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Week 5: Reflections - Moral Issues

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August 8th, 2005


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reinhabitants
11:49 am - Week 5: Reflections
To earn 10 points of credit for Intro to Moral Issues, please respond to the questions below. Your response needs to be 150 - 200 words. Make sure to include your name in your subject line.


1) What does "ethics" and "morality" mean to you? Has your understanding of these terms changed in any way since the beginning of our class?

2) What are the differences between acting in light of ethics and morality as opposed to acting in light of obligations?

3) Considering your expectations from the beginning of this semester, did you learn what you wished to learn from our class (about moral issues, about learning, about college, about your life, etc.)?


To earn another 10 points of credit, please respond to any comment your classmates posted to this topic. Your response needs to be 75 - 100 words. Make sure to include your name in your subject line.


Due Thursday, 8/11

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From:earthman
Date:August 9th, 2005 04:39 am (UTC)

Tom Earthman saying thanks....

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Originaly I thought of Ethics and Morality as more or less the same thing, but I think I've seperated the terms somewhat in my own mind. Ethics is still the rules we use to get along with others with out bloodshed. Ethics can be written down, and indeed must be, as the word implies a system. Morality, on the other hand, seems to me to be more internalized. It is less of a set of rules and more simply a part of who you really are. For some people, these are the same thing, but this is not universaly true.

I think that Morality seem to me more about "obligation" as explained by Caputo. It is about the little voice that tells you what you "oughta" when you encounter a new situation, where as Ethics seems more about doing things because you have desided or been convinced that they are "right".

I honestly think that I got about as much as I expected from the class, but in a very different way. I got a lot more than I expected out of discussion and from reading the community, where as I thought I would be sitting through endless guided excersizes and lectures. It seems to me that I might have gone farther if I had been there more often (issues and obligations) or if we did have longer to sit and discuss issues rather than having only a few weeks to rush through the material. I enjoyed hearing the opinions of other students from varried backgrounds and of different ages and educational experience.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)

Re: Tom Earthman saying thanks.... Jason Tucker

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Just out of curiosity, when you stated that there is a little voice that tells you what you should do, where do you think that obligation comes from? I know it's a complicated question, and one that Caputo said he wasn't able to answer, since he was "never good at beginnings", but I was wondering if you had any thought as to where that volition comes from for you? Is it possible that the little voice is actually part of your upbringing, and therefore just a stronger version of your definition of ethics, or do you think it might come from another source?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 9th, 2005 05:13 am (UTC)

Jessica Cain--Week 5

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1. My first response to this question was:
"ETHICS ARE DEFINED BY SOMEONE'S CHARACTER AND THEIR BELIEF-SYSTEM. I THINK THERE ARE MORALS THAT ARE COMMONLY ACCEPTED BY A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE, BUT EACH PERSON DIFFERS IN THE IMPORTANCE THEY STRESS ON EACH ONE. I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THAT A PERSON'S MORALS SHOULD INFLUENCE THEIR ACTIONS AND THEREFORE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTICS OF AN INDIVIDUAL."
I still completely agree with myself and I have also learned that according to Caputo, ethics lay the foundation for principles that force us to be good. I like how he calls then "firm guardrails."
2. I think that the biggest difference between acting in light of ethics as opposed to acting out of obligation is dependent upon WHO knows about the action. For example, when you are about to do something "wrong", the feeling of guilt or the voice of reason in your head that makes you instead do the "right" thing is influenced by ethics. But if your reasoning for doing the "right" thing is to please someone else or to stay out of trouble, then that is acting more out of an obligation.
3. I have enjoyed this class and I have learned many great concepts and questions that will be of use in my future and also help to understand my past. My only drawback was that time of the class being right in the middle of the day ended up conflicting with some of my other responsibilities. But overall, I learned things of value, and I will retain more than I have from other classes, especially in such short session.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 12:41 am (UTC)

Re: Jessica Cain--Week 5 by James Mitchell

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I agree with your answer to your first question very much. I think that was the same answer I was trying to give but I couldnt word it that well. There is a big problem (especially in our world today with so many issues like cloning, abortion, death penalty, same sex marriage, etc.) with ethical standards that most people feel they have to live up to because it was said so. Ethics should not be some kind of traditional thought process. Its what Caputo said, it should be ever changing. I believe we desperately need to deconstruct these moral issues in todays society instead of trying to interpret "God's law" or whatever. I also agree with the comment about the difference in ethics and obligation. Ethics are predetermined by your parents, church, etc. Obligation is something depeer. You shouldnt even have to think about it sometimes. If someone is going to get hit by a car and you can save them, your obligation is to save them. It doesnt matter what your ethics are.
kimberly barker - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 9th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)

