Week Six

This weeks reading –

Ethics in the Virtual World:
Chapter 5; The Cost and Benefit of Virtual Violence

What is Utilitarianism?

Utilitarianism is an ethical philosophy which states that a moral action is one that increases the total utility and happiness in the world. A moral action is something that will increase the amount of happiness in the world and an immoral action is something that will bring more pain that happiness. In Ethics In The Virtual World, Garry Young uses Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill’s example of Classical Utilitarianism. [page 51]

How does one decide which pleasure is preferred?

According to Mill, the pleasure that the majority of the people prefer, who are experienced in both pleasures (i.e. People who both drive cars and motorcycles). To me this is a difficult question to answer. If I personally was asked which pleasure was more desirable, I would think back through previous experiences and make a decision based upon the amount of happiness brought up by each experience. There is not much else that can help decide apart from the feelings and judgement of those who are experienced.

Young, Garry. Ethics In The Virtual World. Durham, UK: Acumen Publishing Ltd, 2013. Print.


Week Five

This weeks reading –

For Week 5 listen: The Economics of Good and Evil: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ybnh1#play
For Week 5 read:
Ethics in the Virtual World:
Chapter 4; Kant’s Call of Duty

What is the ‘categorical imperative’?

My understanding of the categorical imperative is basically an unconditional moral law, absolute for all, regardless of the situations. In Kant’s eyes people should act onto others as they themselves wish to be treated. To break this law is to act not only immorally but irrationally. In his works, Kant presented four formulations of the categorical imperative but only ever held that there was one categorical imperative. It is traditionally referred to as the first formulation: “Act only according to the maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become universal law”

In a way, categorical imperative makes humans less selfish, commanding us to respect universal law instead of acting upon ones own thoughts and desires. This is outlined in another ones of Kant’s statements – “So act as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in another, always as an end, and never as only a means.”

Young, Garry. Ethics In The Virtual World. Durham, UK: Acumen Publishing Ltd, 2013. Print.

BBC Radio 4,. “Jump Media Playermedia Player Helpout Of Media Player. Press Enter To Return Or Tab To Continue. Tomas Sedlacek: The Economics Of Good And Evil”. Analysis. N.p., 2016. Web. 6 Feb. 2016.