2 paragraph essay - philosophy

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Please read attached file and respond to the question (in bold) at the end of the reading. Thank you so much

Principle of Double Effect According to this principle, it is morally permissible to perform an action that has two effects, one good and the other bad, if all of the following criteria are met: 1. The act, considered in itself and apart from its consequences, is good, or at least morally permissible. 2. The bad effect cannot be avoided if the good effect is to be achieved (i.e., there are no alternative means of achieving the good effect in this situation). If such an alternative exists but is not taken, then the bad effect was intentional. 3. The bad effect is not the means of producing the good effect but only a side effect. If the bad effect is a necessary means of achieving the good effect, the bad effect must be intended along with the good effect for which it is a necessary means, so the action is morally impermissible. 4. If conditions 1, 2, and 3 are met, the good effect must proportionally outweigh the bad effect. If the bad effect is far more significant than any good effect, the action should not be done. Summary and Clarification of Select Passages-6 [Read “The Principle of Double-Effect” document first] Seventh Article: Is it Ever Lawful for a Person to Kill Another in Self-Defense? (pp. 169– 171) The principle of double-effect applies to the case of self-defense. Here the good effect and the bad effect fall under the precept “preserve life, do not destroy it”. The good effect is the attempt to preserve one’s own life while the bad effect is the death of the attacker. Self-defense, which results in the death of the attacker, is only morally permissible according to Natural Law insofar as it fulfills the criteria of the principle of double effect. Let us here apply the four principles to a case. Mary Mary, a young single woman, returns home late one evening. As she enters her bedroom, a man jumps at her from behind the door, pins her down and covers her mouth. He wrestles her to her bed, and as she attempts to scream, he hits her in the face. She manages to push him off the bed and grabs a loaded pistol out of the bedside table drawer. She aims it at his head, believing this will kill him instantly. She then fires and kills him. According to the principle of double effect is this act of self-defense morally permissible? 1. The act of preserving one’s life is good (fulfills criteria #1) 2. Let us assume here that the death of the attacker (the bad effect) is unavoidable. She cannot run away, etc. (fulfills criteria #2) 3. The death is the means of preserving herself. She therefore intends his death—knowing and intending that he will most certainly die if she shoots him in the head. (fails to fulfill criteria #3) 4. No longer applies, since #3 is not fulfilled. Therefore, this act is not morally permissible. If however the case is changed somewhat and Mary shoots the attacker in the leg instead (intending to wound him instead of kill him—which is what Aquinas means by “moderate selfdefense”) then criteria #3 would be fulfilled—even if the attacker died as a result of the would, perhaps by bleeding to death. Because she did not intend his death, but intended only to wound him so that she could then get away, her action, even though it results in his eventual death, is morally permissible. His bleeding to death was not the means of her survival, but an unintended side effect. However, one who is acting for the sake of the common good (like a soldier or police officer) is morally permitted to kill another intentionally. Thus while I cannot kill another intentionally to preserve a private good (my own life) a police officer is permitted to kill another who threatens the public good (my life as representing the public). [Keep in mind here Aquinas’ earlier article that law is always aimed at the common good.] Introduction to Kant Immanuel Kant lived from 1724–1804. According to Kant, ethics is a matter of acting out of a sense of duty, i.e., putting one’s own desires and inclinations aside and instead doing what reason prescribes as our duty. Kant believed that there are absolute and binding duties that all human beings share. These duties are not determined by the situation or the consequences, but by a rational principle that applies to all people equally. Kant differs from Aristotle and Aquinas in several ways. For example, ethics, for Kant, is not a matter of developing one’s character (Aristotle), nor does it rely in any way on the providence of God or human nature (Aquinas). Instead Kant grounds his ethics entirely on human reason as we shall see. Summary and Clarification of Select Passages-2 Section 1 Page 7, first three paragraphs The highest good—the only thing that is always good—is the good will. By “will” Kant means our desire, intention, wish—that which directs/guides our choices and actions. What he is saying here is that only a truly good will is absolutely, unconditionally good. The goodness of one’s will is not affected by the consequences that follow from an action and for that reason is called unqualifiedly or unconditionally good (it does not depend on certain conditions). For example, if you sent a check for $1,000 to the tsunami relief effort, genuinely intending to help people, but the check never arrived and therefore helped no one, your will (your intention) is still good. It is not made any less good by the fact