Deontology and Utilitarianism – When Viewing the World & Looking for Justice and Morality
In order to discuss moral philosophy, sometimes you have to be a Pollyanna. You have to presume that everyone has the same idea of what morality is, and the same desire to act on that knowledge.
Most of the world’s religions do have a basic ideal set that is similar to what you learned in kinder-garden.
- Be kind,
- be respectful,
- share with others,
- take turns….
But that doesn’t always make it into practice when feelings about your history with your neighbouring cultures come up. And then there are the ‘others’. people you have always been told worship your devils and listening to them will take you straight to hell. So you basically get a free pass for however you treat them, no matter how evil.
Or do you? Well your priest and temple sycophants would say you do…. but does basic morality and do your gods?
And it also presumes that everyone adheres to these beliefs and morals to the same level.
As well it presumes that everyone has the same motives, and that they’re well intended. That this person before you will actually consider your needs at all, let alone put them above their needs. That is in fact a pretty rare person.
So how do governors and priests rule the great unwashed and actually find a path where if they aren’t meeting everyone’s needs they at least aren’t harming anyone?
I wish I had an answer. It isn’t something anyone has found yet. In all of human time.
Kant argued that we can only have knowledge of things we can experience.
“What can I know?” Kant replies that we can know the natural, observable world, but we cannot, however, have answers to many of the deepest questions of metaphysics.
“What should I do?” Kant replies that we should act rationally, in accordance with a universal moral law.
Kant also argued that his ethical theory requires belief in free will, God, and the immortality of the soul. Although we cannot have knowledge of these things, reflection on the moral law leads to a justified belief in them, which amounts to a kind rational faith. Thus in answer to the question, “What may I hope?” Kant replies that we may hope that our souls are immortal and that there really is a God who designed the world in accordance with principles of justice. source
“if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.”