Nietzsche: Fair or Unfair?

December 10, 2008

Is it unfair for Nietzsche to limit the power to create value to the “noble”?

I think it is unfair for Nietzsche to limit the power to create value to the noble.  Everyone, whether rich or poor, have the right and ability to determine what creates value for their own lives.  It is not fair to say whatever the nobles value will effect what the “slaves” consider to be valuable because they can decide for themselves.  Nietzsche makes the point that the slaves look at what the noble find valuable and automatically push it away because they are jealous and know they will never have what the nobility possesses.  I don’t agree with him and think he is again making an unfair assumption.  Do the less fortunate people really care what the nobility have where they would adjust their own beliefs to go against them? Nietzsche is degrading people not of the nobility in this way because he is implying they cannot think for themselves and are followers, this is another unfair and generalized thing to say.

Aristotle’s View on Murder

December 7, 2008

Aristotle says our purpose in life is to use rationality with moral virtue.  He focuses on individuality and says virtue is having an average state of character.  When considering murder, Aristotle would say murder is not virtuous because there is no mean, or intermediate state.  Murder is murder whether it is killing one person or ten people.  Either way you look at it, it is still wrong.  Their is no excess or defect and therefore Aristotle would not consider murder to be virtuous in any way.  For the most part, Aristotle’s theory of being virtuous works when considering a characteristic that is a positive quality.  Being a murderer is not positive and therefore would not fit into his theory of moral virtue.

Parties to the Social Contract

November 24, 2008

In order for a social contract to work, there must be an overwhelming ratio of people who follow the contract to the people who do not follow the contract. However, those who are not capable of making their own rational decisions should not be part of this contract.  A young child for example, may not know right from wrong and should therefore not be looked upon to be part of the scoial contract.  This is the same for those that are mentally disabled.  If someone has to take care of you, you can’t really make decisions to follow the contract. Those that don’t have the resources to move elsewhere should learn to live with the way things are and should be part of the social contract.  Just because someone doesn’t want to be in the country does not give them the right to opt out of the contract and act the way they want.  They are still a part of the society and should act morally in a way that follows the social contract.

Government and Morality

November 19, 2008

Blog about the connection that Hobbes posits between morality and government. What’s the connection? Are governments/sovereigns subject to moral judgment?

I think government should be subject to moral judgement.  Like stated in class, a government is an entity but it is made up of people who I believe should be held to the same moral judgements as an individual citizen.  If George Bush decides to go out and kill someone, he should be persecuted to the same degree as anyone else.  Being the Commander and Chief, the only time this may differ is if he shoots someone who has put his life or our country at risk because his interests or not only for himself, but for the country.  If government was not subject to moral judgment, their would be no one to keep order in society because those within the governing power would be able to do anything without worrying about the judgment others would put upon them.

Kant and Universal Law

November 19, 2008

In your blog, I’d like you to rehearse the Categorical Imperative method of determining our duties. Explain why, in Kant’s view, it’s immoral to cheat on an exam.

Kant uses the Categorical Imperitive method to detemine our duties.  In Kant’s view, it is immoral to cheat on an exam because you cannot take the maxim of cheathing and turn it into universal law.  This maxim would contradict itself and therefore cannot be a universal law.  If everyone cheated, there would be no reason to give tests anymore, therefore their would be no reason for school and our society would be uneducated.  This maxim could never be a universal law because education would become obsolete.

Hobbs and State of Nature

November 19, 2008

Hobbs says living in a state of nature would be the worst thing ever.  He says humans would fight to death in order to fulfill their desires.  I think Hobbs is right about how bad the state of nature would be.  If there was no order and no set of guidelines to follow, people would do whatever it takes to fulfill their needs.  Since things that are needed to survive, such as food and water are scarce resources, their are limited amounts that wouldn’t be enough for everybody.  This would mean humans have to fight in order to obtain the resources to survive.  With no one to control and maintain this, there would be chaos and the situation Hobbs describes would occur.  

In order to avoid this, people would have to give up some of their rights in order to obtain peace, also known as a social contract. Hobbs believe people would do this out of fear for themselves, or their own self interest.  If they give up some of their own rights then they would be protecting their own lives.

Kant vs. Mill

November 13, 2008

Kant and Mill both have aspects of their arguments that I personally disagree with.  However, I think Kant has an overall better ideology and he has less problems with his arguments.  The idea of universal law and maxims is an interesting way of looking at rationality.  If a maxim contradicts itself, then it cannot be adopted by everyone, therefore it cannot become a universal law and people should not act that way.  He also uses the idea of self love in his arguement which is definitely something that plays a huge role in decisions that are being made in one’s life.  Mill’s arguement of an action is moral if it increases overall happiness sounds good on the surface, but when you look deeper into it, it is too demanding and expects too much society.  Overall, Kant has better ideology about morality and rationalization.

Kant and Self Love

November 10, 2008

According to Kant, a duty is an action that must be performed because it has moral value.  Kant says “Rational beings necessarily will that their talents be developed.” In other words, people have a duty to develop their talents to the best of their ability in order to better themselves.  This can be tied into the idea of self-love because if you let your talents go to waste, you are not fulfilling your “duties” to yourself.  Therefore you are falling short when it comes to respecting, or loving yourself and are not living up to your moral obligations.  One of the assumptions Kant makes that we discussed in class is the purpose of self love is the “furtherance of life.”  If you have a talent and choose not to expand it, you are selling yourself short; however, if you recognize this talent and choose to enhance it, you are bettering yourself and furthering your life.   I believe this is a good assumption considering love for yourself and wanting to further your life is your own individual decision. I can see why Kant considers this to be self love.

Does Happiness Have Intrinsic Worth?

October 29, 2008

I believe happiness has intrinsic worth.  One’s happiness comes from the inside, according to their beliefs, and points of view.  The way an external factor effects someone depends on the way they feel inside and their views of the way they live their life.  Without happiness inside, everything would make a person miserable.  Someone could have a great job, make good money and have a perfect family, but without intrinsic happiness none of this would matter.  Happiness starts on the inside and external happiness will come after.

If I Could Ask Mill Anything..

October 27, 2008

If I could ask John Stuart Mill anything, I’d ask him how he would relate the idea of utilitarianism to people around the world in different cultures.   Some areas lack the resources and accessibility to elements that support various ways of life.  If his beliefs are overall happiness increases or decreases morality, how could he make such a general statement considering everybody has different opprtunities depending on their beliefs and culture?   I don’t really know what his response would be but he’d probably make a good arguement that would make me think he’s correct.  It might sound similar to the conversation that was held in class about having a spectrum.  Depending on where you live and what you believe, your spectrum would start and end at different points.