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PHIL 2
Philosophy: Ethics in
Contemporary Society
Week 4
Topic Outlines
Week 4


Moral Implications of Lying, Cheating,
Breaking Promises, and Stealing –
Chap. 11
Morality, Marriage, and Human
Sexuality – Chap. 12
Week 4, PHIL2
4.2
Topics 1 & 2: Moral Implications of Lying,
Cheating, Breaking Promises, Stealing





Lying, cheating, breaking promises, and
stealing
Significance of these moral issues
Arguments for and against these moral issues
Analyzing if an action taken is considered
moral or immoral
Applying Humanitarian Ethics to moral
problems
Week 4, PHIL2
4.3
Lying, Cheating, Breaking
Promises, and Stealing

Lying: intentionally deceiving or giving a
wrong impression




White lie
Lie of commission
Lie of omission
Cheating: deceiving by trickery or fraud,
swindling, misleading
Week 4, PHIL2
4.4
Lying, Cheating, Breaking
Promises, and Stealing (continued)


Breaking a Promise: failing to carry out
or acting contrary to or otherwise
violating a vow
Stealing: taking something without right
or permission, generally surreptitiously
Week 4, PHIL2
4.5
Significance of
These Moral Issues



These issues affect human relationships
and self-worth.
They provide unfair advantages to
some.
They can hurt people emotionally and
physically.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.6
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues

Lying

For:




Defense of the innocent, including self
National security
Trade secrets in business
“Little white lies”
Week 4, PHIL2
4.7
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Lying

Against:





Dupes and deprives others
Causes distrust in human relationships
Begets other lies
Gives unfair advantage or power to liar
Destroys liar’s power when discovered
Week 4, PHIL2
4.8
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Cheating

For:



Surviving and winning in a dog-eat-dog world
Everybody does it
As long as you don’t get caught…
Week 4, PHIL2
4.9
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Cheating

Against:



It’s unfair and unjust to others
Can cause harm when done to falsify
qualifications
Successful cheaters can become lazy
Week 4, PHIL2
4.10
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Breaking Promises

For:





When circumstances change
When there are moral conflicts
When it’s a trivial issue
When unusual situations justify it
No promise is sacred
Week 4, PHIL2
4.11
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Breaking Promises

Against:





Destroys personal relationships
Domino theory
Affect people’s life choices
Destroys general social trust
Brings about loss of personal integrity
Week 4, PHIL2
4.12
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Stealing

For:






Balances our corrupt economic system
Justified in crucial emergency situations
Provides thrills and adventure
Recoups profits made by large institutions and
organization
As long as you don’t get caught…
Military and government secrets
Week 4, PHIL2
4.13
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Stealing

Against:







Violates another’s property rights
Causes breakdown of trust
Invades privacy
Domino argument
Causes material loss to victims
Affects thief’s self-image
Engenders fear and social breakdown
Week 4, PHIL2
4.14
Analyzing If an Action Taken Is
Considered Moral or Immoral

Case studies




Lying
Cheating
Breaking promises
Stealing
Week 4, PHIL2
4.15
Applying Humanitarian Ethics
to Moral Problems


Lying generally is immoral without
strong justification.
Cheating is primarily a violation of the
Principle of Justice or Fairness and
should be avoided unless such an act
would prevent harm to someone.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.16
Applying Humanitarian Ethics
to Moral Problems (continued)


Breaking promises is acceptable only to
save someone from harm or death; no
promise is too trivial to keep.
Stealing violates the principles of
Justice, Honesty and Individual
Freedom; it is immoral unless strong
justification exists.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.17
Topics 3 & 4: Morality,
Marriage, and Human Sexuality





Public, societal, and private aspects of human
sexuality
Moral issues involved in sexuality
Arguments for and against these moral issues
Determining if actions taken are considered
moral or immoral
Applying Humanitarian Ethics to the moral
problems of human sexuality
Week 4, PHIL2
4.18
Public, Societal, and Private
Aspects of Human Sexuality


Public aspects of human sexuality are
concerned with how matters of sex
overtly affect others.
The governing principles of morality
here are life, goodness, and justice.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.19
Public, Societal, and Private
Aspects of Human Sexuality


