True/False (True=A; False=B)
1. To the extent that ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics raise questions about judgments relating to value, they are concerned with axiology.
2. The philosophical attempt of ethics to provide a standard for evaluating laws, religions, customs, and individual preferences is itself based on each philosopher's personal values.
3. In the retributive notion of justice, the purpose of punishment is to change the person's character so that he or she does not commit such offenses again.
4. As a utilitarian justification for capital punishment, the reform theory recommends the reform of society at large through the elimination of threatening individuals in the community.
5. Because retribution serves a purpose--namely, giving someone what is due to him or her--it is generally considered a utilitarian justification for punishment.
6. According to the retributivist, the execution of criminals is a form of respect shown to them as beings capable of making free choices for which they should take responsibility.
7. According to Socrates and Plato, we should act virtuously for the sake of others, regardless of whether acting morally improves our ability to discern what is good or to control our passions.
8. According to Socrates and Plato, we can be truly happy only if we allow our reason or intellect to guide our emotions and appetites.
9. The point of Plato's story of the ring of Gyges is this: only a fool would act morally if he or she could get away with acting immorally.
10. In responding to the story of the ring of Gyges, Plato argues that immorality can never be in someone's ultimate self-interest because immoral people are never truly happy.
11. In Plato's theory of the state, justice is ultimately achieved when the ruling class is able to do away with social inequalities by driving the military and working classes out of society.
12. For Plato, the moral balance or harmony of the three parts of the soul is a parallel to the condition of political harmony one must seek in the state.
13. According to Plato, the soul achieves balance or harmony only when reason controls both the spirited (or courageous) part of the soul and the soul's appetites.
14. According to Plato, moral goodness is achieved by eliminating the activities of the lower parts of the soul and acting solely on the basis of reason.
15. In Epicurus' version of hedonism, all decisions about how to live should be based on whether or not one's actions will produce pleasure and avoid pain.
16. For Epicurus, since death is the end of sensation (and therefore the end of all pain), death is a positive good that we should look forward to.
17. Hedonism is a form of teleological ethical theory insofar as it recommends that we act so as to produce happiness (pleasure) as the consequence of our actions.
18. The egoistic hedonist says that, if producing the greatest amount of pleasure for ourselves means that we have to take into account the pleasure of others, then we are under a moral obligation to do so.
19. Stoics note that we accumulate power and wealth by restricting our desires to things over which we have control.
20. According to the Stoics, the only way to fulfill our duty to live in harmony with the universe is to yield to our passions, desires, and emotions.
21. For the Stoic, the reason one does one's duty is that it is the only way that a person can achieve true happiness.
22. According to Aristotle, because moral virtues are habits, they cannot be taught but only learned in living according to them.
23. According to Aristotle, in a good or happy life someone is able to fulfill himself or herself through behavior that combines moderation, good fortune, and wisdom.
24. According to Aristotle, because happiness is not only the goal of all human beings but also defined by anyone as he/she sees fit, there is no ultimate standard of ethics.
25. In Aristotle's virtue ethics, moral value is a purely private matter, unconnected to how people interact with others in the community.
26. Because hedonism is a consequentialist way of thinking, it is more properly identified as a form of ethical egoism rather than as a form of psychological egoism.
27. Teleological theories of ethics determine the moral value of actions
in terms of their consequences.
28. Though both Epicurus and Bentham agree that we should do that which produces pleasure or happiness, they differ on whose pleasure or happiness should be taken into account.
29. If psychological egoism is true, then no ethical position (including ethical egoism) is possible.
30. Because ethical egoism claims that we are incapable of doing anything other than promoting our self-interests, it violates the moral dictum "ought implies can."
31. For the utilitarian, the whole purpose of ethics and virtuous behavior is the production and increase of happiness.
32. According to the utilitarian principle of morality, one should always act so as to produce the greatest overall and long-term amount of happiness for the greatest number of people.
33. Utilitarians claim that actions have value and thus are morally good insofar as they produce happiness (good consequences) for the greatest number of people.
34. Since utilitarianism is really a form of social hedonism, it cannot be considered as a consequentialist theory of morality.
35. Because Bentham's hedonistic calculus does not consider the pleasures or pains that other people experience as a result of a person's action, it is more egoistic than Mill's version of utilitarianism.
36. According to Mill, the proof that happiness is good (and thus desirable) is that human beings desire it.
37. Utilitarians argue that, because all moral values are relative to cultural or individual choice, no universally valid moral principles hold for all human beings.
38. According to J. S. Mill, the quantity (as opposed to the quality) of pleasures is determined by how well those pleasures enhance human fulfillment and well-being.
39. A deontological ethical theory is one that makes judgments about the morality of actions based on the ends, purposes, or consequences of the actions.
40. A person who has a moral obligation to do something is not physically able or free to do anything else.
41. Kant rejects all forms of hypothetical imperatives because (he claims) no rational agent can ever be obligated to act morally.
42. Kant's categorical imperative states that we should always act for the sake of doing our duty except when doing our duty conflicts with deeply held personal or religious values.
43. To act virtuously, Kant argues, means to act for the sake of doing one's duty—even if that means going against one's religious beliefs.
44. In Kantian ethics (following Hume), "ought implies can" refers to the claim that no one can be morally obligated to do something unless he or she is able to do it.
45. "Ought implies can" summarizes the moral principle that if someone is physically able to do an action, he or she is morally obligated to do it.
46. To say that a moral imperative is categorical means (for Kant) that the demand should be obeyed without exception, regardless of the negative consequences of acting on it.
47. Teleological ethical theories characterize moral obligation in terms of categorical rather than hypothetical imperatives.
