Are there truths about what’s right? Explanation, pros and cons of different beliefs:
How do you decide what’s right? Explanation, pros and cons of different approaches:
TIPS FOR TEACHING ETHICS:
Consequences Approach (Video below)
Setup: What might happen if we try our best to help and protect our children, but do not consider the full consequences of our actions? What consequences might occur as a result of the action of the mom in this video?
After watching video: It seems that the mom had good intent, but her actions might lead to potentially bad consequences for her son. This clip helps us to see that It can be essential to consider the consequences of our actions, not just our intent. More “Consequences” examples.
Code Approach (Video below)
Setup: Let’s assume that the British guy in this clip is following the code/principle: “Always try your best to be respectful of your hosts”. Although the consequences of his actions may turn out poorly, shouldn’t we give him some credit for his intent to be respectful?
After watching video: The British guy’s action may result in bad consequences (e.g. his hosts paying a lot more money, miscommunication potentially leading to bad feelings, etc.). However, doesn’t he deserve some credit for attempting to be respectful? Isn’t there more to consider than just the consequences of his actions? Consider another example: an intentional foul in sports or pre-meditated murder vs manslaughter. Intent seems to be important as well. More “Code” examples.
Character Approach (Video below)
Setup: This next clip is about focusing on what type of people we want to be. What type of character traits do the students in this clip seem to strive for?
After watching video: The students in this clip were probably not calculating the consequences of their actions for all (e.g. “how can we create the greatest good for the greatest number”). It is also unlikely that they all were following a code of conduct. They seem to have been striving to be compassionate people, focusing on the type of people they should be (consistent with a character approach). More “Character” examples.
Multiple Approaches (Video below)
Setup: If each of the “Big 3” approaches above (Consequences, Code & Character) have pros and cons, could we benefit by combining them somehow?
After watching video: By using the Ethics Card and asking ourselves questions that cover multiple approaches, we can take advantage of the strengths and balance out the weaknesses of these well respected approaches that are based in thousands of years of Moral Philosophy.