Ben Jordan

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Today, my outlook on morality and ethics has somewhat changed since my first day of class. I believe that ethics are guidelines that are set up by society. They are not always right. I believe morality does not come from ethics, but rather from your obligations, in other words- society can not tell me my morals, only I can do that. Acting in light of ethics is doing something that you think is wrong but society thinks is right- whereas acting in light of obligations is always right to you. It would be like me owning slaves- I do not believe it is right but, at one point, society did. However, acting in light of obligations would be me telling the slave owning society that THEY are wrong. I have learned a great deal about what makes a person good in this class- although the definition I now know is a bit more complicated. I understand that every person must look at their morals and decide for themselves if they are right for them.
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From:rossalex
Date:August 9th, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC)

Ross Patterson's 10th friggin' post

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Acting in light of ethics is doing something that you think is wrong but society thinks is right- whereas acting in light of obligations is always right to you. It would be like me owning slaves- I do not believe it is right but, at one point, society did. However, acting in light of obligations would be me telling the slave owning society that THEY are wrong.

That's an interesting take on it. To me, it's kind of the opposite. I feel like my ethics are my own, and that I don't share them with society; but I think it's totally possible for someone to feel an obligation to society, and act on that obligation (perhaps the obligation to act on others' ethics).

Maybe we disagree because we have different definitions of "ethics" and "morality". (After more thought,) I'm starting to feel like they're both the same thing, but that their grammatical noun-formulation-whatever sets them apart. Make them both adjectives...is a "moral person" different to you than an "ethical person"? I can't tell the difference.
Haley Williams - (Anonymous) - Expand
[User Picture]
From:rossalex
Date:August 9th, 2005 10:39 pm (UTC)

Ross Patterson

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1) What does "ethics" and "morality" mean to you? Has your understanding of these terms changed in any way since the beginning of our class?

I haven't really changed my personal definitions of these two words, but I have learned about some different points of view as to what they mean to those people (the various philosophers, classmates, etc.).

2) What are the differences between acting in light of ethics and morality as opposed to acting in light of obligations?

I feel like both actions are related...I mean, hey, don't we usually feel obligated to do the "right" thing? Acting in light of obligations is probably a bit more selfless. I can't think of any particular instances where these two oppose each other...probably because "obligation" has never been a very definite concept in my mind. I don't feel like there's a way to establish what obligation really is (we tried in class, but with little success). Shouldn't the "right" thing to do be what you're "obligated" to do? You could have several obligations that oppose each other, but that wouldn't be an opposition between "ethics/morality" and "obligation"...

3) Considering your expectations from the beginning of this semester, did you learn what you wished to learn from our class (about moral issues, about learning, about college, about your life, etc.)?

I feel like I've gained a bit of knowledge about the major philosophers and about how their ideas have influenced society's ideas of morality/ethics. The class certainly wasn't what I expected (which isn't a bad thing, just different). I thought that we'd be talking primarily about different views on major moral issues that people often fight over - abortion, gay rights, women's/men's "roles", and other things like this - because the title of the class twists my brain to think that we'd be talking about things like that. Maybe I just got the wrong impression. Reading about Caputo and discussing Deconstruction, however, made the class much less belligerent than I expected it to be. =)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2005 03:12 am (UTC)

response- Christian Alvarado

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I believe that doing what we are obligated to do is in fact, us doing the “right” thing. Regardless if we have several obligations that oppose each other, there is really only one “right” obligation at that precise moment. However, I do not believe that we always feel obligated to do the right thing. To use a contemporary example, in the movie ‘Cinderella Man’, the young boy steals meat (or maybe bread, can’t remember exactly) so that he can help feed his starving family during The Depression. I believe that he felt obligated to steal for his family, but it was not the right thing to do, however (his dad made him return the stolen good). Might not be the best example, but such is the beauty of this class – throw an idea out and cogitate the possibilities!
Andrea Mosley - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Ross Patterson - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2005 02:58 am (UTC)

Christian Alvarado

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1.) I believe that the terms can be used interchangeably. Ethics, to me means, living a moral life. Morality on the other hand, means to behave ethically towards others (if that makes any sense??). I do not believe that my understanding of these terms has altered significantly. However, I did not realize, and still cannot fully comprehend how much time and effort the great thinkers have put and continue to put in analyzing details of life that most of us (me included) glance over with a quick thought or two, if even that.

2.) I believe when we fulfill our obligations, we are acting morally and with positive ethical intentions. For example, I believe that we are obligated to treat each other with respect and by following through with that obligation, we act morally and ethically.