48. From Kant's perspective, utilitarian consequentialism assumes that ethical reasoning is and should be based on a categorical (rather than a hypothetical) imperative.
49. According to Kant, I can be morally obligated to do an action only if everyone else in the same type of situation is likewise obligated.
50. A maxim is a subjective principle of action or working rule which, according to Kant, we are morally bound or obligated to obey.
51. According to Kant, we should treat people as ends-in-themselves (and never as means alone) because they produce good consequences through their actions.
52. According to Hume and Moore, ethical theories fall into a naturalistic fallacy when they derive moral obligations ("should" or "ought") from factual states ("is").
53. Utilitarians commit a "naturalistic fallacy" by thinking that certain behavior is morally desirable because it has consequences that are desired.
54. According to emotivism (or "positivism") value judgments are simply expressions of positive or negative feelings about something and thus are neither true nor false.
55. For Sartre, belief in God permits individuals to depend on a standard of morality for which they are not responsible and for which they are not accountable.
56. According to Sartre, nothing that a human being does, not even acting in "bad faith," allows that person to transcend human subjectivity.
57. Moral systems—even those that value humility and passivity—are expressions (Nietzsche maintains) of the will to power, the will to overcome.
58. According to Nietzsche, moral systems are attempts by the masses of weak people to keep strong individuals from exercising their creativity and passion.
59. Nietzsche rejects utilitarianism because it gives equal value to all individuals, even those who do not deserve it.
60. Nietzsche rejects moral theories such as Christian, utilitarian, and Kantian ethics because they fail to treat all human beings as essentially equal.
61. Ethical relativists claim that cultures ultimately share the same basic ethical principles.
62. Ethical relativists claim that even though cultures seem to differ on ethical standards, they ultimately share the same basic ethical principle--namely, moral goodness is that which produces happiness.
63 Ethical relativists argue that, because all moral values are relative to cultural or individual choice, no universally valid moral principles hold for all human beings.
64. For the cultural relativist, if a moral code of a society says that a certain action is right, it is right (at least within that society).
65. If moral objectivism is true, then homosexuality must be morally wrong.
66. According to Kohlberg, the highest stage of moral development--the postconventional acceptance of rational, objective principles--is a stage in which people become slaves to rules, laws, or traditions.
67. According to Carol Gilligan, the ethic of care characteristic of feminist ways of thinking emphasizes the obligation not to interfere in the lives of others.
68. Feminine moral development, according to Carol Gilligan, occurs as a person moves from (1) caring only for herself, through (2) caring for others, to (3) adopting care as a universal moral principle.
69. Sarah Hoagland argues that male-dominated ethics emphasizes
competing interests, sacrifice and compromise, and duty instead of caring.
70. Ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics are areas of philosophy
that address topics that are likewise addressed in fields like psychology,
political science, sociology, and anthropology. But instead of concentrating
on what different people call the good life, moral duties, social obligations,
or beauty, these areas of philosophy search for:
(a) reasons why different people should or should not think about such topics as they do.
(b) the personal or social causes of why different people think about such topics as they do.
(c) ways of getting people to question and ultimately to reject ways they have been raised.
(d) a basic principle or logos by which both philosophy and the social sciences can be reduced to the physical sciences (especially physics).
71. Ethics and law have sometimes been distinguished in the following
way: the law attempts to resolve conflict in society by regulating
behavior, whereas ethics is concerned with determining the rules for resolving
conflict both in belief and in the behavior or action based on those beliefs.
Ethics thus emphasizes:
(a) the reasons that can be given as to why certain beliefs should be adopted and certain actions done.
(b) the ways in which individuals can be excused from being held responsible for their actions.
(c) how a rational resolution of conflicting beliefs is unattainable due to the different backgrounds of people.
(d) the difference between an individual's religious training and the requirements of the laws of his state and nation.
72. From a philosophical perspective, religious teachings or revelations
cannot (by themselves) serve as standards of morality because:
(a) the appeal to the will of God as the reason for one's behavior cannot provide a motive for acting morally or immorally, even for religious believers.
(b) interpretations of religious revelations often conflict with one another and thus provide no definite basis for making moral judgments and have no persuasive power for non-believers.
(c) some religious beliefs (even those based on the Scriptures) are not only factually wrong but, if followed, would result in immoral behavior.
(d) religious teachings are usually interpreted and enforced through civil laws that become the bases for personal or social morality.
73. According to Plato, no one would choose to act immorally if he/she
knew how acting immorally is really not in his/her self-interest.
But it is apparent that evil people appear (at least on the surface) to
benefit from their immorality. So how can acting morally really be
in one's own self-interest? Plato's answer:
(a) Immoral behavior may in fact be in one's own self-interest; but morality is not immediately concerned with the individual as much as with society.
(b) Harmonious integration or balance of the parts of one's personality is what makes someone truly happy and constitutes human excellence and moral virtue.
(c) Since there is no objective moral standard (as the ring of Gyges story shows), whatever someone believes is in his or her self-interest is morally acceptable.
(d) Virtue is the ability to do what one does well, so if someone is able to promote his or her self interest (even through immorality), then that person is virtuous.
74. According to Plato, we never consciously choose to do that which
we know to be immoral, because to do so would be to act contrary to our
own self-interests. Knowing what is in our own self-interest, however,
requires that we recognize which things are truly in our best interests;
and that requires that we recognize:
(a) how those in power determine what is moral or immoral depending on whatever they choose to believe.
(b) how personal integrity (i.e., getting the parts of our soul into harmony) is linked to knowing our function in society.
