abstract level, all human experience shares certain essential structural features. Among other things, Kant believed that the concepts of space and time are integral to all human experience, as are our concepts of cause and effect.[12] One important consequence of this view is that our experience of things is always of the phenomenal world as conveyed by our senses: we do not have direct access to things in themselves, the so-called noumenal world. Kant published other important works on ethics, religion, law, aesthetics, astronomy, and history. These included the Critique of Practical Reason (Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, 1788), the Metaphysics of Morals (Die Metaphysik der Sitten, 1797), which dealt with ethics, and the Critique of Judgment (Kritik der Urteilskraft, 1790), which looks at aesthetics and teleology.

Kant aimed to resolve disputes between empirical and rationalist approaches. The former asserted that all knowledge comes through experience; the latter maintained that reason and innate ideas were prior. Kant argued that experience is purely subjective without first being processed by pure reason. He also said that using reason without applying it to experience only leads to theoretical illusions. The free and proper exercise of reason by the individual was a theme both of the Age of Enlightenment, and of Kant's approaches to the various problems of philosophy. His ideas influenced many thinkers in Germany during his lifetime, and he moved philosophy beyond the debate between the rationalists and empiricists.

Most critically for understanding Kant is his version of the Golden Rule.

Golden Rule (the Silver Rule and the Categorical Imperative)

The categorical imperative (German: Kategorischer Imperativ) is the central philosophical concept in the deontological moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Introduced in Kant's 1785 Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, it may be defined as a way of evaluating motivations for action.
According to Kant, human beings occupy a special place in creation, and morality can be summed up in an imperative, or ultimate commandment of reason, from which all duties and obligations derive. He defined an imperative as any proposition declaring a certain action (or inaction) to be necessary.
Hypothetical imperatives apply to someone who wishes to attain certain ends. For example:

  • if I wish to quench my thirst, I must drink something;
  • if I wish to acquire knowledge, I must learn.
A categorical imperative, on the other hand, denotes an absolute, unconditional requirement that must be obeyed in all circumstances and is justified as an end in itself. It is best known in its first formulation:
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
Kant expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the popular moral philosophy of his day, believing that it could never surpass the level of hypothetical imperatives: a utilitarian says that murder is wrong because it does not maximize good for those involved, but this is irrelevant to people who are concerned only with maximizing the positive outcome for themselves. Consequently, Kant argued, hypothetical moral systems cannot persuade moral action or be regarded as bases for moral judgments against others, because the imperatives on which they are based rely too heavily on subjective considerations. He presented a deontological moral system, based on the demands of the categorical imperative, as an alternative.

A short introduction to Kant's Categorical Imperative, 4:39

This University of Shed video presents a short introduction to German philosopher Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative.

Would you say that most people agree that you should not lie?

In non-Judeo-Christian thought however there are instances when lying is acceptable.

In Islam, taqiyya تقية (alternative spellings taqiyeh, taqiya, taqiyah, tuqyah) is a form of religious dissimulation, or a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while they are at risk of significant persecution.

In short, when practicing taqiyeh, lying is permissible if the ends justify the means; and, if the other person is Jewish, an infidel, or an enemy of Islam.

Taqiyya - When Does Islam Permit Lying? 1:40

This practice was emphasized in Shi'a Islam whereby adherents may conceal their religion when they are under threat, persecution, or compulsion. Taqiyya was developed to protect Shi'ites who were usually in minority and under pressure. In the Shi'a view, taqiyya is lawful in situations where there is overwhelming danger of loss of life or property and where no danger to religion would occur thereby.

The term taqiyya does not exist in Sunni jurisprudence. In the Sunni view, denying faith under duress is "only at most permitted and not under all circumstances obligatory". However, there are a few examples of practicing taqiyya among Sunnis where it was necessary.

Taqiyya in the Qur'an

Qur'an (66:2) Allah has already ordained for you [Muslims] the dissolution of your oaths. And Allah is your protector, and He is the Knowing, the Wise.