3.) I have never been part of a class that was conducted like this one. The reasons I enjoyed being a part of this class are two-fold: first, because the way in which the class was structured (attendance wise) I knew that when I went to class I was really going to get something out of it, since everyone who was there, wanted to be there. This created a rich learning environment, and definitely some interesting conversation!

Second, I enjoyed how Elizabeth was open to talk about anything. This eliminated the rigid environment that most of us are used to, especially during the summer schedule. Overall, my expectations were met and I enjoyed it a great deal.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2005 03:35 pm (UTC)

Re: Christian Alvarado

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I really like the way you integrated ethics and obligation. I think you are right for believing that by meeting our obligations we are acting morally. I also share your view about how class was conducted. I had never been in a class like this and I think students get a lot more out of something when they are involved. I am not much of a talker but just being able to listen to others point of view was great.
Lizeth Gonzalez
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC)

Lizeth Gonzalez

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In my opinion ethics and morality is the difference between right and wrong. Since the beginning of class I think I can add a little bit more to that definition. I now think that ethics is the difference between right and wrong in a SPECIC group, culture, etc. There is no universal ethics or moral. What we consider right in the US may not be well accepted in other countries.

I think acting in light of ethics is easier for someone to do. Many people act the way they do because that is how they were taught, so acting ethically (or trying to) is just part of their lives. Obligation on the other hand I think is harder, sometimes we have to do things. Perhaps they even seem wrong at the time but we know we have to do them.

The class really helped me to see other people’s point of view. I also learned that there can be more than two ways to look at things. Listening to others point of view was really interesting.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)

Andrea Mosley

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To me, I don’t really think my definition of ethics and morality has changed. The understanding that I got from the class that society shapes our ethics even though if we were by ourselves our morals would be different. So I guess to make it short ethics is based on a group whereas morality is based on the individual.

Acting in light of ethics and morality would be to do something or not do something because of society and your values. Acting in light of obligations is doing something that you know has to be done so you take it upon yourself to do take care of whatever that something is, sometimes regardless of what your belief.

My expectations from the beginning have somewhat been met. I learned many different things from people and the way they view things, but I wish we talked more about issues that are occurring today than an idea that an earlier philosopher had. I have learned now that there is really no certainty in anything, because no one can really say what anything is. (I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone.) Overall I think I really enjoyed this class.
From:earthman
Date:August 10th, 2005 09:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Andrea Mosley

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I agree that I had a very different view of the topics of a "Contemporary Moral Issues" class. There were a few good discussions, like "unconditional love" and the politics of the university that I did enjoy, though.

Still, with this forum here, there is no reason why such dissusions could not have happened. Why do you think only one person was willing to post to the community?
Re: Andrea Mosley - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Andrea Mosley - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2005 07:30 pm (UTC)

Jason Tucker

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My understanding of ethics and morality hasn't changed much, just maybe got refined a bit. Ethics still applies to a system of behavior...some rational means at which we arrive at a clear choice of acting morally. Morality is the distinction of right and wrong, best governed in my opinion by a system of ethics. Acting in this manner allows for a universal sense of morality and gives a strong foundation for questioning the initiatives of any society, allowing them to be held to this standard to discovery their moral worth. Acting out of obligation, on the other hand, suggests that actions come out of forces put on us, derived from our commitment to society, other humans, animals, or even the environment that sustains us. While obligation is undeniable, especially in the context of society, some sort of system should be used to apply rationality to those obligations as a guide to what actions are appropriate. Through the length of this course, my opinion of morality hasn't been far altered, but the induction of another point of view has been valuable as are all differences in viewpoints. By that measure, this class has taught me what I hoped, something new.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2005 09:35 pm (UTC)

Yi-Hsien Chang

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I believe ethics and morality are very similar and somehow always related to each other. I think they are like laws to keep human society in good balance and going to a good direction as we hope. I did understand better than the first day of the class. I think acting in light of ethic and morality as opposed to acting in light of obligation is depending on which society we grow up with. Different society makes people think in very different ways. Therefore, I think it is very difficult to judge these two things. I think this is very fun class and I definitely learned a lot of information from it. Before this class I had never taken any class about moral issue or something relating to this class, so I didn’t know anything about it. However, now I learned a lot of interesting things of moral issues. For example, golden rules, obligation, and other things. Moreover, this information I had learned in this class really help my college career and understating my life.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 05:29 am (UTC)