(c) how wisdom is possible only for the ruling class, courage is possible only for the military or law enforcers, and moderation is possible only for the working class.
(d) how morality is less concerned with doing what is actually right than with doing what seems to be right according to one's society: that is what the Gyges ring story is about.
75. For most Greeks, the question "why be moral?" is much more important
than the question "what is moral?" Plato's parallel between the parts
of the soul and the parts of society collapses the two questions into one
(a) showing why someone should care about having an integrated personality or contributing to the harmonious operation of society.
(b) understanding how ethics is more concerned with intellectual judgments about actions and their consequences, and less with moral motivation.
(c) recognizing that personal morality has little or nothing to do with social morality; that is, one's private moral judgments have no social parallels.
(d) indicating how the judgments of society concerning who is happy and who is not should be used in telling who is moral and who is not.
76. To say that Plato's question "Why be moral?" is not a moral, but
rather a meta-ethical question means that it is a question about:
(a) what makes certain actions moral or immoral.
(b) how individuals should or should not be held responsible for the ways in which their consciences have been formed.
(c) why someone should behave in certain ways, even when he agrees that it is the morally acceptable way to act.
(d) why someone chooses to act in ways that conflict with the recommendations of others.
77. "Why be moral?" is a metaethical question rather than an
ethical question insofar as it is concerned with:
(a) why someone would want to have a balanced personality or be a superior individual.
(b) non-moral reasons for why someone should be moral.
(c) how it is morally wrong for someone to be immoral.
(d) what makes actions moral or immoral, right or wrong.
78. Epicurus proposes that, even though decision-making should be based
on the pursuit of pleasure, not all pleasures ought to be pursued equally,
(a) pleasures are the fulfillment of our desires; and insofar as we are determined by nature to fulfill our desires, we must seek after pleasure.
(b) we ought not to get pleasure out of fulfilling certain desires.
(c) we cannot make decisions based on whether our actions produce pleasure without knowing beforehand whether we are justified in doing so.
(d) simple pleasures (as opposed to extreme pleasures) are easier to satisfy, less prone to disappointment, and make us appreciate luxuries all the more.
79. Every time we succeed in any endeavor, we experience pleasure
in having accomplished our goals. But what if our goals involve causing
harm to oneself or to others?--Wouldn't that indicate that the hedonistic
pursuit of pleasure is wrong and should not be the basis of a moral system?
To this a hedonist like Epicurus would reply:
(a) hedonism is not a way of life or a way of deciding how to act morally; it is merely a way of thinking.
(b) if pursuing certain goals causes someone pleasure, that is all that matters; how others are affected or how they respond to the individual's acts is unimportant.
(c) hedonism recommends that those kinds of endeavors that cause pain or unhappiness be avoided; it does not say that any successful effort whatsoever is desirable.
(d) no one intentionally pursues or should pursue pleasure for its own sake; we should avoid worrying about morality as well.
80. Though Epicurean hedonism is similar in certain respects to modern
Western capitalism, it emphasizes a point that Marx says characterizes
his position as well, namely, the belief that:
(a) we should not trouble ourselves about things (e.g., economic systems) over which we have no control.
(b) happiness should not be defined in terms of material things, since in the afterlife they mean nothing.
(c) only the material world is real and life has meaning only in terms of this world; there is no afterlife.
(d) work is a necessary evil one has to endure to obtain the means to develop friendships and gain wisdom.
81. Critics have claimed that Hobbes' egoistic theory of human motivation
(including his denial that anyone can ever act in a purely altruistic way)
is not properly a scientific theory because it fails to fulfill Popper's
falsifiability criterion for scientific theories. Specifically, in
order for Hobbes' position to be considered a legitimate theory:
(a) it must be shown to be false.
(b) it would allow for the possibility that it could be false.
(c) it must be able to explain all behavior in terms of self-interest.
(d) it would have to show how believing in the theory is in one's self-interest.
82. Though systems of belief such as fatalism, determinism, and egoism
provide their supporters with ways of explaining experience, these ways
of thinking cannot be considered acceptable theories of human behavior
because they violate the falsifiability criterion for legitimate theorizing.
They cannot be proven false because:
(a) such systems of belief are simply true--as the failure of all attempted falsifications of them shows.
(b) people who believed in them would be determined by fate to act always in their own self-interest.
(c) there are no explanations of human behavior other than those proposed by these systems of belief.
(d) any attempt to falsify them would be explained in their terms, supposedly confirming their truth.
83. According to Ayn Rand's version of ethical egoism, it is not only
possible for us to act in ways that beefit others; it is important that
we do so, but only to the extent that:
(a) our own self-interests are promoted through the promotion of the interests of others.
(b) we act compassionately, not always seeking to promote our interests over others.
(c) we act altruistically.
(d) our lives incorporate the goals of asceticism (that is, simplicity and self-denial).
84. If psychological egoism is true, then no ethical system (including
ethical egoism) is possible because:
(a) ethics would then be merely a means by which individuals impose their values on others--exactly as Nietzsche says happens in Christianity.
(b) if we are determined to act only in our self-interest, then it makes no sense to say we ought to act either in our self-interest or, for that matter, in any other way either.
(c) psychological egoism is a theory of why people are motivated to act morally, whereas ethical egoism is a theory of how moral distinctions are determined.
(d) without some means to decide which acts are morally good or bad, there is no way to explain why people act the way they do.
85. Stoics like Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius describe the good life in terms of a rational understanding of the law of nature, because insofar as we understand natural law:
(a) we can change nature to accommodate our interests.
(b) we can get pleasure out of the pure act of knowing.
