Insights 70 Days Ethics Plan
Day – 3
1.What do you understand by feminist ethics? Discuss its relevance today. (150 Words)
- Feminist Ethicsis an attempt to revise, reformulate, or rethink traditional ethics to the extent it depreciates or devalues women’s moral experience.
- They fault traditional ethics for letting women down in the following ways:-
- Traditional ethics show less concern for women as opposed to men’s issues and interests.
- Traditional ethics views the moral issues that arise in the so-called private world the realm in which women do housework and take care of children, the infirm, and the elderly.
- In traditional ethics women are not considered as morally mature or deep as men.
- Traditional ethics overrates culturally masculine traits while it underrates culturally feminine traits like interdependence, community, connection, sharing, emotion etc.
- Traditional ethics favours male ways of moral reasoning that emphasize rules, rights, universality, and impartiality over female ways of moral reasoning that emphasize relationships, responsibilities, particularity, and partiality.
- Feminist ethicists remain committed to the task of pulling all women towards the goal of gender equity with men.
- In the modern society there have been instances of sexual violence, gender inequality, girl child exploitation, emotional abuse, domestic violence, objectification of women, social indicators of women are still low compared to men etc. This ensures the need for feministic ethics.
However traditional ethics consign women’s issues to private realm, rather than to the public arena. Even John Stuart mill attacks the argument that women are naturally worse at some things than men, and should, therefore, be discouraged or forbidden from doing them.
- “Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness.” Analyse. (150 Words)
Kant explicitly rejects the doctrine of happiness , which states that one should act virtuously in order to be happy .Morality is not based on happiness. However happiness is not completely left out of the picture. One’s own happiness is a weak sort of duty which is an easy one to obey since all men desire happiness. Kant says that morality is not about becoming happy but rather about becoming worthy of happiness by heeding the call of duty. And those who do so can expect with some level of certainty that they will in fact attain happiness.
Making one self happy can be done through materialistic means or non materialistic means. But to be happy a person need to be worthy i.e., standing up for morals , being respected in one’s own eyes etc. When an individual does what they want to do they end up in a road that will lead them into immediate happiness but will not benefit them in the long run. On the other hand when the individual is doing what they should do it will bring them a feeling of discomfort and unhappiness but will benefit them at the end.
The purpose of Kantianism is to tell that morality is not to make people happy but the whole purpose is to do the right thing just for the sake of doing it.
Kant writes that a human being’s observance of his duty is the universal and sole condition of his worthiness to be happy and his worthiness to be happy is identical to his observance of duty. Moral living is worthiness to be happy.
3.Define the following with suitable examples:
a) Ethical pluralism:-
Ethical pluralism is the idea that there are many theories about what is right and wrong (moral norms) which may be incompatible with your own personal moral norms. Ethical pluralism is also known as “value” or “moral” pluralism.
It is the idea that there are several values which may be equally correct and fundamental, and yet in conflict with each other. Ethical pluralism suggests your actions may be in opposition to local norms, or you might be expected to act in opposition to your own norms.
An example of value-pluralism is the idea that the moral life of a nun is incompatible with that of a mother, yet there is no purely rational measure of which is preferable.
Cognitivism views that ethical sentences express propositions and can therefore be true or false .
Ethical cognitivists hold that ethical sentences do express propositions: that it can be true or false, for example, that Mary is a good person, or that stealing and lying are always wrong. Cognitivists believe that these sentences do not just express feelings but they actually express propositions that can be true or false. Derivatively, a cognitivist or a realist would say that ethical sentences themselves are either true or false.
c) Moral objectivism vs Moral Relativism:-
Moral relativism is the view that what is morally right or wrong depends on what someone thinks. Moral objectivism is the view that what is right or wrong doesn’t depend on what anyone thinks is right or wrong but instead states that the ‘moral facts’ are like ‘physical’ facts in that what the facts are does not depend on what anyone thinks they are.
There are two different types of moral relativism which are simple subjectivism and cultural relativism. Simple subjectivism states that what is morally right or wrong for you depends on what you think is morally right or wrong, i.e., right or wrong is relative to the individual. Therefore ‘moral facts’ may alter from person to person. Cultural relativism states that what is morally right or wrong depends on what the society we are dealing with thinks, i.e., morality depends on the conventions of the society we are concerned with. Therefore ‘moral facts’ may alter from society to society.
Two kinds of moral objectivists are Deontologists and Consequentialists. Deontologists claim that what determines whether an act is morally right or wrong is the kind of act it is.
d) Categorical imperative:-
Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative. The CI determines what our moral duties are.Kant thought that all acts should be judged according to a rule he called the Categorical Imperative.
A categorical imperative denotes an absolute, unconditional requirement that exerts its authority in all circumstances, both required and justified as an end in itself. He gives the highest honour for the categorical imperative because it became universal law that can be applied to any and every one. Kant is saying that simply willing that our moral rule become a universal law produces a logical contradiction. His categorical imperative ensures that we aren’t doing these acts in mimic of others but rather in line with one universal law.
The three Categorical Imperatives stated by Kant are as follows:-
- Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. It states that one should choose our ‘codes of conduct’ only if they serve perfect / imperfect duty and are good for all. Perfect duties are blameworthy if not met and are the basic requirements for a human being. An example of perfect duty is the avoidance of suicide.
- Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end.This states that we should not use humanity of ourselves or others as a means to an end. An example of the second maxim would be that of slavery.
- Every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends.This states that we should consider ourselves to be members in the universal realm of ends. We should consider our actions to be of consequence to everyone else in that our actions affect not only ourselves but that of others.
- Kant’s system, neglects to identify or, rather, to justify the existence of the moral law.
- It neglects the value of nature