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Defective Norms of Morality


Defective Norms of Morality Hedonism Utilitarianism Moral Rationalism Moral Positivism Moral Evolutionism Moral Sensism Communism – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Defective Norms of Morality

Defective Norms of Morality
  • Hedonism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Moral Rationalism
  • Moral Positivism
  • Moral Evolutionism
  • Moral Sensism
  • Communism

  • It is an ethical theory which holds that the
    supreme end of man consists in the acquisition of
  • Sensible pleasures are the highest good of life.
  • Morality is grounded on the pleasure or
    satisfaction that an act brings or entails.
  • The good action is the pleasant action.
  • The bad action is that which produces pain or

  • Is a theory very much akin to Hedonism.
  • This norm of morality holds that actions are
    right in proportion as they tend to promote
    happiness, wrong as they tend to produce
  • It makes utility the norm of morality.
  • The goodness or badness of an action would depend
    on the effects or consequences of the action.
  • An act is good if and when it gives good results,
    if it works, it makes you successful, if it makes
    you attain your purpose, bad if it does not.

Types of Utilitarianism
  • Individual/egoistic utilitarianism holds that
    the norm of morality resides in the usefulness of
    an action for the production of the temporal
    happiness of the individual.
  • An act is good when it redounds to the temporal
    welfare and happiness of the individual, and bad
    if it hinders or hampers this happiness.
  • Social/altruistic utilitarianism holds that an
    act is good when it is conducive to the social
    good or well-being

Commentary (Hedonism Utilitarianism)
  • Merits
  • It explains very well the emotional basis and
    aspects of human action.
  • It explains well the reason behind the doing of
    action by most people
  • There is always some satisfaction accompanying
    the doing of every good act.
  • There is no doubt that most people are motivated
    in their action by their desire for satisfaction
    or happiness or well-being.

Commentary (Hedonism Utilitarianism)
  • Defects
  • Both propose an earthly goal for man, that is,
    the temporal welfare here on earth.
  • The ultimate and supreme purpose of man cannot be
    found in this life.
  • Both make or tend to make morality relative
  • What is pleasant or useful to one may be painful
    and harmful to another. Relative morality leads
    to moral chaos and destruction.

Commentary (Hedonism Utilitarianism)
  • Defects
  • Both theories make morality extrinsic because
    they make it depend on the effect or on a
    concomitant factor of an act.
  • Morality is intrinsic, that is, based on the very
    essence of things and on the nature of the act
  • Satisfaction/pleasure may indicate and accompany
    the doing of a good act but the act is good not
    because it brings satisfaction, but rather, it
    brings satisfaction because it is good.
  • The pleasure follows from the goodness and not
    the goodness from the satisfaction
  • The satisfaction/pleasure is merely an effect,
    and an indication but not the cause or the reason
    of the goodness of an action.

Moral Rationalism Immanuel Kant
  • Is the theory which maintains that all knowledge
    and all truths are derived from human reason.
  • Human reason, therefore, is the source of all
    truths, all laws, and all principles.
  • Human reason is the source of all moral laws and
    all moral obligations.
  • Reason commands, and the commands of reason are
    absolute and unconditional, absolutely binding on
    all men of all times (Categorical Imperative).
  • Therefore, good must be done simply because we
    want. Virtue must be practiced for virtues
    sake goodness, for goodness sake.
  • Why we must do good?
  • We must do good because we must, it is our duty
    to obey unconditionally without questioning
    (Principle of Deontology).

Moral Rationalism
  • The command of reason is categorical and all are
    obliged to obey, it is our moral duty to obey
  • Duty is the very root, test and the mainspring
    of all morally good acts.
  • All that is moral is motivated by pure sense of
    duty, by pure reverence for the law.
  • Thus, morality is grounded on duty or moral
  • True morality, must be autonomous in character
    (Autonomy of Reason).
  • According to which theory it is reason that
    commands and at the same time it is reason that
  • Thus, reason will be the law-maker, the law-giver
    and law-obeyer at the same time.

