Respect for Autonomy Any notion of moral decision-making assumes that rational agents are involved in making informed and voluntary decisions. In health care decisions, our respect for the autonomy of the patient would, in common parlance, imply that the patient has the capacity to act intentionally, with understanding, and without controlling influences that would mitigate against a free and voluntary act.
It is easy to understand why this was true since morality as he conceived it lies in the background of all human activities. Man is not only a thinking being, as was emphasized by the Greek philosophers, but he is also a social and an active being and it is with this phase of his life that morality is concerned.
It is involved in the political affairs of individuals and nations, and the same is true with reference to the social and religious life of any community of persons. Nothing is more important in the life of an individual or in the life of a nation than the moral standards by which life is governed.
It was for reasons of this kind that Hume was especially anxious to make careful inquiry concerning the origin and nature of moral principles.
Indeed it can be said that the subject of morality was closely related to all of the topics with which his various published works were concerned. In the Treatise of Human Nature, which was Hume's first important publication, the first section of the book was devoted to an analysis of the human understanding.
The purpose of this analysis was from one point of view only a preliminary step toward a more adequate interpretation of man's moral beliefs. Even in the History of England, which was written at a later date, there is presented an abundance of evidence to show that it is the morals of a nation which more than any other single factor determines its destiny.
The significance of moral standards is emphasized again in the Essays on moral and political topics, which were so influential in establishing Hume's reputation as a scholar and an author. Finally, in the two books which he wrote on the subject of religion, the implications with reference to morals are especially prominent.
The Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals was an attempt to place before the public in a more attractive style the materials that had been included in the third section of the Treatise of Human Nature.
Hume's philosophy of morals has a number of important characteristics which it may be helpful to bear in mind before one reads the Enquiry itself. One of these is the sharp distinction which is made between the fields of logic and ethics.
Logic has to do with man's activities as a thinking being; ethics and morality are concerned with his actions as a social being. Logic is a matter of reasoning, and its function is to ascertain facts; morals has to do with the field of values and cannot be derived from a mere statement of facts.
Moral principles are those that could also be called the basic Elements of Moral Philosophy. Interestingly this is the title of one of the most studied text books, written by Dr. James Rachels in courses on morality and ethics and it is now printed in its 6th edition. The words "moral" and "ethics" (and cognates) are often used interchangeably. However, it is useful to make the following distinction: Morality is the system through which we determine right and wrong conduct -- i.e., the guide to good or right conduct.. Ethics is the philosophical study of Morality.. What, then, is a moral theory? Analysis of the Ethical Principles of Confucius Confucius emphasized the importance of moral character in determining the goodness of persons’ actions. The main ethical principles of Confucianism are li and ren (jen).
It is true that reasoning is involved in both logic and ethics, but while logic is derived from the nature of reason, ethics is not. No amount of factual data, however complete it may be, is sufficient to tell one what it is that he ought to do.
You cannot derive what ought to be from what is. It is only because humans are feeling creatures as well as thinking ones that value distinctions are possible and can indicate what it is that one ought to do.
Failure to recognize these distinctions between the fields of facts and of values has in Hume's judgment been responsible for much of the confusion and the misunderstanding which has been characteristic of moral philosophy.
By showing that moral judgments have their origin in the feelings rather than the intellect, he hopes to correct this situation.
The procedure for determining facts is not the same as it is for recognizing distinctions of value. Hume's position is in this respect similar to that of Immanuel Kant, who recognized the difference between what he called the pure, or theoretical, reason and the practical reason.
The theoretical reason belongs to the understanding, and its function is to enable one to arrive at a true or correct knowledge of the facts. Practical reason is that particular function of the mind that enables one to know what it is that he ought to do.However, there are also moral principles that vary for various reasons such as difference in culture, values and social mores.
The perception towards slavery back in is one great example of these differences in moral principles. only is the light of moral principles faded, but this principle is the foundation of communication and social interaction in everyday life, that, professional organization for people who work within the standards and ethical standards.
THE HIDDEN EQUITY An Analysis of the Moral Content of the Principles of Equity By RALPH A. NEWMAN* TBE importance of equity in the structure of law has been recog-. To understand the nature of moral principles and beliefs, it is necessary to examine some typical ones for the purpose of determining their origin and the basis for their existence.
Because acts of justice and benevolence are among those which are most widely approved, he begins with an analysis of them. The words "moral" and "ethics" (and cognates) are often used interchangeably. However, it is useful to make the following distinction: Morality is the system through which we determine right and wrong conduct -- i.e., the guide to good or right conduct..
Ethics is the philosophical study of Morality.. What, then, is a moral theory? Ethics Ethics can be defined broadly as a set of moral principles or values.
Each of us has such a set of values, although we may or may not have clearly expressed them. It is common for people to differ in their moral principles and values and the relative importance they attach to them.