Some Christians have understood the concept and responded.

0:02 / 5:06

Taqiyya - Islam Greatest Weapon Of Deception 1

It is written in the Quran and Hadiths that False Prophet Mohammad instructs his Muslim followers to LIE. Here is Proof=Qur'an (16:106) - Establishes that there are circumstances that can "compel" a Muslim to tell a lie. Qur'an (66:2) - "Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths" Lying to Non-Muslims is perfectly ok.Qur'an (3:28) Instructs Muslims not to make friends with Non-Muslims but only if it advantage them. Qur'an (3:54) If Allah is deceitful to Non-Muslims, so can you. Still unconvinced? Ask Ur Imam or better still read the Quran youself.

From Hadith, Bukhari (52:269) Mohamad murdered 30 unarmed men after guaranteeing their safe passage. Bukhari (49:857)Lying is permitted when the end justify the means. Bukhari (84:64-65)Ali confirms that lying is permissible in order to deceive an "enemy."

Muslim (32:6303) Muslim allowed to lie in 3 cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them Bukhari (50:369) - Recounts the murder of a poet, Ka'b bin al-Ashraf, at Muhammad's insistence.

The men who volunteered for the assassination used dishonesty to gain Ka'b's trust, pretending that they had turned against Muhammad. This drew the victim out of his fortress, whereupon he was brutally slaughtered despite putting up a ferocious struggle for his life.

Muslims are allowed to LIE in order to? Further the Cause Of Islam as found in the Quran & Hadiths - Taqiyya. It is unbelievable to think that a Religion would allow it's followers to LIE but Islam is UNHOLY the Filthy Quran teaches so much Hate, Intolerance and Revenge Killing that we have to be Cautious.

Islamic eschatology is the branch of Islamic scholarship that studies Yawm al-Qiyāmah (Arabic: يوم القيامة‎‎, IPA: [yæw.mul.qɪjæːmæh], "the Day of Resurrection") or Yawm ad-Dīn (يوم الدين, IPA: [yæwmudːiːn], "the Day of Judgment").[1] This is believed to be the final assessment of humanity by God, consisting of the annihilation of all life, resurrection and judgment.


Farḍ (Arabic: فرض‎‎) or farīḍah (فريضة) is an Islamic term which denotes a religious duty commanded by Allah (God). The word is also used in Persian, Turkish, and Urdu (spelled farz) in the same meaning. Muslims who obey such commands or duties are said to receive hasanat, ajr or thawab each time for each good deed.

Fard or its synonym wājib (واجب) is one of the five types of Ahkam into which Fiqh categorizes acts of every Muslim. The Hanafi Fiqh however makes a distinction between Wajib and Fard, the latter being obligatory and the former merely necessary.[1][2] In Indonesian, wajib also means obligatory, since the word is derived from Arabic.

CAIR-FL Director Hassan Shibly Caught In Lie After Lie - Taqiyya Artist, 7:50

Hassan Shibly tries to tell Marc Bernier that CAIR does not routinely file lawsuits against those who speak negatively against them. In truth CAIR has perfected the concept of 'LawFare.'

LawFare is using frivolous lawsuits against your detractors in an effort to bankrupt and silence them. CAIR routinely does this and will then drop the case when their victim files for CAIR to open their books and finances.

Not all WarFare is with bombs and bullets. While still a weak minority in America, CAIR - Council of American Islamic Relations, a Muslim Brotherhood entity - uses LawFare to weaken their opponents. Listen to Hassan's lies in the video:

Lie - Hassan insists that Islam does not permit Muslims to lie to advance Islam. Sorry, Hassan, the Islamic concepts of tactical deception known as Taqiyya and Kitman contradict you, and I believe the codified Islamic texts before you any day of the week. Shibly uses both skillfully.

Lie - Hassan Shibly complains to everyone that he and his mom were victims of discrimination after attending an Islamic conference in Canada. What Hassan Shibly doesn't tell you is that they traveled from New York State to see Louis Farrakhan, a virulent Jew hater, and bigoted racist neo-Nazi William Baker. This exemplifies Kitman.

