Jtortoriello’s Weblog

November 23, 2008

Mill v. Kant

Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 9:08 pm

Utilitarianism and goodwill both have their own holes, however i believe Mill does a much better drop defending his holes in Utilitarianism simply because his holes were less damaging to defend.  For Kant to allow getting your grandmother killed because lying is bad is simply ludicrous, and cannot be considered a moral action and is basically indefensible.  For Mill, defending the challengers is much more simple.  For example, the argument that the factor of time makes it too difficult to follow utilitarianism is easily brushed aside because a person understands what actions are moral and what are immoral from a young age and no thought is needed.  Simple explanations to arguments are what make Mill’s theory a much more desirable theory to follow.


Categorical Imperative

Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 9:00 pm

According to Kant’s theory, an action is moral if and only if its possible for everyone to complete the action at the same time without it causing harm or being self-destructive.  This rule can be used to determine the morality of cheating very simply.  In order for this to work, everyone in a class would have to cheat at the same time, with the outcome being good and nothing negative happening.  There are two possible outcomes from the entire class cheating; either everyone cheats and isn’t caught, and eventually tests would be useless because everyone would be equal and they wouldn’t be doing their jobs, or everyone would get caught and fail.  Either way the action is self-destructive and is, in turn, immoral.

November 11, 2008

Kant and Rationality

Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 3:52 pm

Kant uses rationality as an explanation for his entire theory; it is what he uses to make his theory more appealing than others, such as utilitarianism, that cares more about the end-effects of an action rather than its intentions.  Kant sees that a person’s intentions, rationality, for doing something decides whether or not the action is moral based on goodwill. His entire theory is based off the fact that the universal is rational, we are all created as rational beings, and each of us have a duty we should act to complete or else we are acting irrationally and, in turn, immorally.

October 26, 2008

Mr. Mill

Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 11:52 pm

how long after you complete an action do its repercussions stop being your moral responsibility?

I think this is an interesting question to bring up to Mill since he states that an action is moral if it raises overall happiness, what if your action lowers it and raises it like a sine or cosine curve over thousands of years? You would never really know if an action was moral, because its effects are constantly changing.  I think Mill would respond to this by saying that after awhile your action and the things it causes overtime would effect other people, however how those other people react to that action would decide whether or not they are being moral, and you would no longer be the person affecting it.

October 16, 2008

Utilitarianism: Too Demanding?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 3:14 pm

Of all of the objections brought up against Utilitarianism, i believe this is one of the most intriguing arguments.  How is one to know all of the effects of all of their actions at all times, immediate and those that occur later in time? I believe the simple answer to this is that you can’t.  However, as utilitarianism states in the section my group was assigned, time, although seemingly a large factor in this theory, isn’t that important.  You know each day before you leave your house how to react as a moral individual in a large variety of situations, maybe not each specifically, but the general idea.  For example, you know hitting someone is wrong, so if someone cuts you in line at the deli you won’t punch them in the face.  So, although it may seem impossible to keep up with utilitarianism, in the end we are all full prepared to act morally and effect those around us morally before we even leave our homes.

October 12, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 11:29 pm

I believe self-sacrifice does have a moral value.  Some things in life can’t be judged in a cookie cutter formula such as utilitarianism.  Utilitarianism does make sense in that an action is moral if it makes the population happier than it does unhappy, however some actions have truly moral intentions, intentions regarded as moral by society as a whole, and may have negative results.  A fireman failing to rescue someone and losing his own life is the most obvious example of this, in the immediate result of this would be that people would get upset, and therefore the action would be immoral based on this philosophy.  However, without knowing the result of an action, the good intent has to be accounted for somewhere, making this argument a big flaw in utilitarianism.

September 21, 2008

Different levels of pleasures?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 4:00 pm

I agree with Mill, in that most of the time the mental pleasures that are unique to humans are better than the more trivial pleasures; however, this is most of the time, not all of the time.  Many times a small pleasure, such as sitting down after a long day and drinking water after a long run, can be just as physically and mentally satisfying as any “higher” pleasure.  So i do believe he is right in that generally things such as love and close relationships that humans share can be better at certain times, but there are also many times in when the little things can be equally satisfying.

September 17, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 8:48 pm

The moral responsibility for the outcome of our actions is, in a way, limited.  For example, if you intend to do something moral, such as donate money to charity, your intentions are completely moral; however, if that money is used not for charity but for some heinous act of terrorism, are you morally responsible.  I believe your not responsible for this because your intentions were completely good.  This is the opposite of utilitarianism in that utilitarianism believes that an action is moral based upon the happiness/unhappiness the outcome of the action has.  An action like the one above almost disproves utilitarianism because your action (donating charity) is completely noble, however UT would say it was immoral because your action led to more bad than good.  This is one of the stronger arguments against UT in that a persons intentions should be partially factored into the morality of an action.

September 14, 2008

God Isn’t Human

Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 5:06 pm

I think the title sums it up pretty clearly. If you were to judge God on human standards, it would take away his divineness (if thats even a word). God is assumed to be perfect and a greater being, therefore his actions cannot be deemed immoral.  If you were to reject DCT because of God’s morality, would it be possible to still believe in God? I think it wouldn’t because if you were to say God was immoral how can an entire religion base themselves upon him.  A religion based around morality following an immoral being would be redundant, especially when all of its morals were made by God himself (who was said to be immoral). In turn, for a religious person to reject DCT due to God’s morals would be rejecting their entire faith.

September 10, 2008

God’s Law

Filed under: Uncategorized — jtortoriello @ 1:19 pm

Based on Divine Command Theory, anything God does or says is deemed as good and moral.  However, if this is true, what is to stop God from at anytime changing his mind about something and change our outlook on it? For example,  God can very easily say that from now on the courteous thing to do when you meet a new person is not to introduce yourself, but to punch them in the face.  This would make going to college not only a fun new experience, but an expensive trip to the hospital to get your nose fixed.  But since God is all-powerful, and he decided that punching people in the face is the moral thing to do, it has to be right.  God can potentially do anything he wants, which brings up the main point of this theory.  For one to believe this theory to be correct, you would have to assume that God makes no mistakes, and would never do anything to disrupt our morals.  So could God change our morals if he really wanted to just for a good laugh? Probably. But that doesn’t mean he will or would.  Personally if God actually came down and let me see him (or her) and said punch people in the face from now on its the nice thing to do, i probably wouldn’t argue anyway.

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