Ethics & Argument Crash Course | COMMUNICATION STUDIES

Ethics & Argument Crash Course | COMMUNICATION STUDIES


Ethics crash course : One of the reasons to get better at
delivering an argument is so you can do something good you can do something
right but this concept of rightness and wrongness can be a little murky
sometimes are you looking at the rightness of an action or are you
looking at the rightness of the outcomes well today we’re looking at ethics and
we’re going to discuss different ethical perspectives to help you better
understand how you’re framing your argument and your own conceptions of
right and wrong so let’s take a look ethics the why behind your argument what
you can expect in this lecture is first we’re going to just have a quick
overview of ethics after that we’ll discuss relativism and then finally
we’ll discuss two different ethical perspectives so first an overview of
ethics ethics is known as the moral principles that govern a person’s
behavior or the conducting of an activity so these are essentially the
the values that someone holds when they’re determining right and wrong and
determining how they’re going to be conducting any sort of activity that
they take place in this is the branch of knowledge that deals with moral
principles ethical relativism the other hand these are individuals who believe
that there are no universal standards of moral judgment
so the ethicist who would try and define such standards is working in vain now
when we think about most of us if you were to say hey what’s the difference
between right and wrong you could probably think that for pretty much
everyone that you can think of some standards that really just go across
cultures and so these ethical relativists that we’re talking about
here are pretty few and far between because I think most people would say
you know it’s it’s wrong to be killing innocent people or killing anything like
that where it just seems like this is something that most people would say
that this is wrong regardless but if you are taking the position that everything
is relative in terms of ethics then this is where you would end up but that’s
really where where it stops because there are a lot of different types of
relativism where we can look at this and still be able to make determinations on
right or wrong based on kind of the way that we set up how we are figuring that
out so the types of relatives relativism that we’ll discuss our individual
relativism cultural relativism and theoretical normative ethics individual
relativism this claims that the moral standards are relative to an
individual’s moral beliefs that in effect what one believes is right with
respect to one’s own actions and thus no sound moral judgment condemning the
actions of a moral agent can be offered if the conclusion of the argument is
inconsistent with the moral beliefs of the agent so
if you think about this maybe there’s something that you’ve gone through that
really has shaped the way that you see certain events in terms of right and
wrong maybe you know information or you’ve had experiences that other people
haven’t had and that shapes the way that you see right or wrong in that
particular context so someone who would be an individual relativist they’re
really saying well this is the way that I believe something is right or wrong so
you don’t have the authority to condemn my actions because you really haven’t
lived my life getting to a broader perspective we have cultural relativism
these are the moral standards that are relative to cultural moral beliefs so
ethical criticism here is only valid what communicated from one culture to
the same culture so essentially what we’re saying here in the cultural
relativism perspective is that our values are shaped by our culture so if
you are a member of a particular culture then you understand what’s considered to
be right and wrong for that culture because of your experience and therefore
you’re able to say to other people that they’re doing something right or wrong
within that culture because you have that shared ethical perspective okay so
notice that we’re kind of broadening our perspective here so originally we had
individual relativism where we’re looking at our own experiences it’s a
way to determine rightness or wrongness of an action here we’re looking at the
experience in a culture to be able to determine rightness or wrongness of an
action we get even more broad here with theoretical normative ethics so here
this is the attempt to find general principles which specify the criteria
that ought to be used in moral judgment and the grounds and recent arguments for
these principles in other words we’re looking for broad general principles
that most people would agree with in order to make our ethical judgment so
here the norm is generally the right thing to do so how do most people act
how do most people see rightness or wrongness looking at the broadest
perspective the most general perspective that you can and trying to make ethical
determinations based upon these large large sample sizes trying to look at all
of humanity as opposed to just individual cultures or individuals
themselves so moving on we have two different ethical approaches so before
we were saying how we’d be able to judge the rightness or wrongness of an action
and if you have the moral authority to do so based upon if you’re an individual
you could only judge yourself if you’re a culture you’d be able to judge within
your own culture and then the theoretical normative ethics saying
that you’re only able to judge by looking at the broadest perspectives so
pretty much you can look at anything but here we’re looking at for a specific
action how you’d be able to evaluate it from there so with ethical approaches
here’s an easy way to remember this so teleological think telescope so we’re
looking out into the future at outcomes and deontological think about don’t like
don’t do it right now okay so hopefully these two little memory devices are
going to help you out if you’re trying to remember these two different ones so
teleological think telescope out into the future looking at outcomes
deontological don’t do that like don’t do that right now so let’s explore each
of these and some individual approaches underneath these umbrellas so first of