The facts of this story give you a window into what lies (no pun intended) in the hearts of Hassan Shibly and his Mother - Jew-hating, Nazi-loving, racism, and bigotry.

This Lie is most important to understand because Hassan Shibly, and CAIR sell themselves as Civil Rights Advocates. Now the hypocrisy and bigotry of Hassan Shibly are exposed.

Lie - Hassan claims CAIR has no connection to "Hamas or any foreign organization." CAIR Founder Nihad Awad said in public forum he supports Hamas. This is an excellent example Taqiyya.

Hassan Shibly thinks everyone he says this to is not capable of doing a basic Google search to find the truth just like we did in this video.

I don't know what's more offensive - Shibly's pathological lies or the fact he thinks we are too stupid to uncover the truth.

Hassan Shibly is a habitual, practiced, pathological liar. It is not everyday you get to watch someone lie your face and then have those lies exposed with facts.

Is this taqiya or kitman?

What is lawfare?

Lawfare is a recently coined word not yet appearing in the Oxford English Dictionary,[1] a portmanteau of the words law and warfare, said to describe a form of asymmetric warfare.[2] Lawfare is asserted to be the illegitimate use of domestic or international law with the intention of damaging an opponent, winning a public relations victory, financially crippling an opponent, or tying up the opponent's time so that they cannot pursue other ventures such as running for public office,[1][2] similar to a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) lawsuit.

Is Islam a race or a religion?

CAIR leaders support Hamas and the PLO.

The Islamic State forces conversion or death as does the Islamist Al Shabab and Boko Haram.

About 270 million non-Muslims have been killed to advance Islamism over the centuries.

The Islamist ethic of taqiya and kitman is in opposition to a Kantian understanding of lying.

"American Muslims: Facts vs. Fiction," 11:15

However, are there are instances in the Christian, Western tradition where lying is the ethically correct action?

The answer, surprisingly enough, is yes.

Even more critically to ask: is assassination morally justified for a Christian?

Once again, there are 20th-Century Christians who argued assassination is the morally correct action.

Let us consider.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German: [ˈdiːtʁɪç ˈboːnhœfɐ]; 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity's role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship became a modern classic.

Bonhoeffer Speaks Out Against Hitler, 5:20­tml

IN THIS SCENE: At twenty-six years of age, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian delivers one of the first public criticisms of Hitler. ABOUT THIS FILM: The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of the first, and strongest, voices of resistance to Adolf Hitler. An acclaimed preacher, pacifist and author, Bonhoeffer came to the famed Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on a teaching fellowship. When Bonhoeffer returned to Germany in 1932 he had a new awareness of racial prejudice and challenged Christian churches to stand with the Jews in their moment of need. Bonhoeffer eventually joined the unsuccessful plots to assassinate Hitler and was executed three weeks before the end of the war. "A touching narrative on the nature of faith." - New York Times

Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer became known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler's euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. Allegedly associated with the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), Bonhoeffer was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo, imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years, and then in a Nazi concentration camp, and after a very brief, biased trial with other plotters as the Nazi regime collapsed, executed by hanging on April 9, 1945, just two weeks before Allied forces liberated the camp and three weeks before Hitler's suicide.

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1987-074-16, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.jpg

Flossenbürg concentration camp, Arrestblock-Hof: Memorial to members of German resistance executed on 9 April 1945

Gallery of 20th Century Martyrs at Westminster Abbey. From left, Mother Elizabeth of Russia, Martin Luther King, Jr., Oscar Romero and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Is it ever morally permissible to tell a lie? On one end of the spectrum we find the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who argues that it is never, under any circumstance, permissible to lie. To lie, according to Kant, would be to act in a way that is less than rational (hence, less than human) and to treat others as a means instead of an end. On the other end of the spectrum, the situational ethicist, the relativist, and the ethical egoist, may argue that lying is morally permissible at anytime and in any situation, given the desired outcome.
Add God into the mix, and it would seem that we ought to side with Kant on this, albeit for different reasons. In the gospel of John we learn that Jesus is “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) and that lies come from the pit of hell: Satan himself is described as the Father of lies (John 8:44).

