nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Fun with ethics

An update for the Machiavelli sequence!

Links for the earlier posts are included at the update.

It's a discussion of virtue ethics (the important thing is to be the right sort of person), deontology (there are rules. obey them!), and utilitarianism (get the right outcome), with examples of sorting out the ethical philosophy of various famous fictional characters.
Batman. Absolute commitment to never using lethal force: deontology. (Unless we think he refrains from killing out of fear of what killing would do to his moral character.)

Spiderman. Uncle Ben was killed because of Peter Parker’s selfish and vengeful impulse in that moment he let the thug go instead of using his powers for good. Why, then, does Peter dedicate himself to fighting crime? If it is because he has come to an absolute conclusion that with great power comes great responsibility, i.e. he is morally required to, that is deontology. If it is because he hopes to redeem the flaw in his character which led to his selfish decision, it is Virtue Ethics at its most habit-of-virtue Aristotelian.

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