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Philosophy and Ethics

OCR AS 2008 Course Companion
Unit 2: Religious Ethics

Andrew Hill


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Teleological and Deontological Ethics
Absolutist and Objective
Relativist and Subjective
Moral Relativism
Cultural Relativism
Naïve Relativism
Thinking About Right and Wrong
Minority Report
There Are Two Approaches to Ethics:
The Ring of Gyges
Key Terms:
Natural Law
Origins of Aquinas' Natural Law
Aquinas' Five Precepts
Value and Usefulness…

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Arguments for and Against Euthanasia
Case Study: Calling Dr. Death
Christian Perspectives on Euthanasia
Ethical Theories and Euthanasia
The Right to a Child
Surrogacy Issue: Case Study
Christian Perspectives
Right to A Child and Applied Ethics
Genetic Engineering
G.M. Crops
Therapeutic Cloning
Reproductive cloning
Gene Therapy
Christian Perspectives on…

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Teleological and Deontological Ethics

Utilitarianism is a teleological ethic as it focuses on ends or results rather than something being right or
wrong intrinsically, or by merit of action alone (which is deontological).

A deontologist might say `you should never kill, because the act of killing is wrong.' For a…

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1. What factors would decide whether the woman was right or wrong in doing this?
2. What would Immanuel Kant think? See below to help you.
3. How might a teleological ethicist react?


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Absolutist and Objective
An absolutist (or deontologist) thinks about what is the right action intrinsically (of itself), regardless of the
consequences of an action or the variable results that may occur. Absolute ethics are often rule based, or in
Kant's case `test based'. The attempt of this kind of ethics…

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Moral Relativism
(With Reference to Fletcher's Situation Ethics)

Moral relativism is often taken to mean that there can be no moral absolutes. (Remember that the word for
a person who is an ethical absolutist is a deontologist and for an absolutist something is either right or
wrong, there is no…

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Thinking About Right and Wrong

Minority Report

Watch 20 minutes of the film (from the beginning).
1. Is the criminal justice system in the film justified in its use of the `Precogs'? Put two
headings for and against this system of justice and list arguments for and against.

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· A good ethical argument has facts and examples at its disposal. However, those facts are only relevant
if they are linked to ethical theory.



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