Re: Yi-Hsien Chang from Jen-Ling Chang

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I agree with your opinion.I also learn lots of interesting things from this class. Hey...Yi-Hsien, I really wanna say "thank you" to you. This is first class that we take it together. I had a great time with you. We always talked about some moral issue after class. I really enjoy it when we exchange our opinions. I like to talk to you because we speak same language, so I feel comfortabe to talk to you. Ethics and morality are very hard to have a same rule even if we come from same country. Anyway, I hope we can take classes together next time.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 12:31 am (UTC)

James Mitchell

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1) What ethics and morality (I give the same answer for both of these because I believe they are the same) mean to me is any response to a situation which could cause a "disaster" to another or which will cause a conflicting view to another person. Even though I am not religious in anyway and actually consider religion to be more of a problem than a solution in my life, I do have a similar moral with christianity and that is to treat others and myself the way I want to be treated and that includes helping. I wouldnt say that my ethics and morality have changed much from attending this class, but, it has made me more aware of how to use my ethics and that others ethics need to be taken into account and respected instead of looked down upon because it ultimately depends on the person and there background and the situation at hand. I thought at the beginning of this course that ethics were stricly religious and Caputo and the class have taught me that that is not the case at all. That anyone can have their own ethics.

2) The difference in acting in light of ethics and morality instead of obligations is that ethics and morality puts a conitation that will never change in our life time. It is something that is set in stone and should be the action in every ethical situation. An example in abortion and an ethic would be pro life in every abortion situation. An obligation to abortion will always change, "Like an island on a big ocean" (loosely quoting Caputo). to obligate a situation which requires ethical thought is to deconstruct it and see that there is no black and white answer because that usually gets people no where as far as conflict is concerned.

3) I really cant say that I had much expectations about the class. I thought maybe that there would have been alot more religious conitation. I thorouly impressed with the book, the teaching, and the student input. I learned everything I did not know about ethics.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 12:33 am (UTC)

DominikKabacinski

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1)ethics/morality is living ones life based on rules provided by society
my understanding of ethics did not change, however i see there is a lot of people questioning and thats always "good"

2)obligations and ethics could be one of the same and therefore how you respond to them is classified as either good or bad
caputos obligations could still be vied as ethics/ways of behaving

3)listening to peoples ideas was definietly educating
different views about life, ethics, morality were being exchanged
it was entertaining
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC)

Re: DominikKabacinski

(Link)

James Berry

I totally agree that ones ethics is quite often determined by a society and that societies effect on the indivdual. Only the indivdual can determine whether he or she believes if they agree with societies structure and ethics. Sometimes societies themselves can become corrupt such as Nazi Germany, Stalins Russia and murder death become socailly acceptable and than the indivdual must question society and realize that society has been corrupted. Most indivduals spend there entire lives following the crowd and rarely question anything. Few indivduals are able to break out of their culutral mold and question the enviornment around them.
[User Picture]
From:eagleroo2001
Date:August 11th, 2005 01:23 am (UTC)

Melanie Alt

(Link)
1) What does "ethics" and "morality" mean to you? Has your understanding of these terms changed in any way since the beginning of our class?

I do not feel that my ideas of morality and ethics have changed since the beginning of this class. I believe that ethics is the concrete aspect of human action and reaction and that morality is the abstract version of the same. To me, morality is something that doesn’t change over time; it is something that is inherent to the human race. Whereas, I think ethics can change over time. I will never think it is moral to kill a person, but ethically I think it can be argued as a way to protect society. This is a harsh example to put, but one that has changed over time. Adam and Eve would never dream of killing for any reason, but today we find the death penalty to be just in some cases. I do not speak of personal beliefs or of any discussed in class, this is just an example.

2) What are the differences between acting in light of ethics and morality as opposed to acting in light of obligations?

I think acting in light of ethics again is based on changes in society over time and thus can change. I think acting in light of morality is based on human instinct and emotion and does not change as easily as ethics in time. I think that acting in light of obligation is acting based on one’s foundation, their interactions and what they have seen through their experiences that makes them partial to one thing over another.


3) Considering your expectations from the beginning of this semester, did you learn what you wished to learn from our class (about moral issues, about learning, about college, about your life, etc.)?