(c) we can limit our desires to things within our control.
(d) we can remain indifferent about what we choose to do.
86. For the Stoic a meaningful life is one in which she commits herself
to do her duty, whatever it might be. Limiting herself to doing her
duty (regardless of what that entails) means:
(a) recognizing how her freedom is limited by what she chooses to desire.
(b) passively resigning herself to accept whatever happens as out of her control and unaffected by her action.
(c) committing herself with all her power to take responsibility for what she does as her own.
(d) not caring what she does or how she does it, as long as she thinks she won't be disappointed by taking unnecessary chances.
87. Epictetus' Stoic claim that we should be happy with whatever life
offers us differs from Epicureanism in that:
(a) Epicureanism says that happiness consists in the unrestrained pursuit of pleasure (hedonism), whereas Stoicism says that we can achieve pleasure only by desiring things that will not disappoint us.
(b) Epicureanism says that life can be meaningful only if we are happy (regardless of whether we satisfy our desires), but Stoicism says that we can be happy only if we satisfy our desires.
(c) Epicureanism says that only those things that benefit us can make us happy, whereas Stoicism says only by doing things that benefit others can we be happy.
(d) Epicureanism says we should desire things that do not disappoint us, whereas Stoicism says that we cannot be disappointed in life if we do not desire anything.
88. Existentialism differs significantly from Stoicism concerning why
we should care about the specifics of what we choose as values. The
Stoic says we should care about doing our duty; but what that duty might
be is something, the Stoic claims, is ultimately due to nature. This
is where the existentialist would object, claiming:
(a) in spite of the fact that nature restricts what we can choose to do, we can still have an effect on human values by the choices we make.
(b) values established in nature guide our choices and indicate what our duties are, but they do not force us to act in accord with those values.
(c) freedom requires that we respond with scornful and grudging acceptance of the values implicit in the structure and laws of nature.
(d) nature itself has meaning for humans only insofar as we choose to consider it as valuable, so our choices are not determined by nature.
89. Moral virtue, for Aristotle, entails acting in accord with the dictates
of reason as determined by:
(a) an objective, shared standard of right and wrong equally applicable to all people.
(b) a mean or point of moderation between the extremes of morally good and morally evil behavior.
(c) the mean or point of moderation between the extremes of possible alternative ways of acting.
(d) the denial of one's own interests in favor of the good of one's community.
90. According to Aristotle, a happy life is a life of virtue, one in
which the individual contributes to the good of his or her community and
is respected for such contributions. At the heart of his description
of the morally good life is one's honor in a society, because being
an honorable individual means being someone who:
(a) recognizes how his or her own well-being is intimately linked to the good of the community.
(b) appreciates how moral values vary from culture to culture and from individual to individual.
(c) can live a life of moderation without having be sensitive to or involved in social or civic affairs.
(d) contemplates philosophical principles in order to understand the truths of nature.
91. For Aristotle, "Moral states are the results of activities
like the states themselves. It is our duty, therefore, to keep a
certain character in our activities, since our moral states depend on the
differences in our activities." This "certain character" is:
(a) activity in accordance with reason (i.e., sensitive to the social and personal dimensions of human existence).
(b) the point at which the individual's "golden mean" rule cancels out the society's own definition of "moderation."
(c) neither excess nor deficiency, but rather the alternation of the two (where one takes over sometimes, and the other at other times).
(d) the point of moderation in action between virtue and vice, the individual's good as opposed to the social definition of the good.
92. Bentham's utilitarianism is different from J. S. Mill's version
in virtue of Mill's emphasis on:
(a) the happiness of all creatures affected by actions, versus the happiness experienced by humans.
(b) how actions done to achieve happiness are in fact desired as opposed to being desirable.
(c) the concern for the qualitative character of happiness versus simply the quantitative.
(d) the number of people affected versus the intensity of pleasure experienced by those affected.
93. ``Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign
masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what
we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the
one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes
and effects, are fastened to their throne. . . . The principle of utility
recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system,
the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason
and law.'' This passage summarizes:
(a) Bentham's utilitarianism. (b) Marx's historical materialism.
(c) Erik Erikson's theory of ego integrity. (d) Mill's objections to utilitarianism.
94. Though J. S. Mill agrees with Bentham that happiness is the goal
of ethical behavior, he points out that "it is better to be a human being
dissatisfied than a pig satisfied." By this remark he indicates how:
(a) some kinds of happiness are more desirable or valuable than others for social or cultural reasons.
(b) according to the utilitarian principle, the greatest happiness is determined by the greatest number.
(b) happiness ought to be desired (and thus is desirable) because people, in fact, desire to be happy.
(c) uncultivated people are as competent to judge what happiness is as are cultivated people.
95. According to Mill, "Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all
or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, that
is the more desirable pleasure." The decision about which pleasures
are qualitatively desirable should thus be made by those familiar with
different kinds of pleasures based on:
(a) what those persons generally desire.
(b) each expert's opinion considered individually (without having to consult others).
(c) whether that which is, in fact, desired by those persons is what they ought to desire.
(d) the consensus of everyone in the community.
96. In deciding how far we have to calculate the consequences
of our actions, Mill says that the utilitarian recommends that we should
realistically consider only:
(a) the rules of desire determined by the person of practical wisdom.
(b) those persons most likely to be affected by our actions.
(c) how our behavior follows necessarily from human nature itself.
(d) the motive of the agent, and not necessarily the consequences of our actions.
97. One objection raised against utilitarianism is that we can never
know what we are morally obliged to do since we can never know all the
consequences of our actions. Mill and other utilitarians reply to
(a) pointing out that no moral theory is ever able to indicate what we should not do.
