Secular ethics- egoism and humanism- RS A2

archiebw's version from 2015-09-01 17:25

Section 1

Question Answer
Name the man who in 1997 argued non-believers need moral values and his three reasons why?Jonathan Glover, and to avoid inconsistency, to achieve autonomy and so as not to rely on intuition.
Who in 1651 argued people are intrinsically selfish and what was his view on society?Thomas Hobbes, and that it is constructed purely for self-preservation.
What is the social contract, and what metaphor does Thomas Hobbes use here?The idea that humans reluctantly make covenants to allow a mutual peace, and that of the Leviathan, a Biblical sea monster, to which humans subject themselves to be protected.
Who challenges Hobbes by mentioning anthropology, and what does he say?Alasdair MacIntyre, and that evidence invalidates the theory humanity went from war to civilisation.
Who wrote "the new life in Christ represents the perfection of complete and heedless self-giving", when, and what did he add?Reinhold Niebuh, in 1965, and that it was "a moral ideal scarcely possible for the individual, and certainly not relevant to the morality of self-regarding nations."

Section 2

Question Answer
How does psychological egoism differ from other types?It is not a theory of how to act morally, but a theory of why humans act in the way they do.
What is one clever point by psychological egoists?That voluntary acts, by definition, satisfy our desires.
What is an argument against psychological egoism?That people act charitably and endanger their lives for others.
Why does Hobbes say we give to others?That we give to others from a desire to demonstrate our power to look after ourselves and others.
What does Hobbes say we pity?Because we are imagining ourselves in the same experience.
What can psychological egoists be said to admit?That humans don’t always act in their best interests through error or weak will.
Why might giving to charity not be so unselfish as it initially seems?It serves the purpose of leaving our conscience clear.
With what did Joseph Butler refuse to equate desire, and what did he use as evidence of selflessness?Self-interest, and the conscience.
With what does James Rachels refuse to equate selfishness?Self-interest.
What is an alleged critical difficulty with psychological egoism?That there is no evidence for its claims.

Section 3

Question Answer
What is the gist of conditional egoism for the common good?That entrepreneurs should be free to maximise profit if the by-products of their success benefit the whole community.
What 1776 work can the idea of conditional egoism be found in?'An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations' by Adam Smith.
What is a great quote by Adam Smith supporting conditional egoism?"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."
Name two ways in which conditional egoism could ostensibly benefit the community?Wages could support families and be invested in other businesses.
What is a criticism of conditional egoism's idea of trickle-down benefits?That it is unrealistic in the first place, and also unrealistic that the benefits would be distributed in any fashion like equality.
What is Annette Baier's criticism of conditional egoism?That it has not been demonstrated that unbridled capitalism leads to the common good.

Section 4

Question Answer
Who, and in which work notably supported ethical egoism, and what did he say?Thomas Hobbes, 'Leviathan', and that a moral principle is only acceptable if it is aimed at the agents' own greatest good.
Who in 1963 identified two principles of ethical egoism, and what were they?William F. Frankena, that of promoting the greatest good over evil, and that of choosing one's best interest when making judgments about others.
What is David Hume's point about human desire?That it is by no means clear that it is in our interest to satisfy it.
Who in 1716 made the point that self-interest is more complex than initially seems, what did he say, and where?Joseph Butler, that others are instrumental to our own satisfaction, and in his ´Fifteen Sermons`.

Section 5

Question Answer
What has been seen by the Judeo-Christian tradition as the basis for immorality?Self-love.
Who is a notable figure in Christianity who valued ´the claim of the other´?Jesus Christ.
Which philosophy, in addition to Christianity, also includes the idea of denial of the self?Buddhism.
Which Biblical teaching encapsulates the belief in dignity in all humans?"Love your neighbour as yourself."

Section 6

Question Answer
What two things could humanists be said to base morality on?Reason and common humanity.
Which humanist in 1876 said that “Happiness is the only good", and what did he add? Robert G. Ingersoll and "the time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so."
What is the humanist view of freedom?That it contributes to happiness, but there is still a need to make responsible choices.
What is the humanist view of the role of preference in morality, and from who does this separate them?That basic moral principles are not matters of personal preference, and cultural relativists.
When making moral decisions, how does a humanist differ from a utilitarian?He considers rights and wishes in addition to consequences.
According to humanists what are values not dependent on, and instead from where do they come?Religion, and human nature and experience, respectively.
What is one way in which humanists are similar to Christians?They do not all agree about different issues, but draw from a common corpus.