The Christian then, it would seem, should not lie.

The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer disagrees.

Bonhoeffer thinks God’s standard of truth entails more than merely “not lying.” Rather, to be true to God in the deepest way means being obedient to God, not merely conforming to “rules”—a kind of blind legalism. He believes there are situations where it is not only morally permissible to lie, but obedience to God requires it. And so he lied, involving himself in deception after deception as he conspired against Hitler and the Nazi’s in WWII.

Many agree that Bonhoeffer was right to lie, given the circumstances. Our intuition is that it is morally permissible to lie in order to save an innocent life. But, how do we make sense of this ethically? Does this mean all moral judgments are relative?

I don’t think so. Rather, we need to realize that there is a hierarchy of values that is relevant to moral decision-making. Truth telling is a high value, a value that entails we ought not to lie. Unless a higher value trumps it. And in Bonhoeffer’s case, there was a higher value: saving innocent lives. Thus, lying was morally permissible for Bonhoeffer. And in following God’s call, it was a mark of his obedience to a God who cares for the well-being of all.


Bonhoeffer: Is Assassination Ethical? Who Am I? 3:42

Is genocide or mass killing justified in Islam?

About the same time as Bonhoeffer's life and death Islam was dealing with this issue with Adolf Hitler.

WW2 1941 1945 Hitler Grand Mufti Nazi Islam, 6:58


Are there any ethical differences in justifiable killing according to the Christian and the Islamic traditions?

9.2 Ethical Reasoning

What if a criminal raped and murdered your wife?

Would you still oppose the death penalty?

How would a Kantian deontologist answer?

Best Debate Moments #3: Dukakis in 1988, 1:19

#3: What if some criminal raped and murdered Dukakis' wife, Kitty. Would Dukakis still oppose capital punishment? Michael Dukakis's unemotional response is our #3 debate moment.

John Gizzi counts down the Top 10 Debate moments in our multi-part series "Presidential Debates: How they changed the race"

9.2 Practice: Ethical Reasoning

A Dietary Dilemma

9.3 Moral Theories

9.3 Practice: Moral Theories

A Disinterested Party?

Ethics and Moral Theories, 4:11

Aristotle, Virtue Theory

Aristotle's Virtue Ethics, 2:09

Bentham, Utilitarianism

Jeremy Bentham (/ˈbɛnθəm/; 15 February 1748 [O.S. 4 February 1747][1] – 6 June 1832) was an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.[2][3]
Bentham defined as the "fundamental axiom" of his philosophy the principle that "it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong".[4][5] He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He advocated individual and economic freedom, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalising of homosexual acts.[6] He called for the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the death penalty, and the abolition of physical punishment, including that of children.[7] He has also become known in recent years as an early advocate of animal rights.[8] Though strongly in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts".[9]

Bentham's students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill, the latter's son, John Stuart Mill, the legal philosopher John Austin, as well as Robert Owen, one of the founders of utopian socialism.
On his death in 1832, Bentham left instructions for his body to be first dissected, and then to be permanently preserved as an "auto-icon" (or self-image), which would be his memorial. This was done, and the auto-icon is now on public display at University College London. Because of his arguments in favour of the general availability of education, he has been described as the "spiritual founder" of UCL, although he played only a limited direct part in its foundation.[10]

Mill was a student of Bentham.

John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873) was an English philosopher, political economist and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century."[4] Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control.[5]

Mill expresses his view on freedom by illustrating how an individual's drive to better their station, and for self-improvement, is the sole source of true freedom. Only when an individual is able to attain such improvements, without impeding others in their own efforts to do the same, can true freedom prevail. Mill's linking of freedom and self-improvement has inspired many. By establishing that individual efforts to excel have worth, Mill was able to show how they should achieve self-improvement without harming others, or society at large.