(b) agreeing that we may not know perfectly what the consequences will be, but we can determine them well enough to know what to do.
(c) rejecting the claim: we, in fact, can know all of the consequences of our actions if we investigate the matter well enough.
(d) redefining "consequences" so that they are limited to what we intend to do and not to what actually happens.
98. Some theorists argue that the utilitarian claim that we are morally
obligated to contribute to famine relief ignores one central fact about
human nature, namely, that we are more inclined to help members of our
own family or culture than others, and therefore should not be expected
to do what we are not inclined to do in the first place. To this
the utilitarian responds:
(a) taking care of those near us produces more overall happiness than taking care of others.
(b) the amount of need in some cultures is greater than in others; our own needs are greatest.
(c) while such feelings may be significant psychologically, they are irrelevant morally.
(d) our moral obligations to promote the happiness of our family, friends, and immediate culture are more important than even obligations to protect the lives of others.
99. One consequentialist argument against famine relief notes that feeding
famine victims is not our moral responsibility, because it causes more
harm than good insofar as it wastes our own resources, makes the starving
more dependent on us, and creates conditions for more famine in the future.
Which of the following IS NOT a response utilitarian supporters
of famine relief would typically give in return?
(a) Feeding both the starving and ourselves would require us to become more efficient, knowledgeable, and industrious (all beneficial effects).
(b) We have a responsibility to other human beings to save them from starvation regardless of future consequences; after all, we do not know what those consequences may be.
(c) In feeding the starving we can--indeed, we are morally required to--demand that cultures receiving the food adopt farming and distribution programs to prevent future famine.
(d) Recipients of food can be required to adopt social changes (e.g., birth control programs) in order to support themselves and not have to rely on others.
100. Some critics of utilitarianism have argued that injustices
against minorities would be permitted under utilitarian principles, since
the violation of the rights of a few might produce more overall happiness
than respecting those rights. Utilitarians respond that, on the contrary,
injustices against minorities would not be encouraged under their principles,
(a) according to utilitarian principles, minorities have no rights.
(b) if unjust practices became the rule in a society, there would be more unhappiness.
(c) minorities do not experience happiness and unhappiness in the same way as the majority of society.
(d) calculation of the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people does not necessarily have to include consideration of all members of a society.
101. Act utilitarians point out that sometimes violating a moral rule
causes more happiness than following the rule. In such cases, they
argue, violating the rule is permitted:
(a) only if no other violations of the rule occur again.
(b) as long as no one affected by the action experiences any unhappiness.
(c) as long as the person's intention or motive is to do his/her duty regardless of the consequences.
(d) and even morally required by the utilitarian principle itself.
102. Act utilitarians say that we should always do that specific action
that produces the greatest happiness, even if this means violating moral
rules. Rule utilitarians challenge this, arguing that we should follow
moral rules even if we think that violating them would yield better results,
(a) following moral rules generally yields more overall happiness than the unhappiness created by allowing for the rare exceptions to rules.
(b) we should not become slaves to any moral rules; morality is a matter of personal choices.
(c) acting in general to produce the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people is not always the morally right thing to do.
(d) even if we follow moral rules, we will always cause unhappiness to someone.
103. Critics sometimes claim that, for utilitarianism, motive seems
to have nothing to do with the morality of an action. Mill responds
to this by pointing out that:
(a) good consequences cannot follow from an act done by someone with an evil motive.
(b) bad consequences often follow from actions which are done with the best motives in mind.
(c) consequences determine the morality of an action; the person's motive affects only our judgment of the person doing the act, not the act itself.
(d) the only way to determine what motive I have in acting is to determine the consequences of my action.
104. In reply to those who object that utilitarianism permits lying
if it produces happiness, J. S. Mill responds in what is now called a rule
utilitarian way: "Any, even unintentional deviation from truth weakens
the trustworthiness of human assertion, which is the principal support
of all social well-being, civilization, virtue, and everything on which
human happiness on the largest scale depends." Mill's basic point
(a) insignificant ("white") lies sometimes do cause happiness, so they are morally permissible.
(b) even occasional white lies are immoral because they cause more harm than good in the long run.
(c) we would be morally obligated to tell the truth even if, as a rule, it did not cause happiness.
(d) lying is immoral because it generally causes unhappiness; but if someone who is qualified to judge the difference between happiness and unhappiness approves the lie, it is OK.
105. Rule utilitarians have argued that injustices against minorities
would be permitted under act utilitarian principles, since the violation
of the rights of a few might produce more overall happiness in certain
situations than respecting those rights. They argue that, by contrast,
under rule utilitarianism injustices against minorities would not be encouraged
(a) individuals and minorities have rights only in deontological ethics, not in teleological ethics.
(b) rule utilitarianism indicates how to act in general, not how to act in specific situations.
(c) if unjust practices became the rule in a society, there would be more unhappiness.
(d) calculation of the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people does not necessarily have to include consideration of all members of a society.
106. The deontological theory of ethics called divine law theory is
sometimes confused with natural law theory because both often refer to
God. But unlike in natural law theory, a person is, in fact, morally
obligated to act in a certain way under divine law theory:
(a) if he/she believes that it is what God commands.
(b) if God should require him/her to act in certain ways.
(c) if acting in accord with the person's nature is morally correct.
(d) if God really does command it, regardless of whether it conflicts with human nature.
107. Which of the following IS NOT an objection Kant raises against
(a) If we are inclined to do an act because we naturally seek good consequences (happiness), then we do not act freely and are not morally responsible.
(b) The task of ethics is to make judgments about what people intend to do when they act, regardless of the consequences.
