Humanities term 2: justice

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Slide 1: Tekstslide
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In deze les zitten 43 slides, met tekstslides en 8 videos.

Onderdelen in deze les

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Today: the moral side of murder

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The lifeboat game
Imagine you are on a sinking cruise ship that was headed to the Bahamas. As your ship is sinking, you spot an island and believe that you are close enough to reach it in a lifeboat. However, there are 11 of you left alive, but only room for 6 in the lifeboat. Those that go in the lifeboat will probably make it to the island where they will try to survive until they are rescued.  

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Time is ticking...

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How did you decide who had the right to survive?

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What is the morally right thing to do...

  • depends on the consequences! (= utilitarian view)
  • depends on the action itself! (= categorical view)

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Team one
In groups of 2-3, prepare a two minute speech arguing why it was the morally right thing to do to kill the cabin boy.

Statement - Explanation - Illustration

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Team 2
In groups of 2-3, prepare a two minute speech arguing why it was morally wrong to kill the cabin boy.

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Last week: what is the morally right thing to do...
... depends on the consequences! (= utilitarian view)
... depends on the action itself! (= categorical view)

Today: evaluating utilitarianism assignment

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This week: Libertarianism - do we own ourselves?

15:45 - MUN prep introduction

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The morally right thing to do depends on...

The maximization of overall happiness? (= utilitarianism)
--> what about human rights and individual dignity?

The protection of the fundamental right to freedom/self-ownership? (= libertarianism)
--> what about those who fall behind? 

Slide 31 - Tekstslide

Kant: freedom as autonomy
  • Pain and pleasure = guided by our impulses/inclinations/means to an end => NOT FREE

  • Our capacity for reason; to act autonomously (according to laws we decide ourselves) = what sets us apart as human beings => FREEDOM

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What makes an action morally right?

 = its motive/intention (duty to respect constant, universally binding moral law based on reason rather than particular inclinations/self-interest)

"Doing the right thing for the right reason"

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What counts as a morally right motive (= categorical imperative)?
  • Universalize it (what would happen if everyone acted that way?) 
  • Treat humans not as a mere means but as ends-in-ourselves
=> e.g. stealing, murder, manipulation, lying, etc. are never right

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Evaluating Kant assignment
  • Write evaluating Kant assignment (30 min.)
  • Provide feedback on another group's assignment (20 min.)
  • Incorporate the feedback you've received (20 min.)

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In groups of 3-4, design your own society from behind the veil of ignorance. 

Think of: civil rights and duties, wealth distribution, etc.

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Rawls' principles of justice
1. "Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all"
2. "Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that 
(a) they are to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged
(b) they are attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity."

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Justice according to Aristotle: What's the purpose?

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