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With use of an example from applied ethics, analyse and evaluate the role of reason in coming to ethical judgement.

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Introduction

´╗┐With use of an example from applied ethics, analyse and evaluate the role of reason in coming to ethical judgement. Throughout the history of mankind, many philosophers have argued that reason is essential in determining what is moral. Ancient Greeks, Plato and Aristotle, have been arguing this point thousands of years ago, and Immanuel Kant, who was fascinated by how logic and mathematics, are universal, as whenever they would be applied they would always produce the same result, would have argued that reason is essential in understanding and determining what is moral. Kant?s understanding of ethics is that a person is regarded moral only if he is guided by genuinely moral principles and acts according to the duties, these maxims confer on him. ...read more.

Middle

Lennie is not intelligent, extremely strong and very childish. At one point in the book Lennie is let to stroke a girl?s hair. Suddenly the girl, who let him do it, starts screaming because Lennie started to stroke her hair too hard. Lennie panics and accidently kills the girl. While the action is clearly immoral, Lennie had only best intentions, a ?good will? if we can say so. Yet his maxims let him to commit a murder. And even though this action (stroking hair) does pass through Kant?s scheme of identifying a ?genuinly moral principle? ? it is nice to stroke someone?s hair, with having best intentions and willing everyone to do so. But when Lennie acts according to it, he commits a murder. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kant?s theory prohibits that kind of interference; as to judge what is moral, one has to possess intelligence. So if we stick to Kant?s theory, we would conclude that, one has to be naturally intelligent to be moral. Overall both theories produce a viable account on the fact that Lennie?s actions are immoral, however Kant?s theory made me believe that something like stroking hair can be a genuinely moral principle, and if then it leads to a murder, would it then be a moral thing to do? This shows a flaw in Kant?s theory. Virtue Ethics produces a plausible account, that Lennie?s actions weren?t moral to start with, and the absence of reason only led to consequences being even worse, however it does not leave any possibility to someone lacking reason to be moral, without any outside interference. ...read more.

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