When I took the class the first time, we spent a week on a topic. These topics ranged from cloning and homosexuality to environmental issues and the death penalty. We took the first day to discuss philosophers’ ideas on the topics and then took the second day to have our own class discussion. I was hoping that that is how this class would be structured. I enjoyed the few times that we ended up breaking out into our own thoughts on passionate subjects that are of importance to us and society today, however, I did not feel there was enough of that. We read Caputo and his ideas and expansions from others, but it just didn’t seem like the discussion class I expected the first time I took it and received and the second time I took it and didn’t quite get. These topics can be touchy and hard to handle, but I think that type of discussion is something that is neglected and in some cases frowned upon in society other than academia.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 03:56 am (UTC)

Hunter Spoede's response to Melanie Alt

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I never thought of it like that, but now that I do it is really true. (about ethics) They do change and adapt with the times. Talking about topics that are very rarely discussed is good. As long as when you do start to talk about a touchy subject everyone involved knows not to get hurt by what is said. I would like to think that when you discuss a topic it is to help you learn more about it, not just defend what you think you know.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 03:44 am (UTC)

Jen-Ling Chang

(Link)
1) What does "ethics" and "morality" mean to you? Has your understanding of these terms changed in any way since the beginning of our class?
For me, I think both of ethics and morality is similar. Ethics and morality are like rules, so we should follow it. I did not change my mind; however, I can learn other different points about ethics and morality from my classmates.
2) What are the differences between acting in light of ethics and morality as opposed to acting in light of obligations?
It is really hard to explain what differences between both of them are. No matter acting in light of ethic and obligations are good or bad, I think it’s necessary to have it for our life.
3) Considering your expectations from the beginning of this semester, did you learn what you wished to learn from our class (about moral issues, about learning, about college, about your life, etc.)?
Before I took this class, I thought it would be a boring class. After I took this class, I change my mind because it’s really funny. Even if I don’t usually express my opinion in the class, I really enjoy it because I can learn lots of interesting things from my classmates. We discussed many topics, such as gay marriage and kids’ sexuality. We still have many questions to need to discuss. It’s really not enough. To sum up, I think it’s an interesting class.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 04:09 am (UTC)

Re: Jen-Ling Chang from Yi-Hsien Chang

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First of all I am glad that we took this class together and I agree with your idea, I think morality and ethics are very similar things and people follow them in order to make this world be a better place to live. Moreover, I agree with you, I think these two things are very hard to explain. It is depends on which society you grow up from. Last, I also think this is a pretty interesting class because of our interesting topics.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 03:48 am (UTC)

Hunter Spoede

(Link)
1)Ethics are the rules in which we live our life; the determining factor between right and wrong. (At least to ourselves what is right and what is wrong) Morality is just that, what we consider to be right. It is with this moral sense that we get ethics in the first place. No, I still think now what I thought then concerning ethics and morals.

2)Ethics and Morality come into play when we have a dilemma between right and wrong. Obligations are things that we must do despite what is viewed as right and wrong.

3)I didn’t really have expectations when I signed on for this class. I did learn some stuff about myself, but nothing life altering. I really enjoyed the class though, the setup and how it was handled. If all of my classes were like this one I would probably be more motivated to go.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 05:21 am (UTC)

Re: Hunter Spoede FROM Gerard Volpe

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I agree that ethics and morals are two rules to the way that we live our lives and they do lead to your opinion of what is right and what is wrong.I kind of understand what you are saying about obligations, but in my opinion obligations stem from your ethics and morals which come from the way a person is raised. I do agree with you about the set up of the class it was a very comfortable atmosphere which made it very easy to state your opinion.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 05:01 am (UTC)

j carter, week 5

(Link)
1) The word “Ethics” have never bothered me as much as the word “morals”. For me, morals have always smacked of self-righteousness and judgmentally. This is not the fault of “morals”, because, as with countless other words or concepts we have in our language, the word has been abused and the meaning watered down or narrowed to serve as rhetoric for some interest group or another. It has become a sometimes unfair measuring stick by which to judge a person and their actions against, and morals are just too arbitrary, to up to chance (whatever moral code you’re raised under) or to personal choice (whatever interest group you associate with) for me to see them as something benign or safe no matter what. I guess the reason why “ethics” has/have never bothered me is because it is an objective look at morals, or at least seem to keep would-be morals in check somehow. To act ethical seems to me to act in the spirit of what is right, and “morality” seems too prescriptive and dogmatic for my comfort.
2) Morality and ethics as codes or guidelines set forth by a society or other group already exist before you come to a situation that calls for a decision. You consult these prescriptives to know how to act. And, as long as there is not something deeply personal inside that tells you otherwise, or as long as you don’t deliberately choose not to follow those guidelines, the choice is easy: do what morality as you have learned it says you should do. Obligations, or what we do in the face of obligation, might also be determined by our sense of morality. Or maybe not. Sometimes, what we feel compelled to do by obligation when we encounter it may be in conflict with society’s moral or ethical code. In this case, there is a potentially difficult judgment call to make. Or maybe there is no moral or ethical precedent and we have to act on “gut feelings” or something else, such as potential consequences. Ethics and morality might be easier to disregard, easier to see as separate from us; maybe we don’t always know exactly why we have certain morals as part of society, but we know where they come from—society. But when obligation confronts us, we do not always know why it does so or where it comes from, or why it seems to be so demanding. Ethics, morality— these are impersonal. Like Caputo says, they do not account for the individual. But obligations are personal, and they single us out and bid us to respond personally. And, as Caputo says in so many words, just as we as individuals have to deal when confronted by obligation, so does “Ethics”, and “Ethics” does not always do so well.
3) I learned that most peoples’ ideas of ethics and especially morality are as convoluted and self-centered as always, and that it will probably always be that way. The deconstruction stuff is pretty cool. Not as a be-all-end-all, but as something to show us that it is healthy and good to shake things up a bit that we have always taken at face value and that it is okay to look at things differently or with a different perspective, something to pave the way for other new ways of looking at the old and familiar.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC)

