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Their Roles in Moral Decision Making

LESSON OBJECTIVES:

• Determine the necessary role/s


of Feelings, Reason and
Impartiality in Moral Decision
Making

• Justify why uncontrolled


feelings can be an obstacle to
moral decision-making
Activity 1:
Comment on this statement:
“ I have a very strong feeling about it, it must be true”
ON EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS

• Emotions are formally described


as strong instinctive feelings
distinguished from man’s
reasoning or knowledge.
• Emotions or feelings have long been considered by purely
idealistic views and perspectives as having no place in a
formally made moral decision.

• This prejudice, however, needs to be re-examined thoroughly.


• Although some emotions or
feelings can hinder one from a
clear-minded decision in an ethical
situation, it is also not possible that
human choice can be purged of all
feelings.

• The moral agent is not a machine.

•A more realistic attitude toward


decision-making is to be wary of
the undeniable role feelings may
lead to on a person’s decision
making.
ON REASON AND IMPARTIALITY

Reason enables us to perform moral judgments.

“Moral judgments are not a matter of personal


preferences or tastes …morality is a matter of
consulting reason. The morally right thing to
do, in any circumstance, is whatever there are
the best reasons for doing. If someone says
something is morally wrong, he does need
reasons, and if his reasons are sound, other
people must acknowledge their force” (Rachels,
2003).
On the other hand, Impartiality means that
“every stakeholder’s interest is equally
important. There are no special interests or
people, thus in making every moral decision,
each stakeholder’s interest should be
considered. One must not be arbitrary. Every
person should be treated the same way unless
there is good reason to do so” (Ibid, n.d.).
Activity 2:
Continuation from Activity 1: “ I have a very strong feeling about it, it must be true”

QUESTION:
A) Is there any difference with how you assess things based from feelings
and based from reason and impartiality?

B) Which is a sounder way of assessing your judgment on situations?


Since morality requires The morally right thing Thus, both Reason and
Ethical/moral the impartial consideration of to do is always the Impartiality are
judgments must be every individual's interests, thing best supported considered as the
supported by decisions must be guided as with reasonable minimum requirement
good reasons. much as possible by reason. arguments. for morality.
Assignment:
Provide at least 2 situations in which you can prove the
necessary roles of the following:

a. Emotion/Feelings
b. Reason and Impartiality
Self-Assessment:
What are the underlying reasons why emotions or feelings are
not considered as the minimum criterion for morality? Justify
your views.
RELATED READING RESOURCES
• Babor, Eddie. Bioethics. C & E Publication, Quezon City, 2010.
• Glenn, Paul. Ethics, National Bookstore, Quezon City, 1930.
• Palma-Angeles, Antonette. "Cultural Drivers of Corruption in Business and
Governance." In Business Ethics in Asia: Issues and Cases, edited by Oscar G. Bulaong
Jr., Ike Danita Dewi, and J. Sedfrey Santiago, Quezon City, PH: Ateneo de Manila
University Press, 2014.
• Martin, Mike. Everyday Morality, Wadsworth Thomson Learning Inc., Canada, 2001.
• Que, Nemesio S., S.J, "Notes on Moral Deliberation." Introduction to course notes
for PH104: Foundations of Moral Value. Ateneo de Manila University
• Rachels, James .The Elements of Moral Philosophy. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill
College, 2004
• Rae, Scott, "A Model for Moral Decision Making" Chapter 1, Beyond Integrity.
• Reyes, Ramon Castillo. "Relation between Ethics and Religious Belief." In Moral
Dimension: Essays in Honor of Ramon Castillo Reyes, edited by Nemesio S. Que, S.J.,
Oscar G. Bulaong Jr., and Michael Ner E. Mariano, 107-12. Quezon City, PH: Office of
Research
• Werhane, Patricia H. Moral Imagination and Management Decision Making. New
York: Oxford University Press, 1999.