Cahn, Steven M. and Peter Markie, Ethics: History, Theory and Contemporary Issues. 4th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
In order to reach a better theory to address what makes a life go best we must admit that there are things which are worthy of being desired due to some intrinsic properties they have, as opposed to assuming all things which are good for an agent are good only because they are desired by the agent; this notion however, is too far a departure from the idea of Desire Satisfaction Theory, and requires an alternative ethical theory to account for it.
Hinamn, LM. (2010). Ethical Theories:A Very Brief Overview,Phil.321: Social Ethics, Summer 2010, University of San Diego
Human beings have moral inclinations that affect our actions. Few would deny as a fact of human life a perpe-tual strive to do right and good concordant with one’s particular moral beliefs (while concomitantly judging others by them). For most, this strive is accompanied by a questioning of the very nature of the moral: Is there an impartial criterion that enables us to know objectively what one ought to do, or do our moral intuitions rest solely on subjective, arbitrary grounds? With the lure of divine command theory fading from the Enlightenment and onwards, modern moral philosophy can be seen as an attempt to uncover either the criterion or its nonexistence. An endeavor in which few can be said to have been as influential as Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and his most trenchant critic, G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831).
Human beings are confronted with numerous issues throughout his or her lifetime that would require him or her to examine the best action to take to avoid the damaging consequences. In most cases, individuals restrain his or her action to take into consideration the consequences that may lead to the right or wrong behavior. One’s ethical and moral standards are first learned at an early age from his or her culture, how he or she is raised, religious background, and social system. Scientifically, there are various ethical theories, such as the virtue theory, deontological ethics, and utilitarianism (Boylan, 2009). By understanding these theories one can compare, contrast and uncover the reasoning behind his or her ethical and moral standards.
Westacott, Emrys. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Moral Relativism . Alfred University, State University of New York, 30 May 2012. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. .
Immanuel Kant’s Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals is one of his earliest works and is one of the most influential in the field of moral philosophy. In this work, Kant sets the stage and establishes the ground for future investigation by explaining setting and explaining the core concepts of the “supreme principle of morality” (Kant 1993)1. He presents his work in three sections, but only the first two will be focused on. Although it is not definitive, Kant attempts to work from ordinary moral knowledge to a supreme principle, and then attempts to test that principle in the second and third sections of the work.
The study of Metaethics has always been the favorite topic of philosophers since the beginning of written philosophy. To this day, many renowned philosophers like Plato and Socrates were faced with the task of understanding what moral concepts are, and where they originate from. One of the oldest philosophical dilemmas is the Euthyphro dilemma which asks the questions “Do the gods love one thing because it is good or it is good because the gods love it” This type of dilemma continues to be subject of many ethical discussions. The study of Metaethics shed light on why people should believe moral truth, and if they do how do they interpret moral truth in their life. Furthermore, Metaethics deals with a “systematic and theoretical understanding of moral terminology, discourse,
In the essay titled “Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals” published in the Morality and Moral Controversies course textbook, Immanuel Kant argues that the view of the world and its laws is structured by human concepts and categories, and the rationale of it is the source of morality which depends upon belief in the existence of God. In Kant’s work, categorical imperative was established in order to have a standard rationale from where all moral requirements derive. Therefore, categorical imperative is an obligation to act morally, out of duty and good will alone. In Immanuel Kant’s writing human reason and or rational are innate morals which are responsible for helping human. Needless to say, this also allows people to be able to distinct right from wrong. For the aforementioned reasons, there is no doubt that any action has to be executed solely out of a duty alone and it should not focus on the consequence but on the motive and intent of the action. Kant supports his argument by dividing the essay into three sections. In the first section he calls attention to common sense mor...