(c) Because people disagree about what happiness is, good consequences cannot provide an ultimate criterion for making moral judgments.
(d) The consequences of our actions are often out of our control, so we cannot be held responsible for them or have our actions judged based on them.
108. According to Kant, virtuous actions are those that are done for
the sake of doing one's duty--which means acting for the right reason or
with the right motive or intention. Kant limits the discussion of
the moral character of actions to motives or intentions and does not consider
consequences crucial, because:
(a) the consequences are often out of our control and are valued differently by different people.
(b) only those actions based on universalizable motives are moral actions.
(c) moral decisions are conditioned by one's culture and by how one is raised.
(d) every time someone acts, he or she has a motive; but there are not always consequences to acts.
109. According to Kant, morality presumes that I, as a rational being,
am able to do what is morally right because it is morally
right. So, unless doing my duty is my motive in acting, my action
is not morally good, because:
(a) actions that are done solely for the sake of doing my duty do not promote the happiness caused by the actions as much as actions done because they are morally right.
(b) sometimes doing my duty conflicts with doing the right thing--especially when doing the right thing involves acting in accord with my religious beliefs.
(c) if my motive in acting is that I am willing to take responsibility for the consequences of my action, then my action is morally good.
(d) acting with motives other than doing my duty--for example, acting out of instinct, passion, or interest--is not universalizable and thus cannot be the basis for rational behavior.
110. According to Kant, an action which has a motive or intention
that cannot be successfully universalized:
(a) might be moral or immoral, depending on the consequences of the action.
(b) might be moral or immoral, depending on whether the act is considered acceptable in the person's society.
(c) is immoral.
(d) might be moral or immoral, depending on whether the action is done freely.
111. Kant claims that I can determine whether all other rational beings
are obligated to do what I am obligated to do by trying to see whether:
(a) certain practices are universally accepted throughout different cultures.
(b) other examples of my action yield good consequences.
(c) the action would be universally good for all individuals.
(d) the motive of my action can be universalized without contradiction or without being unacceptable to some people.
112. According to Kant, acting morally means acting on an intention
that a reasonable person could will all persons to adopt as the motive
for their actions. Critics claim that this makes Kant a consequentialist,
insofar as universalizability considers the consequences of everyone acting
that way. Kant rejects this by pointing out that:
(a) to say that an intention must be universalizable does not mean that everyone's intentions need to be considered, only the intentions of those who are going to be affected by the action.
(b) the intended consequences of actions are often not the same as their actual consequences.
(c) intentions, not consequences, identify moral actions; if an intention cannot be universalized for any reason (including unacceptable consequences), it cannot be the basis for a moral act.
(d) if people actually did their moral duty, then the consequences of their doing so would be better than if they only intended to do their duty.
113. Kant suggests that the maxim upon which an action is based,
and not the individual action itself, is the key for determining whether
an action is morally good, because:
(a) a specific action is, by definition, not universalizable.
(b) our actions are always based on some maxim or other.
(c) without maxims we would not know what to do.
(d) our maxims are subjective rules of behavior upon which actions are based.
114. Kant argues that acting in accordance with duty does not make an
action morally worthwhile; rather it is acting for the sake of or
because it is one's duty that makes the act morally worthy. He makes
this distinction to indicate how:
(a) the consequences of one's actions might be good or bad depending on how much happiness is produced.
(b) actions that are done freely are always morally good actions.
(c) the moral value of an action is determined by one's motives, not by the consequences of one's actions.
(d) acting in a self-interested way differs from acting based on maxims.
115. According to existentialist ethics, there is no absolute foundation
upon which moral judgments are based; we are free to adopt any moral system
we choose. As Sartre notes, however, we are responsible for choosing
that set of values. Any system of moral values that is established
by some means other than human choice, then:
(a) contradicts the principle on which the ability to make moral distinctions is based.
(b) ought to be grounded in the will of God or in generally accepted social practices.
(c) in fact never are used by people (even mistakenly) to make moral judgments.
(d) is immoral if the consequences are bad for us.
116. When Sartre says that "there is no human nature," what he
means is that:
(a) as self-conscious beings, we can and do determine the kinds of beings that we are.
(b) there can be no basis for deciding between anguish and despair.
(c) human beings do not have genetic characteristics that identify them biologically as members of a species.
(d) existentialism can accept the existence of God only as the a priori foundation of ethical judgments.
117. Sartre claims that, for human beings, "existence precedes essence";
in other words:
(a) when human beings are rational, they fulfill their essence of being human.
(b) human beings are essentially determined to exist according to certain God-given directives.
(c) human beings are free to choose even not to act in any way whatsoever.
(d) human beings are condemned to be free and to become anything they choose through their actions.
118. If, as Sartre's existentialism claims, "man is responsible
for his passion," then no matter what we as human beings do, we do it:
(a) against our wills.
(b) without thought.
(d) out of scorn for God.
119. Nietzsche argues that the task of true morality is to indicate
how human beings, as part of nature, can move "beyond good and evil" by
means of the attempt to:
(a) overcome and gradually do away with our natural inclinations of aggression and struggle.
(b) show our nobility through self-restraint and compassion for the less fortunate.
(c) accept tolerantly our own weaknesses as indications of our place within God's plan.
(d) make moral distinctions the explicit products of the exercise of human will.
120. According to Nietzsche, members of the herd endorse the slave
values of sympathy, kindness, and the "common" good because:
(a) they feel that they should be treated kindly and compassionately since they are not responsible for their lack of power.
(b) they believe that, if they treat the master-morality overmen kindly, those noble individuals will not harm them.