Commentary (Moral Rationalism)
  • Merits
  • It emphasized the absolute and immutable nature
    of morality
  • It saves morality from the destructiveness and
    insanity of moral relativity and skepticism.
  • Defects
  • On Autonomy of Reason
  • Reason is the absolute law-maker, law-giver,
    law-abider. (Autonomy of Reason)
  • Morality comes not from reason itself but from a
    higher and other source than human reason.
    (Heteronomy of Reason)

Commentary (Moral Rationalism)
  • Defects
  • Based on Heteronomy of Reason
  • Human reason only sees things, but it does not
    make things.
  • Human reason tells us the law, but it does not
    make the law.
  • Moral law is not from human reason, it is not our
    own making, but it is impose on us from a higher
  • If the law were made by human reason, then
    everything that we would like to do could be
    approved by reason, but the fact is that we have
    many things we like to do by which we know are
    against the dictates of our conscience.
  • Nothing can be superior and inferior at the same

Commentary (Moral Rationalism)
  • Defects
  • Duty as a norm of morality
  • Duty cannot be sole motive in the performance of
    an act.
  • There are other motives that are more worthy and
    more noble, such as love, pity, mercy, etc.
  • On Universalization of Reason
  • There are many acts which cannot be
  • Ex. Dying a heros death by martyrdom

Moral Evolutionism
  • This is the theory of all those who holds that
    morality is never fixed or absolute, but is
    continually changing and evolving gradually into
    a perfect morality.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche - believed that morality
    the distinction between right and wrong did not
    exist in the beginning or originally unknown.
  • Good is that which anybody desired.

Moral Evolutionism
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • He was convinced that traditional values
    represented a slave morality, a morality
    created by weak and resentful individuals who
    encouraged such behavior as gentleness and
    kindness because the behavior served their
  • These are the laws/values derived and based on
    the teachings of Christianity which stands for
    meekness, humility, suffering pity, mercy,
    poverty, forgiveness and love.
  • These values glorify and favor the weak and
    produces weaklings
  • But, according to Nietzsche, we must produce the
  • The law of nature is the survival of the fittest.
  • The strong is destined by nature to live and
  • The weak has no right from nature to live. The
    weak who form the majority must be eliminated in
    order to give way to the aristocracy of the

Moral Evolutionism
  • Thus, Nietzsche, developed an idea of the
  • The Superman/Overman was an individual who
    overcame the slave morality of traditional
    values, and lived according to his own
  • This superman is secure, independent, and highly
    individualistic. The overman feels deeply, but
    his passions are rationally controlled.
    Concentrating on the real world, rather than on
    the rewards of the next world promised by
    religion, the overman affirms life, including the
    suffering and pain that accompany human

Moral Evolutionism
  • He advanced this idea by saying that God is
    dead, or the traditional morality was no longer
    relevant in peoples lives.
  • For him, the end of all morality and society to
    produce the strong, the superman.
  • Thus, might, strength and power form the basis of
    true morality.
  • Good, is that one which makes one strong,
    powerful, and most of all super human, and bad is
    that which is productive of the weak.

Commentary (Moral Evolutionism)
  • The result the chaotic, horrific, barbaric and
    devastating World War II (German Invasion).
  • Who thinks that they are the Aryan race (White
    supremacy) superior to any other and destined to
    rule and conquer the world.
  • They devoured weaker nations and justified all
    the massacres, tortures, and bloodshed of
    concentration camps in their occupied countires
    on the theory that thay are the strong and,
    therefore, can do no wrong.

Moral Positivism
  • This theory holds that the basis/source of all
    moral laws is the laws of the State.
  • Good is that which is in accordance with the laws
    of the State bad is that which is forbidden by
    the State.
  • The proponent of this theory is Thomas Hobbes
  • Nature was in a state of universal war. Mankind
    was in a state of war before the formation of the
  • Man is a wolf unto his fellowmen (Homo homini
  • Thus, there was no law, no morality, no
    distinction between right and wrong.
  • To end this state of war and anarchy, men came
    together to form the State.
  • Thus, laws, rights and duties were then
  • Morality then has it source, its origin from the
    laws of the State.

Commentary (Moral Positivism)
  • Defects
  • It makes morality relative.
  • There are State Laws which are legal but not
    moral (Abortion, Death Penalty, Same Sex
  • It reverses the natural order of things.
  • Before there was any State there was already
    human nature with all its natural and inviolable
    rights and the law (natural law) governing it.
  • Example
  • Murder is always bad, even before there was any
    State law prohibiting it. Murder is forbidden by
    law and is wrong because it is clearly a
    violation against human nature.

