Reflection Essay on Philosophy
Explain the difference between Value Theory, Normative Ethics, and Mathematics. Give an example of a claim from each area, and explain why each claim falls into the category it does. Value Theory is a reflection of the word; we analyze what humans value and why we find it valuable. For instance, Schafer Landau states on page 2, many philosophers try to figure out whether happiness is the main root of human values or the values of self.
Normative Ethics analyzes the relation of self with others, hat is deemed normal or acceptable. Is it ever Justified for man to use another man as a means and not an end? Then we have mathematics, which looks at things with the third person perspective, or self with society. Mathematics analyzes how theories will work in society, how will it play out with society or community; for instance religion on society and how it plays its affect. Value Theory regards the values of self, Normative Theory reflects self with a second party/person and how one should treat others, Mathematics analyzes self with the 3rd or society.
How the whole should act and how it affects the self. II. Hedonism (Pick 2 out of 4) 1 . Hedonists distinguish between two types of pleasure. Explain this distinction and give examples of each type of pleasure. Which type of pleasure do hedonists claim is more important? Why do you think they say this? Do you agree with this claim? Hedonism has its etymology from the Greek word hoodooed, which is translated as Pleasure. Hedonism tries to analyze what makes us happy and the answer is divided into two categories of pleasure.
Physical pleasure is the sensation you have from a women’s touch or when one sits on a really comfortable sofa or seat, the mere hysterical aspect of pleasure. The other pleasure of which Hedonist deem more important is Attitudinal Pleasure. Attitudinal pleasure is merely as the word reflects, it is the positive attitude of enjoyment (page), and it is the feeling you get upon doing something, the feeling of enjoyment. For instance, seeing your offspring for the first time after birth, as you hold the baby it is not the holding or feeling of the baby that makes you happy but the baby itself.
Hedonist believe there is more to life then physical pleasure, there is more to life then the mere sensation one gets from an object, it is the attitude and inner emotion that is important for happiness. Why they say so? Well maybe they did not want a superficial materialistic society because objects cannot bring you true happiness. I agree with this statement and although the two pleasures intertwine I do not believe a mere object can make me truly happy. Well a 78 Shelby GET is a really nice car but to know you worked for it and earned will bring more elation then the car itself. 2.
Most people would not desire their loved ones to get lobotomies, even if such a procedure would make the loved ones happier as a result. Explain how this fact might be taken to raise a challenge to hedonism. How do you think the hedonist would respond? Do you find such a response convincing? A lobotomy is surgery is a surgery involving the removal of nerves within the preferential cortex to aid patients with depression and mental disorders. Parents or loved ones have dilemmas over this procedure because the question of whether I should perform the operation, which limits autonomy but promotes happiness.
From a hedonistic perspective, the operation relays on the patient itself, not the parents. Will the operation forgo more happiness for the patient and if so then by all means o for it. In my opinion if I were in a depressed state or had a mental disorder of which could be alleviated through surgery then yeah I want my problems to be solved. Even though my autonomy is slightly altered, my free will kept me depressed with other problems so I Just want to be happy. Ill. Desire Satisfaction Theory (DOST) (Pick 2 out of 4) 1 . What is an objective theory of human welfare, and how does such a theory differ from the desire satisfaction theory?
Is hedonism an objective theory of welfare? Why or why not? Are objective theories of welfare preferable to the desire satisfaction theory? Defend your answer. Objective theory of human welfare states that “what directly contributes to a good life is fixed independently of your desires and what you think is important” (Peg. 44). For instance if your dreams are to play on a professional sport team or succeed Hugh Heifer or even to gain a wider vocabulary, you would go out of your way to fulfill those tasks and everything around it.
You would do whatever it takes to fulfill the tasks even if you don’t like what you’re doing; the end result will fulfill your desires. Whereas desire satisfaction theory is simply something is good for you if it fulfills our desires. Desire satisfaction is more linear; something is good for me only if it fulfills my desire. Hedonism can be an objective theory of welfare because you seek pleasure in Hedonism. If my desire is to seek pleasure and that is what I deem is important then I will do my best to become the next Hugh Heifer (lots of pleasure in the Playboy Mansion).