(c) they fear that a lack of sympathy or kindness, or failure to consider the common good, will cause the men of nobility to feel threatened by them.
(d) they prefer following God's will rather than struggling against it (like the overmen are constantly having to do).
121. Critics of morality (e.g., Callicles or Nietzsche) argue that recommending
that people act morally (that is, with self-restraint, moderation, or concern
for others) is itself an attempt by "common" people to impose their will
on their superiors. They conclude, therefore, that doing something
because it is moral makes no sense, since:
(a) even common people admit that no one should act morally unless it produces happiness for him or her.
(b) only a personality that harmonizes the competing interests of reason, emotion, and appetite is moral.
(c) the "all too human" values of ordinary people do not provide any guidance for how people should act.
(d) that would require us to affirm our power to decide values by restricting that power.
122. The "first principle" of Nietzsche's version of humanism
is this: "The weak and the failures shall perish. They ought even
to be helped to perish. What is more harmful than vice?--Practical
sympathy and pity for all the failures and all the weak: Christianity."
In Nietzsche's trans-valuation of humanism, Christianity is:
(a) Nietzsche's attempt to reintroduce values into his theory of the will to power.
(b) an afterlife project that Nietzsche endorses as promoting the overman.
(c) the means by which noble aims filter down from masters to slaves.
(d) that which frustrates the prospects of human advancement.
123. Nietzsche claims that "because life is precisely Will to
Power," the attempt to bend all wills to a common good, avoiding violence
and exploitation in order to achieve peace in society, is:
(a) "the fundamental principle of society" and the necessary means for the development of all life.
(b) the goal of the noble class.
(c) "the Will to the denial of life," which itself invites dissolution and decay.
(d) the dark night of barbarism in which "all who are born after us belong to a higher history than any history hitherto."
124. Nietzsche's critique of "slave morality" includes an attack on
the belief in the existence of God, because as long as God exists:
(a) human beings will continue to experience guilt for their failing to live up to God's call for them to improve themselves in accord with His law.
(b) there will always be the possibility that God could aid the individuals of the slave or herd mentality against the noble individual (the overman).
(c) human beings will always have someone to fall back on and blame for their failings, rather than take responsibility for their destiny.
(d) there is always the possibility that God may bring peace to the world and thus destroy the need for the overman.
125. Ethical judgments are usually distinguished from judgments of personal
preference, taste, or prejudice by means of showing that ethical judgments:
(a) can be explained in terms of the particular customs or practices of a group or culture.
(b) are intended primarily to rationalize already accepted practices in a society.
(c) serve only as ideals and cannot be the bases upon which people live daily.
(d) need to be supported by reasons that should be universally intelligible or acceptable.
126. Because absolutists argue that the quality or value of something
is independent of being designated or recognized as such, they treat ethical
(a) as relative to one's own conscience or set of values.
(b) as true or false depending on one's society or on how one is raised.
(c) as inaccessible to the human mind, ultimately unknowable and practically meaningless.
(d) as facts about the world which are true or false regardless of human judgments.
127. Which of the following characterizations is FALSE?
(a) It is possible for a subjectivist to be a relativist.
(b) It is possible for a relativist to be an objectivist.
(c) It is possible for an absolutist to be a subjectivist.
(d) It is possible for an objectivist to be an absolutist.
128. Critics claim that subjective relativism is practically unacceptable
and theoretically contradictory. It is practically unacceptable in
that no society could survive unless its members shared the values needed
to maintain the society. Subjective relativism is theoretically
contradictory insofar as it:
(a) assumes that individuals choose their own values and are responsible for their choice of values.
(b) claims that moral judgments express only how someone feels about an action.
(c) assumes a universal value (viz., freedom to decide one's values) should be respected by others.
(d) argues that the reasons it gives for acting morally are metaethical, not normative.
129. According to the cultural relativist Ruth Benedict, "The very eyes
with which we see a problem are conditioned by the long traditional habits
of our own society." Because of this, she concludes:
(a) without some perspective upon which to base claims, no observer can justifiably criticize another culture.
(b) claims about cultural differences are as judgmental as they are descriptive.
(c) all cultural differences can be reduced to basic differences in human nature.
(d) organized behavior within a particular society prevents its own members from seeing when they have problems.
130. According to the cultural relativist, the attempt to evaluate
the moral beliefs of one's own culture is bound to fail because:
(a) obviously some cultures have better systems of moral beliefs than others.
(b) values are not determined by one's culture as much as they are by the individual's personal beliefs and prejudices.
(c) even within a particular culture's belief system, no actions are really ever identified as good or bad.
(d) in order to make such an evaluation, one has to use the very values which are themselves being judged.
131. Suppose that human well-being is the correct standard for evaluating
ethical theories and judgments. Would this mean that we have to reject
the cultural relativist's claim that each culture has a right to decide
its own values?
(a) No: no culture can impose its values on any other culture, even if those values promote human well-being.
(b) No: all cultures are different in what they value (indeed, that is what makes them different in the first place); so the destruction of cultural differences would mean the end of cultures.
(c) Yes: but each culture would have to decide whether "promoting well-being" for its members is really what it wants.
(d) Yes: any culture that would not satisfy basic material and social needs of all of its members would not be as good as it should be.
132. "We do not any longer make the mistake of deriving the morality
of our own locality and decade directly from the inevitable constitution
of human nature. We do not elevate it to the dignity of a first principle.
We recognize that morality differs in every society, and is a convenient
term for socially approved habits.'' This passage summarizes:
(a) the utilitarianism of Bentham. (b) the ethical relativism of Ruth Benedict.
