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Mores, Morality, Ethics
Setting the Background
for our Investigations
Mores and Morality
• Mores are the moral customs and moral rules that a
group or society do as a matter of fact have.
• “No shoes, no shirt, no entry.”
“Do not spit in public.”
• Moral, =principles of right and wrong and standards
of conduct which are universally advocated, that is,
are put forth as prescriptions which all persons who
wish to be judged “moral”
should follow.
Features of a System of Morality
• The first key question that any system of
morality should answer is: “What things are
good in themselves?” “What is the essential
good that should be pursued or that should
guide all that we do and are?”
• Must distinguish intrinsic from extrinsic
goods- “good in itself” “good as means”
Features of a System of Morality
• Thesis of a System of Morality- X is the
ultimate good- self-interest, pleasure, duty.
• System must offer central rule or principle to
answer the question: “ when is an action
judged morally right or wrong? “-Golden Rule,
Autonomy, Caring
10 Commandments,
Features of a System of Morality
• Third question: “when is a person held to be
morally responsible?” This leads us to
questions of moral responsibility, autonomy,
free choice, coercion, competence. In the
law, it leads to the legal plea of insanity, age
limits, determinism- Leopold and Loeb case.
Features of a System of Morality
• A fourth question to be answered is: “Does
the end ever justify the means?” When, for
example, is the use of violence justified, even
for a good end? Is cheating okay if it is the
means to a “good end?”
Features of a System of Morality
• Final question: is how does one resolve a
conflict of principles or values? Autonomy
versus beneficence; individual interest versus
interests of others; freedom versus justice.
Features of a System of Morality
• System regarded as
acceptable only if there are
sound arguments in its
• An argument is sound only
it its premises are true and
the conclusion follows
logically from them.
• Ask: Are premises true?
Does conclusion follow?
)(Don’t think stronger
because agree with it.