Objective theory of welfare can be more preferable to desire satisfaction theory because DOST is more linear. I want something I will go get it now so it can fulfill my desires. Tolerate has more ground where my concepts of life ND what is good will manifest itself to what I want. I want to become smarter so I will read the dictionary even though I hate reading, the intelligence gained will bring me happiness. 3. Are some desires intrinsically better than others? Explain and defend your answer. What does your answer imply about the desire satisfaction theory of welfare?
Well let us analyze this question. A baby wants two scoops of Hagen adz vanilla whereas an older baby wants to purchase Grand Theft Auto 5 for his/her gaming system. Both have desires for a certain act however who is to say the game is better Han ice cream or vice-versa. One can analyze desires through Amazons hierarchy of needs but that isn’t in question here, both subjects are experiencing desire but to analyze who is experiencing more maybe delegated to short term or long term. The game last longer than the ice cream but isn’t food more important than video games?
Whichever the case be, in DOST both parties are deemed equal because both parties experienced satisfaction which promotes one of the Pro’s of DOST where it doesn’t limit or distinguish satisfaction, it isn’t monolithic, DOST allows various kinds of satisfaction and good lives. IV. Morality and Religion (Pick 1 out of 3) 1 . Is religion necessary in order for people to be motivated to behave morally? Why might someone believe that it is? What challenges does such a view face? Many people believe morality originated through God and religion gave mankind duty and sort of these parameters to work in .
The common assumption is that one needs god to motivate people and without that motivation there would be chaos. I want to be good so I can go to heaven (sort of relates to Objective Satisfaction theory). I am neither agnostic nor atheistic, however I question the existence of God. I question whether God is the foundation of Man and if morality was created by thee. I understand why people seek god and religion, as their driving lane however without any disrespect I want to say that religion is not needed for morality.
One can behave morally without the aspects of God and religion. If morality was in unison than why are there so many deities and Gods, who is to say their views are not superior to yours. Also if God’s words are moral who is to say that he/she is incorrect? For example in the mid 17th- late 18th century slavery was considered biblically Justified ND it isn’t anymore. Was Jesus wrong or did he change his mind? V. Natural Law (Pick 1 out of 3) 1 . Suppose that “human nature” consists of the set of innate characteristics that all (or most) humans share.
Understood in this way, what does human nature tell us about morality? Is it always immoral to behave contrary to human nature? We are all born with a set of common inborn traits for instance survival, to cry when hungry, to laugh when tickled, to put everything into your mouth especially when those teeth come in. If we are all universally born with the same natural traits then royalty to should be of a common denominator for all of us. Why is it not so? Thomas Hobbes and Jacques Rousseau (peg. 79) debate on whether we are born with common traits and if society alters such traits.
Rousseau states that we are all born with angelic traits and bliss and it is society that brings about alterations to morality. Hobbes states we are born with traits of selfishness, competition and distrust all of which vary among each baby. So what does that say about morality? Can we have a set of standard morals that is equitable for all or will that never happen. Society sets standard for morals and then you have your own set of morals, of which is more superior or do they intertwine? Morals vary from man to man, women to women and they vary for the greater good.
For instance, in society marriage is deemed as a religious bond made between man and women, some view it as a bond between two people. So is gay marriage immoral? I disagree but why is there even a debate. According to the natural law it is because being gay is not natural. There will be debate because people interpret things differently. VI. Egoism (Pick 2 out of 4) 1 . Define altruism, and describe a case in which a person appears to behave altruistically. How would the psychological egoist explain the person’s behavior in the case you describe? Do you find the egoist’s explanation plausible in this case?
Why or why not? Altruism is the act of doing something that is not for your benefit but it benefits someone else, a second or third party member. For example a mother giving up the nourishment from her bosom for the offspring aide, or even having a baby itself. Psychological egoists would deem the act as nonlinguistic because the mother was feeding her child breast milk because it is in her interest to make sure her child s not retarded or dead, so she satisfied her interest. This perspective sounds repugnant and sadly it probably is true but it gives a negative connotation to life.
Yes the mother wants to have a smart and healthy child but she did not have to bear the child nor feed it. She sacrificed herself for the better of others so she is altruistic. Altruism most truly exists in our nature, people commit self less acts everyday and with doing so accompanies benefits. However, those benefits are not always mans ultimate motive. 2. Describe the objection that ethical egoism requires us to arbitrarily elevate the interests of some individuals (namely, ourselves) over others. How do you think the egoist would respond to this objection? Do you find the egoist’s response compelling?
