Blog #18

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2008 by Rich R

This year we have talked about a lot of different people.  I think my favorite though has to be Mill.  For me he was the easiest to understand and actually make sense of.  He was a utilitarian and focused on acting to effect overall happiness in a positive manner.  To me he was the most fun to talk about and the easiest to explain.  I don’t know if he was the person I agreed with most but I thought he was one of the most interesting to learn about.  I do agree with the fact that you should act to bring the most happiness to the most amount of people.  But the part I don’t agree with is that we are always responsible for our actions, I believe that once our action transfers into the hands of another I think we our no longer responsible, so in this aspect there is to many grey areas.  But overall I think John Stuart Mill was the most fun to learn about.

Blog #17

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8, 2008 by Rich R

Aristotle focuses more on the individual rather than the action. This is very different from other philosophers and theories that we have learned about for example.  In utilitarianism we learned that utilitarians are more focused on the final outcome of our actions rather than the motives behind it.  For example if we murder someone because they murdered one of our family memebers in their eyes this will still be seen as bad because we are decreasing overall happiness.  Even though our action seem justified because we have reasons for it, but in their eyes they only judge the final outcome of our actions.  They do not consider the person or the reason driving the person to perform a certain action.  From Aristole’s point of view I think he would think that this action is justified in a sense, because the person had a vaild reason for acting.  They did not just act to act they were justified because they were looking for pay back.

Blog #16

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2008 by Rich R

As United States citizens I believe that we are all in a social contract.  We have given up certain right which don’t just disappear they are transfered to the government.  But in this contract the people aren’t the only people giving up rights the government gives up some of its rights to the people as well, they give us things like the right to impeach a president for acting unjustly.  The only people I think that aren’t in these social contracts with the government are children because they do not have the mental capacity to comprehend exactly what a conract is or what it intitles.  So they are not expected to stay true to this contract until they are an adult and understand what this contract means.  Granted when they turn the age to be considered an adult they don’t sit down and sign a contract with the government they automatically enter into this contract by just living here.  If they don’t agree with the contract they can leave the country because this contract is not changing for anyone.  We talked about it in class that it is not as easy to leave as it sounds unless you are someone like Oprah who pretty much has a endless source of money, who can pretty much just make a few phone calls, transfer some money and bam she is gone.  But for the average American we can’t just pick up and leave so easy so it seems that we just have to suck it up and stay here and deal with what we have.

Blog #15

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2008 by Rich R

I think that the government has very little moral accountability for it’s actions, or likes to think that it does.  I think the government feels that it is bigger than regular people and that it can pretty much can do what ever it pleases, because honestly who can say that the government is wrong.  They can always make up some kind of excuss to justify their actions and we as the people would just be forced to believe them because they are the government.  In class we talked about George W. Bush and his moral accountability for his actions.  We were talking about if he was walking down the street and he decided to shoot and kill a random man he would definatly be held accountable for his actions because he was acting for himself as an individual so he will be held accountable just like anyone else.  But on the otherhand George W was walking down the street and he saw a terrorist so he decided to shoot and kill him, he would not be held as accountable because at this point he was acting as the government not as an individual.  He is the commander and chief of the military so he has the right to shoot a terrorist just like everyone else in the military.

Blog #14

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2008 by Rich R

Yes I believe Hobbes is right that a state of nature would be a state of war.  In a state of nature people would be free to do whatever they pleased without any government rules or regulations holding them back, they would have unlimited rights.  This would cause complete chaos everyone would live in fear.  Not the fear of being punished for their actions but in fear of death or getting beat up.  If there were no government people would fight with each other over everything and they would not stop until they get everything they want.  This is completely impossible because not everyone can get what they want so it would be a non-stop struggle between the people.  People are driven by their desires, and their desires are pretty much unlimited they never end, so people driven by these desires will fight with each other if left in this state of nature.  So obviously people would not like to live in fear so they want peace and in order to have peace we would have to be out of a state of nature and we would do this by implementing a government of some sort to regulate the people with laws and such.  We would need to limit the people’s rights.

Blog #13

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 by Rich R

Both of these problems pose big issues to me.  In both situations you are trying to do something good but you are left with a lose-lose situation.  In Mill’s example about someone who tries to give to charity but the money ends up going for bad things.  This would be seen as a bad or immoral act because from your actions it had a negitive effect on overall happiness.  Even though you were trying to do the right thing it turned out wrong.  In Kant’s example about what you should do if there’s a murderer looking for your grandmother, you are doing the right thing by saving your grandmother but it is wrong because you are lying.   If I had to pick one over the other based on these two examples I would have to agree more with Mill because in the Mill situation you are not fully responsible because there was a middle man in the act where as in the Kant example you were the one lying no one else was involved but you.

Blog #12

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2008 by Rich R

Through out the passage Kant raises the idea that any rational person should have self-love meaning that they would look out for themselves and do what is best for them no matter what it takes to achieve that. This means that you would put yourself and your interest before any other persons.  In order to be able to have self-love one must have confidence within themselves and this is something that seems to be declining in society today.  Most people set such high standards for themselves and put such stress on looking a certain way so people don’t feel good unless they are skinny, on the latest fashion and fit the celebrity image.  So in order to meet these standards many people will go to the gym or go an easier route and get surgery.  So in this case people are no longer worrying about themselves they are worring about what society will think or them and that is the opposite of self-love.