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AS and A Level: Philosophy

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  1. a) Compare and contrast deontological and teleological approaches to ethics. b) Compare and contrast rule and act utilitarianism c) Compare and contrast rule utilitarianism and Kantian theory.

    In this essay, two different approaches to ethics will be discussed: deontological and teleological approaches. After that, it looks detail at one theory is utilitarianism to compare and contrast between rule and act utilitarianism. This essay also identifies the difference between rule utilitarianism and Kantian theory, discussing their pros and cons and their relevance to our daily lives. Deontological and teleological approaches Teleological and deontological approaches are also called consequentialitist and non-consequentialist normative theories. According to Shaw, Barry & Sansbury (2009, p.58) consequentialists are moral theorists who adopt the approach that moral rightness of an action is determined by its consequences: ?If the consequences are good, then the act is right; if they are bad, the act is wrong?.

    • Word count: 544
  2. Outline the Ontological Argument for the existence of God.

    Anselm has 2 main arguments, his first defining god as ?that than which no greater can be conceive. By this Anselm suggests that the greatest possible being must have an existence in reality as a being that exists in reality is greater than a being that exists in the mind, ??and surely that-than-which-no-greater-can-be-thought cannot exist in the mind alone. For if it exists solely in the mind, it can be thought to exist in reality also, which is greater??. If a being only exists in our mind then a greater being that exists in both our mind and reality can

    • Word count: 1915
  3. Since utilitarians hold that justice can be subordinated to overall utility, utilitarianism is morally unacceptable. Discuss.

    In particular, attention will be paid to John Stuart Mill, who would have been thinking about these same questions in London around the time that Burke and Hare were ?meeting demand? in Edinburgh. In essence, the question is whether, when faced with realities or thought experiments whose conclusions make us uncomfortable, we would rather push forward and convince ourselves that we are should not be uncomfortable, or pull back, and convince ourselves that we would not actually reach that uncomfortable conclusion?

    • Word count: 1533
  4. It is Obvious that Morality is Relative Critically Assess This Claim.

    For example; In Ancient Greece it was considered customary for grown men (not necessarily fathers) to take young boys (not necessarily sons) under their wing, and mentor them; yet they would also engage in s****l activities with them, at that time is was not surprising at all and was not perceived as bad. However at this present day and age it perceived as bad and is a punishable offense in most places[1].The discrepancy between Absolutist ethics (which means morality is not relative, that is to say, absolutist morality. This belief would apply an ethical rule or law to any situation, regardless of its potential outcomes, or relativistic factors), and a relative ethics (which means morality is relative, dependant on the situation).

    • Word count: 806
  5. Human beings have no free will, critically assess this claim.

    A determinist would say that although we may think we are acting based on free will we are, in reality, under the influence of a much higher being which has already set out when and where anything in the universe will happen. There are also sub-sections to determinism, one of these is universal causation. Universal causation is ?the theoretical or asserted law that every event or phenomenon results from, or is the sequel of, some previous event or phenomenon, which being present, the other is certain to take place.?[2] This means that every event that has ever happened or ever will happen has been caused by an event that has previously occurred.

    • Word count: 878
  6. a***s the claim that humans are not free to make moral decisions

    Many people like to think that humans do infact have free will, simply because of the implications that not having it will produce. For example, if it is clear that we are not free or able to make moral choices, immoral acts, such as r**e murder etc.

    • Word count: 462
  7. Explain the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God, according to Aquinas

    The word ?cosmological? or ?cosmology? is the science of the universe as a whole; a treatise on the structure and parts of the system of creation. ?Cosmo? meaning universe and ?logical? meaning according to logic, reasoning correctly; following necessarily from facts or events shows that the cosmological argument is based on factual existence of the universe that requires an explanation. From the idea of form and matter, Aristotle defined causality: his ideas were that everything has a cause and purpose therefore a cause has an efficient cause, followed by another efficient cause which is repeated until the purpose or goal arose, this is known as the final cause.

    • Word count: 1273
  8. Explain and evaluate the role of conscience in moral decision-making

    On the other hand Butler argued the conscience comes form intuition. Thomas Aquinas thought that synderesis is the means of distinguishing between right and wrong. Synderesis was first used by Aristotle and is the ability of the mind to understand the first principles of moral reasoning. He noticed that people do chose the wrong choice and said that this was ?conscientia? which is the actual ethical judgement or decision a person makes. Aquinas said that it is important to apply your moral principles to each situation but you can still be wrong if you follow your conscience because your principles can be wrong so your conscience will be too.

    • Word count: 1543
  9. Explain Mills understanding of liberty and outline three arguments that support his concept of negative freedom.

    Moreover it is imperative to Mill that limiting a person?s freedom of speech is wrong because mankind is ?no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind?, Mill believes that no one can truly be certain as human?s are fallible, so for the majority to intrude and force their opinions onto the minority suggests an element of absolute certainty, which to Mill, is not possible. In order for human?s as a society to flourish in a eudaimon sense, than an individual?s liberty must be protected from others.

    • Word count: 922

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