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Why Be Ethical?/You are what You Do

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Why Be Ethical?/You are what You Do ... Naturalism The movement ... The concept of artificial intelligence is very much in-line with the philosophy of naturalism ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Why Be Ethical?/You are what You Do


1
Why Be Ethical?/You are what You Do
  • pp. 5-21 and 23-39

2
The Capacity to Act (Freedom)
  • Aristotles teleological view ? We have a natural
    desire and sense of purpose to do good (pp.
    11-14).
  • Kants deontological view ? We have and
    obligation to do good (pp. 14-17).
  • Levinass relational theory of ethics ? We are
    called to good by encountering the other
    (pp.17-20).
  • What makes us capable of responding in an ethical
    manner?

3
  • Despite being predisposed to act a certain way
    because of genetics, we also have the capacity to
    make choices.
  • We have the capacity to be an agent (someone who
    is able to initiate things and is able to change
    the world).
  • Actions are what make us human human actions
    are the building blocks of who we are and who we
    become.

4
  • Freedom is the human potential, the capacity and
    the power to act. Action is the realization of
    that power.
  • Ethics examines your capacity as an individual to
    make things happen in your world, in your
    relationships and even within yourself.
  • The morality of human acts depends on (1) the
    object chosen (2) the end in view or the
    intention (3) the circumstances of the action.

5
The Conceptual Framework of Human Action
  • Who? - the agent
  • What? - the action
  • Why? the motive
  • How? with what means?
  • Under what circumstances?
  • With or against whom?
  • With what outcomes?

6
Human Freedom
  • The capacity to choose and to act. I am free
    because I have possibilities and a capacity to
    act (or not act) on these possibilities.
  • Not all philosophers agree on how to explain the
    human ability to initiate an action.
  • The intention or primary cause is usually not
    visible.
  • Intending to doing something is not the same as
    actually doing it.

7
  • Traditionally, the capacity to act intentionally
    has been identified as a spiritual/transcendent
    quality.
  • If someone states their intentions to marry, it
    is a real commitment even though it cannot be
    detected by any of the senses.
  • Some philosophers and paradigms believe that free
    will itself is an illusion humans are part of a
    physical and material world and nothing in them
    reaches beyond the material and into the
    spiritual world.

8
Naturalism
  • The movement has roots in the ideas of 18th
    century philosopher and empiricist David Hume (he
    challenged the principle of causality it is not
    found innate in thought but through experience).
  • The material universe is a unified system where
    everything is shaped by physical, chemical,
    psychological, social, biological and
    environmental processes. Humans are simply part
    of the material universe, which is one grand
    chain of cause and effect.

9
  • With the sequencing of the human genome,
    naturalism believes we have the blueprint for
    humanity this notion challenges the notion of
    the free self.
  • If this theory is held to be true, then our
    promises and commitments dont come from
    intention but instead from genetic
    predisposition.
  • Naturalism denies the possibility of ethics and
    morality.

10
  • How can you be responsible for your actions if
    what you do is a natural, physical process over
    which you have no control?
  • According to Augustine, in our understanding of
    law, guilt can only be assigned to a human agent
    acting freely.

11
Naturalism and A.I.
  • The concept of artificial intelligence is very
    much in-line with the philosophy of naturalism
    (reduces intention to a process that can be
    programmed).
  • Computers and modern forms of A.I. today can only
    model an aspect of intelligence and not act as a
    whole intelligence system. Neural networks of
    humans can be replicated in computer programs but
    this is far from human intelligence.

12
Religious Determinism
  • Freedom, as a human capacity, is also attacked in
    other philosophies and theologies.
  • Some churches within Christianity have denied
    human freedom, based on the belief that Gods
    foreknowledge and will have predetermined
    everything in the world, including our individual
    actions.

13
  • Most Christians believe in the concept of
    providence, which is God influence upon events
    and actions.
  • Some Christians, such as John Calvin (French
    Protestant reformer from 1500s), believe that
    our salvation or damnation has been predestined
    and therefore there is no freedom or ethics
    (predestination takes away the human capacity to
    act freely).

14
  • Catholic teaching maintains that human freedom
    and Gods providence dont conflict.
  • God has a foreknowledge of what will happen, but
    we are actively acting in the present and are
    free to choose our actions.
  • God gives us the gift of salvation, Gods
    initiative of love.
  • This love/salvation requires us to cooperate and
    choose to be good (act freely). It also gives us
    the grace to cooperate and choose to be good
    (theological virtues).

15
Social Determinism
  • Similar to naturalism, this paradigm suggests
    that our behaviours are determined by outside
    influences like the influence of others around
    you
  • Parents, culture, race, social background,
    personal history, gender religion etc.
  • Sigmund Freud believed that human behaviour is
    often driven by unconscious impulses based on
    repressed memories and desires.

16
  • Freud believed that these repressed experiences
    exert a constant pressure on our conscious mind.
    They emerge as images and symbols in our dreams,
    and odd patterns in our behaviour.
  • Freud also believed humans had 2 determining
    instincts life (linked to love, sex and eros)
    and death (thanatos).
  • Freud believed we have a personal taskmaster that
    imposes guilt and shame to control our actions
    (superego, influences by parents and society).

17
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vIQWBnwu1oZs
  • Do you see your self as an agent who is free to
    act, or are you just another piece in a grand
    chain of cause and effect?
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