Prima facie

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 6 November 2016

Prima facie

Introduction According to the article, Rhino poaching is in no way shown as moral. The ethical issues I see are that people are ignoring the fact that this horrible act is occurring and many people who do know about it won’t do anything about it, but are able to waste time watching pointless videos. The You Tube interventions took a moral approach to help with the petition. Although some were offended, the majority signed the petition and became more aware of the world around them. Utilitarianism When studying the supreme principle of morality as utility, we must first examine the definition of utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism the effort to answer the question of man ought to do. For a utilitarian, the answer is simple: Act to produce the best consequences possible for the greatest number of people possible. In this, liberty and harm are treated as an equal. The end goal is to produce a general welfare or Arthur’s collective well- being. Jeremy Bentham, one philosophical view we examined defined utilitarianism as the ethical system that judges actions to be moral to the extent they maximize happiness, producing pleasures, and preventing pains.

According to Bentham, there is a possibility of good and bad consequences however; preventing suffering is what matters through pleasure and the avoidance of pain. John Stuart Mill was a follower of Benthams, and he came up with the principle of utility. He stated that “Nature has places mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters” these masters are pain and pleasure. This is an experience based principle. We learn through experience that we are governed through pleasure and pain.

According to Brandt’s view on utilitarianism, if all you do is add up numbers, there still a possibility of producing an immoral outcome. Singer’s principles also exemplified this. In the article “YouTube Interventions to Save the Rhino”, Utilitarianism is exemplified in that there was a greater outcome for a greater number of people. Sure, some were offended, however in the cases that the petition was signed, the rhinos and animal activists were impacted positively. Also, the new act allowing this method of communication will help when it come t other disastrous situations.

Also, the whole world was able to be impacted. This effort had a mass effect on the petition. In the end, rhinos could be saved and a great idea was introduced, even the offended learned that their time was not being used effectively and therefore had somewhat of a positive outcome. Deontology In the study of deontology, we use Kant and Foot’s philosophical views. Deontology can be considered duty-based ethics, and reason alone should be used when finding the moral duty this concerns and reason in turn will cause a respect for rationality.

Kant believed that morally you should act so that the maxim of your actions can and should be considered a universal law; morally you should have respect for human dignity. In this principle one should never for any reason intentionally harm someone who is believed to be innocent. Philippa Foot expands of Kant’s principle of hypothetical imperatives in an argument. She argues the Kant contrasts acting out of respect for moral law with acting from an alterior motive. Taking this into consideration she believes is crucial to shape Kant’s moral Philosophy.

All in all, morality can only involve rational beings because only rationa l beings have the capacity to reason the way things are and should be and the ability to exercise freedom. Perfect categorical duties allow for no if’s and’s or but’s. Others are not, under any circumstances, to be used just as a means to acquire morality. In summary of this moral standing and the three forms of hypothetical morality according to Foot and Kant, “If you want x, you should do y, Because you want x you should do y, and because x is in your best interest, you should do y”.

For Kant the second and third principles are one in the same. The article answers the supreme moral question “Did anyone use anyone merely as a means? ” The answer is simply yes. The multiple videos that were altered were used as a means to get the communication across about animal poaching. The You Tube interventions had a positive outcome however in that a mass majority was made aware of what was going on in the world and how much time the viewers were actually wasting watching the highly viewed frivolous viral videos.

Deontologists would agree with the interventions campaign. They wanted people to be aware of the issue of rhino poaching and wanted a petition signed so they included a link to the petition and urged people to sign it by noting that it wouldn’t take much time. They also wanted people to be aware that the silly videos were simply a waste of time and that was noted. Deontologists would have resolved these issues in a very similar manner because no one was hurt, they were just helped. Prima Facie Duties The prima facie duties introduced by W. D.

Ross, a professor from Oxford University, argued that the right and the good are properties known intuitively and these duties may conflict holding only prima facie. There are no supreme principles involved. All focal points in the argument of what makes right acts right and wrong acts wrong are taken into account when looking into prima facie duty. Prima facie is judgment based on considered opinion. The article doesn’t really exemplify prima facie duties in that the article agrees completely with the study of deontology, and Ross argues with deontology.

The duty to sign the petition however did arise from the obligation to save the rhino’s from poaching. This exemplifies the opinion Ross had on duty in itself. Conclusion I thought that the approach this article took was completely effective and I agree that the awareness of rhino poaching was done morally. When others want to make you aware of things like the animal fur industry, they walk down runways with imitation blood dripping from a fur coat. This was done in a way where most were not offended, a majority of people were impacted and action was taken.

The petition was signed and an increase of 400% of the signatures was reached. I think that deontology supports the article the most. The x and y principles were exemplified as Foot and Kant had demonstrated. I think that all of the principles we studied in this section can be applied to the article. The article least agrees with prima facie ideas however. There are ways to apply it which I stated earlier in this essay. So what makes right acts right and wrong acts wrong? How many are influenced, how they are influenced, and act to include intent of agent and consent of person affected by act.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 6 November 2016

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