Setting Up A Moral System

Essay by hchun1979College, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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The installation of a moral system is vital in every society. Yet, every moral system must

deal with the major conflicting general moral issues: Consequentialism versus

Non-consequentialism; Self versus Other-Interestedness; Act Utilitarianism versus Rule

Utilitarianism; and Emotion versus reason. When all four areas are combined and examined

there are conflicting views that must be resolved.

First of all, there is the issue of Consequentialism and Non-consequentialism.

Consequentialism is best described by utilitarianism, where decisions are based on the

consequences of the outcome of the decision made. On the other hand, non-consequentialism

is best described as an ethical theory that is based not on the consequences of the

action, but on some higher moral standard that is placed upon them. Examples of

non-consequentialism are Kant's Duty Ethics and Divine Command Theory. The conflict

between the two is whether to do what is best according to the outcome or follow what one

feels as the higher moral standard would require them to adhere to.

Personally, I would

resolve this area by choosing the consequentialist belief as my tool for judgement

because I feel that people need to think about the consequences of their actions because

if they don't then it will cause havoc in the society. Thus, I feel that consequentialism

is the proper solution in this area.

Secondly, there is the conflict between Self versus Other-Interestedness. The concept of

self is best described as being selfish and only caring about oneself without worrying

about what might happen to others. While the concept of other-interestedness is basically

putting the needs of everyone else over your own (this is similar to utilitarianism). The

big conflict is that most people are going to choose themselves first, but if this were a

perfect society the people would worry about everyone first. If people...