Among his philosophical achievements, he was a proponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham, and he worked on the theory of the scientific method.[6] Mill was also a Member of Parliament belonging to the Liberal Party.

An Introduction to John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism - A Macat Politics Analysis, 3:10

Does the end justify the means? Mill argues that the most moral action is always the one that results in the “greatest happiness for the greatest number.” Watch Macat’s short video for a great introduction to John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism, one of the most important moral philosophy books ever written.

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Kant, Deontology

Three Minute Philosophy - Immanuel Kant, 3:31


9.3 Moral Theories

Moral Theories

Applied to making moral decisions in health care.


The term ‘ethics’ broadly describes the way in which we look at and understand life, in terms of good and bad or right and wrong. Moral theories are the frameworks we use to justify or clarify our position when we ask ourselves “what should I do in this situation?” or “what is right or wrong for me?” There are many moral theories and there is no one right theory. They converge and often borrow from one another. Three theories will be described here. Consequentialism and Deontology have dominated moral reasoning over the last 300 years; Bioethics, a common morality theory, is a recent theory that dominates current thinking in health care settings.



“The End Justifies the Means”
In consequentialism, the consequence of an action justifies the moral acceptability of the means taken to reach that end. The results of actions outweigh any other consideration; in other words, ‘the end justifies the means.’ Jeremy Bentham was an early and influential advocate of utilitarianism, the dominant consequentialist position. A utilitarian believes in ‘the greatest happiness for the greatest number.’ The more people who benefit from a particular action, the greater its good.

Consider the following scenario: A doctor is working in the Accident and Emergency Department of a hospital. A homeless man is brought in with brain damage sustained in a road traffic accident. The doctor recognises him; the man has no family and is in reasonable physical, if not mental, health. The doctor knows there is still time to save the man’s life. He also knows that if he does not start treatment, the man will suffer brain death and his organs could possibly be used to improve the quality of or even save several other people’s lives. Assuming there is no penalty associated with either choice, what would a strict utilitarian do?
  • Save the man’s life
  • Contact the transplant team to ready them to harvest any available organs

Deontology or Kantianism is an obligation-based theory whose chief author was Immanuel Kant, who lived in the 18th century. This theory emphasises the type of action rather than the consequences of that action. Deontologists believe that moral decisions should be made based on one’s duties and the rights of others. According to Kant, morality is based on pure reason. As people have the innate ability to act rationally, they therefore must act morally, irrespective of personal desires. Another way of stating Kant’s theory is “Act morally regardless of the consequences.” - In the case of the doctor and the homeless man, again assuming there is no penalty for either decision, which would a deontologist do?


Common morality theories are usually based on principles that are used to guide ethical thinking, based on a shared moral belief. One of these theories is Bioethics, the ethics of biology, biological research and the applications of that research. It is an ethical theory that brings together medicine, the law, social sciences, philosophy, theology, politics and other disciplines to address questions related to clinical decision making and medical research.

Principles of Bioethics

Principles of Bioethics
Some of the early founders of bioethics put forth four principles which form this framework for moral reasoning. These four principles are:

Autonomy – one should respect the right of individuals to make their own decisions

Nonmaleficence – one should avoid causing harm

Beneficence – one should take positive steps to help others

Justice – benefits and risks should be fairly distributed

One commentator has said, “…the four principles should…be thought of as the four moral nucleotides that constitute moral DNA – capable, alone or in combination, of explaining and justifying all the substantive and universalisable moral norms of health care ethics…”

