Ethical Theories is what is not legally prohibited morally permissible by jackshepherd


									                         Ethical Theories
              is what is not legally prohibited morally permissible
    an action is morally right iff it produces at least as much good (utility) for all
    people affected by it than any other action could otherwise do instead

    an excellence of character with the predisposition to chose those actions linked
    to human flourishing - chosen under the proper guidance of reason

  a moral action is done from a sense of duty rather than by following our natural
  inclinations to pursue our own desires

Divine Command Theory
   moral principles are taken to be the laws issued by God to humanity - their
   authority derives from God’s supremacy

Interpretive Model of Adjudication
    taken along with the positive law, the principles of political morality provide the
    best interpretation of the positive law – the best justification for political
    decisions (Dworkin, 2000)  legal  political obligation
                            Law & Morality
    if:             laws reflect society’s customs, beliefs and moral values
    then:           is what is legal moral, and, is what is not prohibited moral
•   Thomas Hobbes
           The desires and passion of man are not in themselves Sin, no more then
           are the actions that proceed form them until men know of a law that forbids
•   Wolfenden Report         (1957)
    1.     Private prostitution should be permitted and public soliciting outlawed
    2.     Male homosexual acts in private between consenting adults over the age of
           21 should be legalized
    so:             private and individual activities that present no threat to other
                    citizens or to the maintenance of public order and decency should
                    remain beyond the reach of the law
    but:            Devlin’s objections
               1. There can be no distinction between public/private morality
               2. A serious offence against morality constitutes an attack on society
                            just like society must protect itself against treason, it
                             must also protect itself from immoral acts
                            Legal Moralism
if:        the law can legitimately be used to prohibit behaviors that conflict with
           society's collective moral judgments

           ie.      those behaviors do not necessarily result in physical or
                    psychological harm to others

and:       a person's freedom can legitimately be restricted simply because it conflicts
           with society's collective morality

then:      it is permissible for the state to use its coercive power to enforce society's
           collective morality - Devlin’s criticisms of the Wolfenden Report

           ie.      society is entitled by means of its laws to protect itself from
                    dangers, whether from within or from the outside

but:       Hart argues it is wrong to think that deviation from accepted sexual morality,
           even by adults in private, is something which, like treason, threatens the
           existence of society
                   no act of immorality should be made a criminal offense unless it is
                    accompanied by some other feature such as
      indecency, corruption,            exploitation …
                          Legal Paternalism
if:         it is permissible for the state to legislate against self-regarding actions
            when it is necessary to prevent individuals from inflicting physical or severe
            emotional harm on themselves
then:       a paternalist interference is an interference with a person's liberty of action
            justified by reasons referring exclusively to the welfare, good, happiness,
            needs, interests or values of the person being coerced
      eg.   law requiring use of a helmet when riding a motorcycle is a paternalistic
            interference insofar as it is justified by concerns for the safety of the rider

Nevertheless, Dworkin argues that there are limits to legitimate paternalism:
  1.    the state must show that the behavior governed by the proposed
        restriction involves the sort of harm that a rational person would want to
  2.    the potential harm outweighs the benefits of the relevant behavior
  3.    the proposed restriction is the least restrictive alternative for protecting
        against the harm

but:        JS Mill – the only purpose for which power can rightly be used against
            anybody is to prevent harm to others – their own good, either physical or
            moral, is sufficient warrant
                      Civil Disobedience
John Rawls
   Q. At what point does the duty to obey cease to be binding in view of
       defending individual liberties and opposing injustice ?
   A.    Civil disobedience is justified when it serves to remind citizens of
         injustices within a society that is largely just

Civil Disobedience
• Passive, nonviolent resistance to state power or passive non cooperation
          with the authorities  involves mass defiance of unjust laws
• Unlawful public conduct designed to appeal to the sense of justice of the
          majority  to change the law without rejecting the rule of law
• Such methods can cause considerable difficulties for the state which may be
          reluctant to use force against nonviolent protestors  fear of inflaming
          the situation or alienating world opinion
• Thus non-violence and non-revolutionary intent, as well as a willingness to
          accept lawful punishment, are often treated as defining conditions of civil
         eg.      Henry David Thoreau’s refusal to pay a state poll tax enacted to
                  finance enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law and thus
                  perpetuate southern chattel slavery
                        Robert Nozick – The Minimal State

•   Anarchy stems from the Greek word, anarkos, meaning ‘without a chief’
•   Its political meaning is the achievement of a social and political system without a
    state, or more broadly stated, a society that is characterized by a lack of any
    hierarchical or authoritarian structures
•   The general approach of the anarchist is to emphasize that the good life can
    only be realized without constraining or limiting structures
•   Any institution that is inconsistent with the life freely chosen is to be
    attacked, criticized, and rejected
    -     Utopian versions look to a universal egalitarianism in which each is to
          count for one and no more than one, and accordingly each person’s
          values are of equal moral and political weighting
    -     Historicist anarchists believe that anarchy is the ultimate state that
          humanity is (inevitably) ascending towards it
    -     Radical anarchists claim that the future can only be fought for, and any
          imposition of authority on an individual’s actions is to be defended against

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