Re: j carter, week 5 by James Koket

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I also believe that our morality and ethics are intertwined with our sense of obligation. It is our ethics, our code of conduct telling us what to do in certain situations, which sorts out what our obligations in life are for and directed to. Without a set of guidlines, our obligation would not necessarily be meaningless, but have a much less profound effect on the world around us. Take for example, the thought that a man can have no morals or ethics. What would his obligation be to. Perhaps his only obligation would be to find food and put it in his mouth, and perhaps find a suitable place to sleep. This is an obligation to oneself, which is very important nontheless, but real obligation, in light of having ethics, is much deeper. Our ethics lead us to believe that our obligation lies in the people all around us. An ethic that I have at least, is to always help out a friend if I can. This in turn, turns out to be an obligation to my fellow man based on my ethics.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 05:12 am (UTC)

Gerard Volpe

(Link)
I believe that ethics are something that you learn as a child and honestly i feel the same way about morals. I think that a child can learn good and bad from a young age just by the way he or she is raised. I feel that ethics are something that you grow to know, what is right and what is wrong, at the same time morals is something that you feel inside. I really do not think that my outlook on this topic has changed, but i have come to realize that many people have many different opinions about what these two words mean. I have also come to understand that there is not a right and wrong answer towards this and you cant criticize people for how they feel. In my eyes ethics and morals lead up to what you feel obligated to do. The stronger that your ethics and morals are the more you will feel obligated to do in life in my opinion. Like i said before i think it all leads back to the way that you were raised and your upcoming. I really did not come into this class wanting to learn something in particular because i just needed the credit, but i really did become interested in seeing everyones opinions and thoughts. At first i didnt think that i would like being in a class that there was not a right or wrong answer but like i said it was very interesting seeing how everyone has there own outlook on different subjects.
From:nickolbek
Date:August 11th, 2005 05:38 am (UTC)

Nicole K

(Link)
1) What does "ethics" and "morality" mean to you? Has your understanding of these terms changed in any way since the beginning of our class?
Ethics and morality mean we have values and rules in which we live our lives. I have learned more about how other people view morals and ethics, but for me personally. I am quite sound in the way I live. Right or wrong, I still go by my Ethics Code I wrote a year or so ago. They are like promises to myself on how I am going to live my life. It too will change in the future, I am sure. For now all is good.

2) What are the differences between acting in light of ethics and morality as opposed to acting in light of obligations?
I still don’t like the word obligation. To me, it sounds so negative, like was HAVE to do some thing. Today, I was driving on 35. A truck was moving over in my line with me still in it. Usually I would have honked and speed up so he could get behind me. Today, I slowed down, blinked my lights to let him know he could get over. What was that? Obligation or ethics. I don’t know I didn’t even think about what I was doing and I was doing something I don’t normally do. The rest of the way home I wondered to myself if what I did was my ethics or and obligation for me to do so. I didn’t get anything out of it. In fact I almost shocked myself.

3) Considering your expectations from the beginning of this semester, did you learn what you wished to learn from our class (about moral issues, about learning, about college, about your life, etc.)?
I didn’t know what to expect from a moral issues class. I wish I would have spoke up more. During heated conversations, I had plenty going through my head. Things were talked about that I have never thought of. That was interesting. Learning what other perceived as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ was very interesting as well. Overall, I enjoyed the class and now look at the other side of things more often before making judgments.
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From:billionrboysclb
Date:August 11th, 2005 07:20 am (UTC)

Re: Nicole K----------MONTE D JORDAN

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I totally agree with you, I believe that I am sound with my morals also, I lived with them so far 20 years--not really, but since the age I can remember developing them, which is pretty early on in childhood when your parents tell you its not nice to slap old ladies or pull up your skirt in public.I dont believe that my morals will drastically change as they may develop over time, but I think I will still have the same overall. I also wish that I would have spoken up more in class during heated debates, because I had so many things to say, but didnt. I did not agree with some of my classmates views and ideas and I should have respectfully disagreed...it would have made for fun times.
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From:billionrboysclb
Date:August 11th, 2005 07:01 am (UTC)

FINAL WEEK OF DISCUSSION(MONTE D JORDAN)

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1) What does "ethics" and "morality" mean to you? Has your understanding of these terms changed in any way since the beginning of our class?