all the teleological approach is also known as consequentialism forgive the a
there it’s not a consequentialism it’s also known as consequentialism and here
we determine the moral status of an action by the causal consequences or
outcomes of an action that is an action is right or wrong according to whether
it leads to good or bad consequences so here we’re looking at the outcomes of
the action not necessarily the action itself but the outcomes of the action
and we’re determining the moral status of that action by what happens with the
outcome so going back to this so for example if you were to cheat on a test
but then from there even though you cheated on a test you were able to pass
that class and then you’re able to you know help a bunch of people because your
major is involved in helping people we would say in that case well you know
we’re looking at the outcome here and you were able to help a lot of people by
doing that cheating so possibly this is something that’s justifiable under this
approach now the deontological approach is also known as forget a it’s known as
categorical and here this denies what the teleological approach affirms so it
denies that the moral status of an action is determined by the consequences
in favor of a view that human rights should be respected the moral
obligations fulfilled even if an optimal outcome is not achieved so really what
we’re saying here is let’s go back to that same example let’s say you decide
not to cheat on that test but then you fail and then you don’t get to help all
those people here we’re saying this is still the right thing to do even though
you were not able to help all those people because it’s wrong to cheat on a
test so the action itself is what we’re evaluating rigged
Arlis of the consequences because we’re able to say that you know if you’re able
to justify all these negative outcomes because it’s better down the road but a
lot of times human rights can be violated here and then also just moral
obligations or just kind of doing the right thing is it’s kind of pushed to
the side so here we’re looking at the action itself as opposed to the
consequences so we’ll look at some different theories under the Tia logical
teleological approach so remember teleological thinking outcomes thinking
telescope you’re looking out into the future with that telescope so here we
have one called ethical egoism so the ethical egoist asserts that we are
morally obligated to act in our own best interest or state it as an ethical
principle one ought to do whatever is in one’s own best interests so here we’re
saying you’re looking out for number one and again we’re looking at the outcomes
for yourself right so it’s a teleological theory so here ethical
egoism is looking at the outcomes and it’s kind of saying that you know
regardless of the action itself you’re trying to get the best outcomes for
whatever is going on for yourself you also have utilitarianism so according to
utilitarianism and the moral status of an action is determined by the actual or
probable consequences that the action will have for everyone whose lives are
affected by that action so the biggest outcome for the biggest group of people
it’s a little bit more complicated than this but essentially here what we’re
looking at is how can you make it so everybody gets the best possible outcome
now again you’re probably going to have some people who have a negative outcome
but here with utilitarianism you’re trying to say well you know we’re going
to have those people not have the ideal outcome because more people get a
strongly positive outcome okay so the best outcome for the largest group of
people is really what we’re trying to do here on the other side back to
deontological theories remember so teleological theory is thinking about
that telescopes looking out into the future deontological I don’t don’t do
that right now so here we have contine ISM so this is
given to us by Immanuel Kant I believe this is from his book prolegomena to any
future metaphysics and he says that the moral status of an action is not
determined by the consequences we are not morally obligated to seek the
best overall outcome by our actions but rather we are obligated to perform those
actions that accord with our moral duty so here
he is saying is that we are morally obligated to do the right thing in the
moment regardless of the outcome at all okay so we are morally obligated to
perform the actions that we think are right in the moment regardless of the
outcome at all okay we also have contract arianism so this is an ethical
theory derived from the social contract political theory of Thomas Hobbes
basically what he says here is that we should have by the laws of our
government for the same reason that parties in a contract follow the terms
of their contract that it’s a voluntary agreement that binds individuals to
uphold in both cases certain obligations so here what Hobbes is saying is that
you know you should do the right thing in the moment because you’ve actually
entered into a contract by living in a particular free society so if you’re
able to move to another place and you decide to stay here you are essentially
saying that I’m going to follow the laws of this particular government of this
particular country because of the way that they’ve set this up and because I’m
voluntarily entering into that agreement so you know even if speeding to you know
get somewhere is going to be breaking the law you would be obligated not to
break that law even if you know it was something really important that you
needed to get to because you’ve said that you’re not going to be breaking
those laws so really what we cover today first we just did a quick overview of
ethics we also discussed different types of
relativism then last we discussed the two ethical perspectives of teleological
and deontological theories so this was a quick lecture on ethics and perspectives
for your arguments and hopefully now when you’re thinking about ways that
you’re justifying rightness or wrongness of an action when you’re crafting those
arguments you’ll have a little bit more context to draw upon and you’ll be able
to even further rationalize some of the decisions that you’re making in the
positions that you’re upholding Thanks

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