Scenario 2

Consider this scenario: A woman goes to her doctor to receive the results of a genetic test. The results show she does have the condition for which she was tested and this allows her doctor to prescribe a treatment strategy that will reduce her symptoms and delay (and perhaps prevent) the progression of the condition. Her doctor knows from their discussions that the woman has an identical twin sister and he asks if she is going to tell her sister of the test results. The sister could then undergo genetic testing herself and perhaps enter treatment. The woman says she does not want her family to know about her condition; as well she will not talk to her sister as they are not on speaking terms. The doctor knows the woman’s twin should be notified so that she can be helped also, but he has a duty of care to his patient. Which principles should be considered when trying to decide how to proceed?
  • Autonomy
  • Nonmaleficence
  • Beneficence
  • Justice.
In summary, ethics is how we look at and understand life, while moral theories are frameworks we use to decide how to act. Consequentialism is a theory that emphasises the results of actions, while Deontology stresses the requirement to act morally, irrespective of the outcome. Bioethics is a principle-based theory that brings together the ethics of biology, biological research and their applications. The four principles of Bioethics are autonomy, the right of individuals to make their own decisions; nonmaleficence, one should avoid causing harm; beneficence, positive steps should taken to help others; and justice, the benefits and risks should be fairly distributed. While no one moral theory is correct, and there are many more to be considered, they provide a useful tool to guide ethical decision making.

Ethics in the workplace 13, 3:35

In the workplace, what other ethical issues may you encounter?

What is the difference between ethics and values (i.e., the before and after)?

Ethics and Values, 5:04

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10a Kant's ethics - Kant's life and works, the categorical imperative, 14:10

This is part of a whole series of lectures (playlist: for my online course Phil 115 Introduction to Philosophy at SUNY Fredonia. It is an introduction to Philosophy with no prerequisites, which satisfies the SUNY Humanities General Education requirement. See the fuller description below.

Want to take this course for credit? Info for Summer 2014 is here:
School: Department: my department page: my personal page:
The aim of this course is to introduce students to philosophy by considering four core areas of philosophy and some central problems in each. These branches are:
Ethics (What is a good life? Why act morally? Is morality relative to cultures? What makes some actions right and others wrong? What is the relation between religion and morality? Is death bad for the one who dies?)

Metaphysics (Do we have free will? Are free will and moral responsibility compatible with a scientific world view? Is there such a thing as an immaterial soul?)

Epistemology (Can we know anything? What is it to know? To know something, must I be certain about it?)
Philosophy of Religion (What sort of being is God supposed to be? Can one prove that God exists? Can one prove that God doesn't exist?).

We will focus on classic more than on contemporary sources, although both will be used.

Philosophy Ethics Rap Battle: Nietzsche vs. Aristotle Throwdown, 5:46

Aristotle, Fredrick Nietzsche, and John Stuart Mill debate about ethics in lyrical style. The scene is set when Nietzsche scuffs Aristotles white Nikes. Project done for Mr. Goldberg's Philosophy class. Aristotle- Kevin Binder Nietzsche- Young Keezy Mill- Chris Witschy

"Ethics and Trust in Critical Thinking Decisions" Please respond to the following:

  • Imagine you are seeking information on a new car that you are thinking of buying. Determine the level of trust that you would place in information provided by the following: a salesman at the car lot, the dealer’s Website, social media (i.e. Facebook), an associate from work, and finally a close friend. Discuss the key factors involved in assessing the amount of trust that you put into each.
  • If you were in a position to persuade another person, explain whether or not you would slant information in such a way as to make your point seem more credible if you sincerely believed that your position was correct. Discuss the primary ethical dilemmas that this scenario could cause for both you and the person whom you are trying to persuade.
Islamist Attacks Church, Targets Priest, 3:28
Pamela vs. Imam on Koranic Violence, 5:22
Pamela Geller on Jake Tapper, 3:50
Jake Tapper
Nebraska Draw Muhammed Contest, :54

Abercrombie Converts to Islam, 1:11
Islamist Abercrombie
Robert Spencer vs. CNN, 5:31
CNN Attacks Intended Beheading Victim, 9:26
Beheader Planned Pamela Geller Attack
Islamic State in Boston, 1:47
Jade Helm Update
Outside Flint, MI, 10:35
Military Blows Up Flint, MI, 2:38