I originally though that ethics and morality, or morals generally had the same meaning, yes they relative, but I now have different views of the two. Now I believe that ethics are certain ways you do things whether good or bad, something weve grown accustomed to.Morals are setting a set standard of what you believe is right or wrong. Keyword: You, I have learned that not everyone will agree on what is right and wrong, some people view some things less severely than other therefore they will have different ethics and morals.

2) What are the differences between acting in light of ethics and morality as opposed to acting in light of obligations?

I dont suppose i know what the difference betweeen the two are. Maybe acting in light of ethics and morality has something to do with, what were accustomed to, and what we were raised with and taaught ourselves what is ethical and moral through society's examples. Acting in light of obligations probably has something to do with the situation that is present and now. maybe you look down on people who are drug addicts, because you believe ethically amd morally it is wrong, but if your son or daughter were self destructive drug addicts you would be obligated to think of them in a different light no matter what previous opinions you had before.

3) Considering your expectations from the beginning of this semester, did you learn what you wished to learn from our class (about moral issues, about learning, about college, about your life, etc.)?

In this class I learned a little more than what I expected, I went into it knowing that I would learn something and knew that it would be an interesting class and it was exactly that.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 08:17 am (UTC)

Shannon Walker

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My definition of "morality" and "ethics" haven't changed much. "Ethics" measure the behavior of individuals in a society. "Morality" is defined as a standard of making judgment on others, even if it is view as being right and/or wrong.

The differences between acting in light of ethics and morality as opposed to acting in light of obligations vary. When you are acting in the light of ethics and morality, you are following a certain standard of behavior that is determining if you are right or wrong. To act in the light of obligations, you are obligated to do something until it is fulfilled. Even though you are obligated to do something until fulfilled, you could change your mind about a promise that you suppose to fulfill. As a result, you are obligated to keep a promise, even if it’s possibly right or wrong.

Well…I met my expectation about the moral issues class because I think that I can apply what I learn in class to my everyday life. Even though Caputo made some good points (when Professor McAnally explains it), I have a very hard time trying to follow that book. However, I like the class because the discussion makes up for that book (remember the unconditional love discussion).
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 09:12 am (UTC)

Shannon Walker: Response to Several Questions

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I agree with Hunter Spoede response to ethics and morality. You have a better response than mine. Ethics is a great measurement to determine right or wrong. Without ethics, you can't "determine what is right or wrong."

I also agree with Jessica Cain response to question #3. I also have a conflicting schedule as well since I have to commute from Dallas to Denton to go to class and drive to Irving to go to work.

From Andrea Mosley’s reply to another question, I also thought that we would be discussing current issues too. I think that the book has something to do with the lack of interest or “discussions were amongst several people.” If it wasn’t for Professor McAnally translating Caputo’s thoughts, I would have thought that Caputo’s idea makes no sense.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC)

Loren Moore

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I have discovered a better way to separate ethics and morality but the idea of them in my mind hasn't changed much. I view Ethos as a system of norms/laws for the successful function of human association; an Morals are the laws with in the system that define what is right or wrong.
As for Obligation, I feel it its what pulls us into this system in the first place- calls to action undefined by good or bad. But not without context. That is still unclear to me. What is behind obligation if it isn't some god-like entity? I believe we act instinctively by obligation and rationally in ehtics and judge good and evil from a set of morals with in.
I really enjoyed the class. I needed intelectual or conflicting conversation. Its the most I've had in awhile
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)

Brach Lupher -----Re: Loren Moore

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Aye, I think I agree with what you said. Ethics is the universal system upon how everyone is to function (as a nation or as a whole). Then, morals is for the “end-user” so to speak. I thought this class was pretty laid back. Philosophy just isn't my cup of green-tea. I thought that some good topics came up during the various discussions and thought Elizabeth was a very nice instructor and ultra cool. Enjoy the rest of the summer whoever this is I am replying to.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 04:52 pm (UTC)