that it did not accomplish what it intended. It is entirely independent of and unaffected by the consequences. In contrast, all other things that we consider good are dependent on the circumstances and could be bad in certain situations. For example, • Intelligence could be used for a bad purpose (a serial killer may be very smart) • Virtues such as courage could be used for a bad purpose (a thief or rapist could be courageous • Happiness and good fortune aren’t necessarily good because evil/nasty people may be happy and successful Happiness, intelligence, virtue, etc. are only good if they are accompanied by a good will. Kant is not saying here that nothing else is good except a good will. He is simply saying that all other good things are only conditionally/qualifiedly good—they are good only under certain conditions. What then makes a “good will” good? Page 9, paragraph beginning “The concept of a will . . .” through to the top of page 12 (pay particular attention to the footnotes, which will be helpful here). If the only absolutely good thing in the world (and thus the highest good) is a good will, we need to understand what makes it good. Kant’s answer is “duty.” One has a good will when one acts out of duty and nothing else. For example, a person exhibits a good will if he tells the truth because he believes we all have a duty (an obligation) to tell the truth, even if he knows he will get in a great deal of trouble. In other words, when a person puts their own inclinations and desires aside and does what they believe is their duty regardless of whether or not they will benefit in any way—then and only then does that person have a “good will.” To illustrate the idea of acting purely from duty and not out of inclination, Kant gives examples of four types of actions. Only the last one (4) is done purely out of duty and is therefore the only one with any moral value. 1. Acts that are actually contrary to duty. Examples are lying, cheating, murder. These are obviously immoral and not done with a good will. 2. Acts that, while not contrary to duty (not obviously immoral), are not done out of duty, but rather for some other selfish reason. Here no immediate inclination is satisfied, but one benefits in some way in the end (or avoids penalties/discomfort). Examples would be: • Paying one’s taxes out of fear of penalties. • The fair store owner who charges all people the same amount, not out of duty (a genuine principle of fairness) but because competition demands it (he would lose customers if he did not). • Being a good parent, not because it is your duty, but because you want people to think you are a good parent. 3, Acts that, while not contrary to duty (again not immoral), are done because we benefit from them in some way (we are already inclined to do them—we want to do them). Examples: • One who takes care of her grandmother because she loves her and enjoys her company. • One who does not plagiarize because he enjoys doing the work. • One who does not commit adultery because he or she is attracted to and loves his or her spouse. These types of actions (3) are what Kant calls “praiseworthy”, but they have no moral value. They are certainly not bad or immoral, but one gets no moral credit for them because one does them out of inclination (they enjoy doing them) and not because it is their duty. A morally good act must be done strictly from duty and not at all because one enjoys it. 4. Acts that are in accordance with duty and that we no inclination for (i.e., we do not benefit in any way or gain any pleasure from them). Examples: • Not committing suicide even though our life is totally bleak and there is no reason to believe it will ever improve. • Not committing adultery when one’s relationship is horrible and loveless. • Attending class when you don’t want to and when you know the material will not be required for any exam. These types of acts are done entirely out of duty and not to satisfy any inclination or pleasure. And because they are done strictly out of duty, these have moral worth. To recap: the highest good (the only thing that is always good) is the good will. The will is good when it is motivated purely by duty and not at all by inclination, desire, or pleasure. (We still do not know at this point what our specific duties are or how to discover them—that we will examine in the coming weeks) 1. Do you agree that the moral worth of an action depends on the intention behind it? That is, is an act good only if it is done out of a good will? Do the consequences/results not matter at all? Explain your answer. 2. Do you agree with Kant that we deserve no moral credit for an act if we are doing it for some benefit to ourselves? Why or why not?

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TabbyK
School: University of Virginia

here are the responses. i have answered them based on the docuent you provided. i have uploded hours before the deadline so that if you need additional references then I can include them before time lapses. all you need to do is conduct me

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1. Do you agree that the moral worth of an action depends on the intention behind it?
That is, is an act good only if it is done out of a good will? Do the
consequences/results not matter at all? Explain your answer.

I agree that moral worth is dependent on the intent...

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Anonymous
Outstanding Job!!!!

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