Moral Sensism
  • Is an ethical theory which holds that man is
    endowed with a special moral sense (other than
    reason) by virtue of which man distinguishes
    between right and wrong.
  • The basis/source of morality is mans senses
    what a persons feel about the human act.
  • Good if I feel it is good bad if I feel it is
  • This view expressed when we say he has no sense
    of morality, no moral taste.

Commentary (Moral Sensism)
  • Defects
  • It makes morality relative.
  • Morality is not based on feelings/senses.
  • Morality is not based on the mood of the person.
  • A human act is good or bad based on the norms of
    morality which is conscience and natural law.

  • Its moral philosophy is the logical consequence
    of metaphysics or view of reality known as
    dialectic materialism.
  • According to this theory, matter is the only
  • This sole entity or matter, is in constant flux
    or motion and this accounts for all the events,
    motion and change in the universe so that all
    phenomena of nature, all history, are nothing
    else but the manifestation of this dialectic
    process inherent in the nature of all things

  • It is founded on the theory of change, evolution
    and revolution.
  • Everything is progressing towards the goal of
    perfection man, society and history naturally
    and necessarily tend towards the attainment of
    the ultimate objective the perfect state here on
    earth, the Classless Society.
  • All these are involved in the inexorable laws of
    dialectic materialism.
  • The goal of man is his earthly happiness in a
    classless society.

  • Morality is changing since all things changes.
  • Good is that which brings about and hasten to
    bring about the realization of a classless
    society bad that which hinders or delays its
  • The end of man, which is the classless society,
    is the norm of morality.
  • The end determines the morality of an act, the
    means does not matter. Thus, the end justifies
    the means.
  • Revolution, conflict, bloodshed, wars, espionage,
    etc., are good if they bring about the desired
    end Classless Society

  • Primacy of Economics
  • Economics is the sole basis of all civilization,
    all progress, all history, all society.
  • It conditions and determines ones religion and
    even ones mode of thinking and living.
  • Morality is likewise determined by economics, in
    such a way that different economic conditions
    give rise to different moralities.
  • Economics is the beginning and the ends of all

Commentary - Communism
  • Merit
  • Communism explains well the importance and
    necessity of economics in life.
  • Man is an economic being.
  • He has an stomach to feed, he has to earn a
    living to support himself and his family, etc.
  • Defects
  • It is vitiated with the fallacy of exclusiveness
    and misproportion.

Commentary - Communism
  • While it is true that man can not live with
    bread, it is likewise true that he does nor live
    by bread alone.
  • While he is an economic being, he is not an
    economic being exclusively, nor principally.
  • While we cannot disregard economics in life, we
    cannot make it the sole and the most important
    thing in life.
  • It may be the basis or a sine qua non condition
    of earthly life, but it is not the end of all
    human beings, though it is a necessary means to

Commentary - Communism
  • Comparison between Morality of communism and
    Christian Morality
  • 1. Communism is based on the primacy of matter.
  • Christian morality is based on the primacy of
    the spirit.
  • 2. Communism proposes an earthly goal for man
    (temporal life).
  • Christian morality is primarily for the other
    world (eternal life).
  • 3. Communism denies the basic postulates of
    Christian morality (the existence of God, freedom
    of the will, immortality of the soul. It
    substitute matter for God life in a classless
    society for immortality, and the laws of the
    dialectic for freedom.

Commentary - Communism
  • Comparison between Morality of communism and
    Christian Morality
  • 4. Communism adheres to the position that the
    end justifies the means.
  • Christian morality believe that the end does
    not justify the means.
  • 5. Communism subscribes to the evolutionistic
    view of morality.
  • Christian morality maintains that morality is
    absolute, immutable and eternal.
  • 6. Communism uses force, conflict, revolution
    for the attainment of its goal the classless
    society here on earth.
  • Christian morality teaches love, patience,
    right living and prayer for the attainment of
    its ultimate end eternal happiness in heaven,
    with God.

Thank you! God bless!