Andrew Lee

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I, for the most part, agree with my original statement saying that
ethics is an overall code of conduct that everyone should follow
whereas morality is an individual set of rights that may be different
with each person. However, since the beginning of class I have come to
believe that they are more similar in that both are meant to give us
guidance and counseling when we need it.
Acting in light of ethics and morality is different from acting in obligation in that ethics says you must do one thing or another but
obligation has no set rules and laws that say you must act that in a righteous way or the opposite. Obligation is more about the present and how you feel at that particular point in time.
During these last five weeks in our moral issues class, I learned a lot about the different philosophers, both past and present. I also got a great understanding of what each philosopher stood for. One thing I had learned that really affected me was that two people can view the same situation from totally different perspectives. I really enjoyed this class and hope to learn more about morality and ethics in the future.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC)

Week 5 James Koket

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1. Ethics and morality still seem to me to have a very similar relationship. I said in the beginning of the class that i didn't quite understand the distinct difference between the two. Now, I believe that they are two distinct principles, but still have a very similar meaning. The difference to me lies in the culture of the society. Morality is what we a members of a society hold dear to eachother. Our morals shape who we are and how we act in our society. Morals are beliefs such as deciding not to cheat on a test, or leaving a note on a car after you smashed it while it was parked. Ethics are a more broad term, regarding something that we as human beings, regardless of society's terms, hold dear to our hearts. Ethics are more tied to obligation and how we all treat eachother in the world. Our ethics obligate us to look out for our fellow man and protect our lives.

2. The difference between acting in light of ethics and morality and acting in light of obligation is also drawn by a fuzzy line. Acting under the influence of ethics requires us to behave as model citizens living in a society. Our ethics cause us to act in accordance to our societies laws and rules. Our obligations are slightly different in that they are more obligations to our fellow man. Obligations force us to act in a way in which we help all of our fellow men. We have an obligation to the well being of all people around us to assure the continuation of the human race, while ethics are more oriented to behavior requirements in a society.

3. Considering the expectations from the beginning of class, I would say I have learned basically what I wanted to learn. The idea of Caputo's obligation has really cleared things up for me as to the difference between ethics and morality. I will take from this class that idea of obligation and use it in my daily life to try to improve not only my own life, but the lives of everyone I come into contact with.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)

chad hubbard

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The similarity in ethics and morality are very close, the have to be. Culture can have alot to do with how people beleive and what the beleive. It has to because its your(their) culture. Its almost like the way you were raised. You do things becasue your mom and dad do them. Once again its not right or wrong, its how you were taught. Just like how your culture defines your morality and ethics. If you had no responsibilties, why should these ideas work. you're right you have to look around you to find out what is important to you and what you should do to protect those around you and just how to live live.
Rebecca Riddle - (Anonymous) - Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)

chad hubbard

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Ethics and morality have not really changed in my eyes. there have been alot of very interesting topics covered in the class. I have understood many new ideas from many interesting people over the course of the semester. morality has stayed as what is right or wrong in whatever situation that comes about you. Morality is just about character as it is anything else. If character is how you act when no one is looking then morality could be the same thing but when you are prevoked to make a decision in the company of others. Right or wrong its what you beleive in and what you hold to be true.
I think the main difference in acting in light of ethics and acting in light of obligation is almost a trick question. If you are acting in obligation you have to do somthign or get something done the way that you feel in moral to you. If you are acting in light of ethics you are thinking what is ethically correct, which, to me, should be about the same as acting in obligation, unless you are faced with a life or death situation or acting in leu of your family for protection. There are always exceptions to the rules but if you know what you stand for you will know how to act in 99% of the situatiuon that you encounter.
I really wasnt too sure what I wanted to learn from this class. I am a person who likes to listen to what others have to say and then reflect those idea and suggestions to those people who are important in my life. I like to ask but yet talk in a way where everyone can benefit. I am not much of a talker in class however, i like to discuss very touchy subject with those close to me.
I really liked learning more about me in this class. It really helped me define where my boundraries are on certain topics and let me know what exactly those were. College on the other hand is pretty simple. You can over acheive, underacheive, get by, or set a name for yourself. as in life you can do the same things. college is a building block for you life and what you do with it is up to you. This class was like cliff notes for what to come with life and college.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 11th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)

Carrie Barnes

(Link)
Now that I've had this class I have more insight into the moral issues we've discussed, and I will leave this class with a more knowledge of how I feel on these issues.
I think having ethics and being moral is something you have learned that you are supposed to do through society. Obligations are something that you feel you have to do whether it is right or not. So I guess you could get caught in a situation where your ethics tell you to do one thing, but you feel obligated to do another.
From my perspective of our class, there were a lot more open minded people than I thought there would be, and although I might not have agreed with everyone else's opinion, I like that we were questioning a lot of issues. Because I have received different kinds of insight on these issues, it has helped me to realize the way i feel about some of them.

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