Well ethical egoism is the same is egoism because the main concept is to look out for yourself no matter what it takes and if you are not looking out for yourself then you are acting immorally. As an egoists, this is not an objection it is a mere fact, a egoist is someone who puts themselves and their respective needs first over anything else. I don’t necessarily agree with this perspective but in the shoes of an egoist, this objection means nothing to me besides advertisement of such theory. VI’. Consequentiality (Pick 2 out of 4) 1 . In what ways is utilitarianism impartial?
Is this a strength or a weakness of the Utilitarianism states that the individual is responsible for their actions (duh) and as a branch of consequentiality the idea is to maximize the goodness of each act; we should do as much good as possible of which you analyze through choosing the most optimistic choice. Optimistic is 5-step process (peg. 119), which helps the self analyze which option will bring the best good as a result. This notion in impartial as in there s no bias upon this decision making, disregarding gender, race or creed one should seek to execute the most good from his/her actions.
This is a strength for the theory because it does not limit the parameters of an act, no matter the situation you shall seek to commit the best action. It is not as pessimistic as denoting altruism in egoism, this is the opposite spectrum because we are not looking out solely for the self but for the good of others, or as Jeremy Beneath stated we seek ” The greatest happiness for the greatest number. ” Although this notion can bring about skepticism it looks at society with the glass half full and it seeks to fill the glass up with ample libations for everyone. 2.
What do you take to be the most powerful objection to utilitarianism? Explain the objection in detail, and then describe how you think a utilitarian would reply. Is the utilitarian reply satisfactory? Defend your answer. (This answer cannot be similar to the answer you give to the other question in this section). In my opinion the strongest objection to this theory of utilitarianism is on page 136 where there are 2 premises with a conclusion that states utilitarianism is false. The iris premise “Utilitarianism is true only if there is a precise unit of measurement,” the second premise is “There is no such unit of measurement. How can one measure the amount of good one action brings. Beneath suggested Hedonism and Dollars where Hoedown is one unit for a good thing and dollar is the unit for how bad an action is. How accurate can this unit of measurement be and man doesn’t stop and analyze for each act they commit. So how do you know which act to commit in the lens of utilitarianism. VIII. The Kantian Perspective (Pick 2 out of 4) 1 . Contrast Cant’s approach to ethics with consequentiality. Which do you think is better, and why?
Kant reflects the biblical statement of treat thy neighbor, as you would want him to treat yourself. In Kantian theory you look at your action and transition it to everyone in the world committing that action. If the act is universal than it is rational and therefore moral. This procedure is referred to as a maxim. Which is similar to the concept of optimistic in consequentiality, where you analyze your actions to choose the one that results in the greatest good. Both encompass such a large spectrum, Kant with the universal-news and Consequentiality with the greatest good.
In a taxation with whether I had to choose to commit an action that is deemed valid for the world or society or whether the greatest act of good I would choose the greatest good. It is easier to analyze what is the greater good then what is the universal good even though both roads have plenty of bumps. What is deemed universal can almost never be 100% valid; there will always be differences so there is not much control in my part. However when accounting for what is the most good, there is more control on my behalf where I analyze what is the most good in MY own perspective, not worrying about the universe or society. 4.
Kant claims that humans have a special kind of value not possessed by anything else on earth. How does he Justify this claim? What are the implications of this view regarding the moral status of non-human animals? Do you find this view plausible? This is something I can actually somewhat agree with Kant, Humans are a breed that is far more complex and superior genome then the organisms on this earth. Kant does not Justify this statement (page 172) with science or molecular compound but with mere concept that man has the ability to be rational and to have autonomy. Without these two attributes what are we if not animals.
Some animals can analyze and be rational such as chimpanzees and crow birds however the magnitude is acute in comparison to the abilities of humans. We have a very complex neural structure which allows us to analyze, rationalize and morality* to a deeper level which makes our value system unique and more complex. The human value system is more complex however it doesn’t undermine the value of animals and plants, our methods are Just different. We are on the top of the food chain, we eat other animals and plants but that doesn’t make us morally unjust. Animals have their own set of morals of which is similar to our, Just not as complex.