Ethics and Morality

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Transcript Ethics and Morality

The Distinction Between Ethics and Morality
The search for the infinite good
From the Greek word Ethika – having to do with good
Deals with the Good that humans aim for
Translating the search for the good into the way we conduct
ourselves in our day to day lives
From the Latin word Moralitas – having to do with the
customs, habits, manners shaping human life
Deals with the way in which humans attain that good
Ethics and Morality
Ethics guides morality. It gives vision to our actions.
Ethics gives us the foundational principals underlying our
moral actions.
Which is more important?
•Ethics attempts to explain the higher good
(i.e. self-defense versus thou shall not kill)
•Sometimes rules, laws, norms do not contribute
to the good of society.
•Therefore, they are not the final word, the good is.
What is Philosophy?
Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral
self-discipline. Investigation of the nature, causes,
or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based
on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry.
What are the functional issues at work in a
Catholic approach to ethics?
Philosophical understanding of the human
person as ethical.
 Tradition as the “Book of nature”. An innate
search for good.
How do these goods impact our lives
Revelation and reason
 Good of freedom, of love, of justice, of
love of community, of forgiveness
Personal response - a scream to someone in trouble,
spontaneous decision to help (Superman clip)
Face to face with the other - responsible to other; the
others face takes you hostage and elicits a responsibility
from you (guilt). The face stays with you while you
decide (Fisher King clip)
Obligation - duty to follow parent rules “I have to... ”. If
you choose to ignore the ethical response, the unrest
stays with you.
Contrast - built-in capacity of what the world ought to
look like; faced with situations that provoke “That is not
fair”. Is usually a response to a terrifying event that
contrasts so gravely with how you think humans ought to
act (Hotel Rwanda clip)
There is no real ethical theory. What one
person believes is intolerable, duty etc., is
not right for every person in every