(c) the conservatism of Oakeshott. (d) the atomism of Lucretius.
133. "Even if people have similar needs, sentiments, emotions,
and attitudes, there is still the question of whether these should or should
not be satisfied or accepted as legitimate." How is such a claim
intended as a criticism of personal or cultural relativism?
(a) The fact that people agree in their moral beliefs does not make the beliefs justified or correct.
(b) Since people in different cultures hold different beliefs, they try to satisfy their needs differently.
(c) Even if people agree on what they believe, it is difficult (if not impossible) to get them to live according to what they believe.
(d) Only those beliefs which have universal support should be accepted as true.
134. According to the cultural or subjective relativist, the fact that
moral values vary from culture to culture or from individual to individual
implies that no absolute or objective moral standards should be applied
to all people in all times or cultures. The problem with this line
of argument is that:
(a) it ignores the fact that not all cultures and individuals respect and tolerate the rights and values of others.
(b) it assumes that no set of moral values can be the basis for behavior unless its absolute principles are fixed and cannot be changed or modified.
(c) it commits the naturalistic fallacy by reasoning from the fact that values differ to the claim that people are morally justified in acting on their cultural or individual beliefs.
(d) it endorses the logical positivist claim that moral statements are neither analytic (true by definition) nor synthetic (true by empirical observation).
135. Relativists think that if we recognize how moral values differ
from individual to individual or culture to culture, we will see that there
is no neutral, objective, or universal moral standard. From this
they conclude that we should tolerate the value systems of
others. But this conclusion seems to contradict their fundamental
belief because it:
(a) suggests that tolerating different viewpoints has value only for relativists, not objectivists.
(b) assumes that all persons universally ought to value toleration, even those who do not actually do so.
(c) fails to indicate how toleration can be a value only for consequentialists, not deontologists.
(d) treats toleration as a value that no one ought to adopt, even though most individuals and cultures in fact do.
136. Critics of ethical relativism (e.g., Rachels) often note that cultures
seldom differ on certain basic values: only their belief systems differ.
In other words:
(a) each culture determines the basic values necessary for the culture's existence.
(b) no culture can exist very long unless it establishes practices that distinguish it from others.
(c) prejudices within our own society often determine our moral views.
(d) cultures differ in how more or less universal values are implemented in practices.
137. In his critique of ethical relativism, Rachels concludes that we
cannot say that merely because customs differ among societies that values
differ as well. Instead, he argues:
(a) because societies differ in their factual beliefs and needs, they differ in how they have to implement more or less universal values.
(b) because the values of developed, intelligent nations are superior to those of underdeveloped nations, these higher values should be used as the standards.
(c) the sheer fact that there are no universal moral values explains why societies differ in their social beliefs, needs, and attitudes.
(d) moral progress is possible only on the assumption that we acknowledge that there are really no universal values necessary for social existence.
138. ``My thesis about traditional ethics is this: (1) The focus and
direction of traditional ethics, indeed its function, has not been individual
integrity and agency (ability to make choices and act) but rather social
organization and control. (2) The values around which traditional
ethics revolves are antagonistic, the values of dominance and subordination.
As a result, (3) traditional ethics undermines rather than promotes individual
moral ability and agency. And (4) these aspects of traditional ethics
combine to legitimize oppression by redefining it as social organization.
Appeal to rules and principles is at the heart of this endeavor.''
In this passage:
(a) Sarah Hoagland shows how male-dominated ethics emphasizes competing interests, sacrifice and compromise, and duty instead of caring.
(b) Mussolini points out how fascist political systems value traditions more highly when those traditions focus on domination and oppression.
(c) Kant portrays ethical values as products of the antagonism between those who emphasize motives and those who emphasize consequences.
(d) Ayn Rand expresses disappointment in ethical systems that value the rights of the individual over the rights of the State.
139. According to Carol Gilligan, feminine ways of thinking about moral
decisions are based on an "ethics of care" rather than on (male) impersonal,
abstract principles. That is, women think of ethical situations:
(a) as opportunities to deny that there is any right or wrong way to act and to show how the very act of making ethical distinctions is itself a form of male domination.
(b) not as questions with true or false answers, but as conflicts in need of resolution in order to maintain stable interpersonal relationships.
(c) as opportunities to replace so-called universal abstract principles of ethical judgment with more specific abstract principles (e.g., principles that apply only to one's culture).
(d) not as gender (masculine-feminine) conflicts, but as problems that can be solved by calculating the foreseen consequences for those affected by actions.
140. According to the (feminine) ethics of care, emotional involvement
and sensitivity to the differing needs of other people in different situations
are necessary elements in making objective moral judgments because:
(a) morality is based on nothing more than how each individual feels about things.
(b) sensitivity and caring are subjective expressions of rational, objective, unemotional ways of thinking.
(c) particular needs and situations seem to differ, but they are similar enough for general moral judgments.
(d) without sympathetic, emotional involvement, we cannot understand exactly what action occurs or why it is done.
141. Critics of feminist ethics point out that, while an ethics of care
might sound nice, it is less useful than an ethics of justice for addressing
problems generated in modern Western societies. To this criticism,
feminists reply that:
(a) without being able to rely on traditional ethical theories (e.g., utilitarianism, Kantian duty ethics), we would not know how to make moral decisions.
(b) social practices should focus on cultivating relations with others rather than encouraging competition and self-interested individualism.
(c) marketplace competition and rational self-interested behavior are matters of economic and political concern and are thus not issues that are of ethical significance.
(d) being responsible for or caring for others in our society is best accomplished by encouraging competition and self-interested individualism.