(cont.)
Private aspect is concerned with sexual
relations between or among consenting
adults.
The governing principles here are
goodness, justice, freedom, and
honesty.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.20
Moral Issues Involved in Sexuality

Private aspects



Procreation, or a necessary evil
Personal freedom to enjoy pleasure
Expression of love or like
Week 4, PHIL2
4.21
Moral Issues Involved in Sexuality
(continued)

Public aspects






Sexual activity that brings harm, such as
rape, molestation, unwilling sadism
Pornography
Unnatural activities
Adultery, premarital sex
Prostitution
Non-monogamous marriage
Week 4, PHIL2
4.22
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues

Premarital sex

For:




Old moral traditions are no longer applicable.
Abstinence is not acceptable.
Proper precautions can eliminate most
concerns about disease and pregnancy.
Promiscuity does not necessarily result, but
even if it does, the people are consenting
adults.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.23
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Premarital sex

For:



There is much less ostracism today over
illegitimate children.
Premarital sex lets people gain sexual
experience and test compatibility before
marriage.
Premarital sex is a private, not public, matter.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.24
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Premarital sex

Against:






It undermines traditional morality and family
values.
It fosters promiscuity.
It fosters social diseases and AIDS.
It can be detrimental to the children born of
such a relationship.
It fosters guilt and ostracism.
It is prohibited in the Bible.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.25
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Adultery

For:




Individuals are free to do what they want in
their own private sex lives.
What spouses don’t know won’t hurt them.
Marriages generally should not be broken up
because of the harm to financial security and
the children.
Sex outside of marriage is just another lifestyle.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.26
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Adultery

Against:




It violates traditional family values and the
most intimate contract between two people.
It involves lying, cheating, and infidelity.
It can destroy the marriage relationship.
It brings the danger of social disease to an
innocent person.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.27
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Masturbation

For:




It is perfectly normal, both biologically and
psychologically.
It causes no ill effects.
It is the best way of learning about sex and our
own bodies.
It is the safest form of sexual activity.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.28
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Masturbation

Against:


It is an abuse of one’s sexuality, which is a gift
from God.
It causes people to become preoccupied with
sex and can lead to other sexual violations of
morality, such as fornication, adultery, and
pornography.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.29
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Pornography

For:



Consenting adults can view, read or listen to
anything they wish.
There is no proof that pornography is
degrading or will destroy our moral fabric.
It is not degrading and exploitative, but rather
it is exciting and pleasurable.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.30
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Pornography

Against:




It is humanly degrading and as it becomes
widespread it will destroy the moral fabric of
our civilization.
It can involve actual sex crimes.
It degrades human sexuality in general and
women in particular.
It encourages trafficking in sex, rape, child
molestation, sadism, and other perversions
Week 4, PHIL2
4.31
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Prostitution

For:



It is a safe release in a sexual repressive
society.
It is a victimless crime that both parties enter
into freely.
If there were social acceptance and
governmental control, the criminal and social
disease aspects would be eliminated.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.32
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Prostitution

Against:



Extramarital and commercialized sex is immoral
from the conservative point of view.
Prostitution causes crime and degradation.
It spreads social diseases and AIDS.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.33
Arguments For and Against
These Moral Issues (continued)

Sexual perversion, or “unnatural”
activity

For:


As long as a sex act is performed between or
among freely consenting adults, it is a private
matter and should be considered moral.
Against:

The only sex act that isn’t perverted is
intercourse between a man and a woman in
the missionary position.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.34
Determining If Actions Taken Are
Considered Moral or Immoral

Case studies:





Premarital sex
Homosexuality
Cohabitation
Adultery
Pornography
Week 4, PHIL2
4.35
Applying Humanitarian Ethics to the
Moral Problems of Human Sexuality


In matters of private sexuality,
individual freedom should be the
guiding principle as long as the rights of
the people immediately involved in the
relationship are also observed.
Private sexual matters should not be
legislated against.
Week 4, PHIL2
4.36
Week 4
Thiroux, Jacques P.
Ethics – Theory and Practice, 8th ed.
Chapters 11-12
Week 4, PHIL2
4.37
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