James Rachels

James Rachels

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Adı:
James Rachels
Unvan:
Filozof
Doğum:
Columbus, Georgia, ABD, 30 Mayıs 1941
Ölüm:
Birmingham, Alabama, ABD, 5 Eylül 2003
Eğitim: Mercer University, Kuzey Karolina Üniversitesi, Chapel Hill
When we feel strongly about an issue, it is tempting to assume that we simply know what the truth is, without even having to consider the arguments. Unfortunately, however, we cannot rely on our feelings, no matter how powerful they may be. Our feelings may be irrational; they may be the products of prejudice, selfishness, or cultural conditioning.
...the purpose of our genitals is to procreate: Sex is for making babies. It may be argued, then, that gay sex is unnatural because it is sexual activity that is divorced from its natural purpose.
This seems to express what many people have in mind when they say that homosexuality is unnatural. However, if gay sex were condemned for this reason, then a number of other, widely accepted practices would also have to be condemned: masturbation, oral sex, sex using condoms, and even sex by women during pregnancy or after menopause. These practices would be just as “unnatural” (and, presumably, just as bad) as gay sex. But there is no reason to accept any of these conclusions, because this whole way of reasoning is faulty. It rests on the assumption that it is wrong to use parts of one’s body for anything other than their natural purposes. Why should we accept that assumption? The “purpose” of the eyes is to see; is it therefore wrong to use one’s eyes to flirt or to give a signal?
...criticizing animal experiments is too easy for most of us. We may feel self-righteous or superior because we do not do such research ourselves. All of us, however, are involved in cruelty when we eat meat. The facts about meat production are more disturbing than any facts about animal experimentation.
if someone says that something is morally wrong, he does need reasons, and if his reasons are legitimate, then other people should accept their force. By the same logic, if he has no good reason for what he says, then he is simply making noise and may be ignored.
• Ethical Egoism: Each person ought to do whatever will best promote his or her own interests.

• The Social Contract Theory: The right thing to do is to follow the rules that rational, self-interested people would agree to follow for their mutual benefit.

• Utilitarianism: One ought to do whatever will lead to the most happiness.

• Kant’s theory: Our duty is to follow those rules that we could accept as universal laws
—that is, rules that we would be willing for everyone to follow in all circumstances.

And these are the theories that have dominated moral philosophy from the 17th century on.
Being alive is a benefit only if you can carry on activities and have thoughts, feelings, and relations with other people -- in other words, if you have a life. Without such things, biological existence has no value.
“Miss Anscombe,” as she was always known—despite her 59-year marriage and her seven children—would go on to become one of the 20th century’s most distinguished philosophers and perhaps the greatest woman philosopher in history.
Suppose it is held to be absolutely wrong to do X in any circumstances and also wrong to do Y in any circumstances. Then what about the case in which a person must choose between doing X and doing Y? This kind of conflict seems to show that moral rules can’t be absolute.
If you are opposed to something but have no good arguments against it, you can always make up a prediction about what it might lead to; and no matter how implausible your prediction is, no one can prove you wrong.
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Yazarın biyografisi

Adı:
James Rachels
Unvan:
Filozof
Doğum:
Columbus, Georgia, ABD, 30 Mayıs 1941
Ölüm:
Birmingham, Alabama, ABD, 5 Eylül 2003
Eğitim: Mercer University, Kuzey Karolina Üniversitesi, Chapel Hill

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