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‘Justice’ (being just)

The concept of justice, in general, is complex and somewhat nebulous (and thus specified differently by the different aspects of it), and, of course, deeply philosophical, considering that every society has its own ideas of what is and isn’t just in the different spheres of life where the concept must be applicable, so after finding and accepting a definition, we should ask ourselves, what is justice to us, personally, when it is related to crime and punishment in the 21st century America, and how much of our own conviction (no pun intended) regarding those issues agrees with the way our society manages them, and also, if you consider the idea of social justice an integral part of the issue (dilemma?) of crime and punishment or separate from it? For starters, please see the dictionary definition of justice below.

Please understand that such issues can lead to the conflict of opinion with other students who may see things very differently, so please refrain from name-calling, empty propaganda (use facts, instead), and assigning blame to certain groups of people or to one political party or another (there is plenty of blame to go around in every direction, in any case) and try to focus on facts and logic in support of your argument.

Here is your discussion challenge:


Before you start: Please watch the Movie Moments videos — they provide information you should know before you make your argument one way or another.

1. Try to define ‘justice’ regarding ‘crime and punishment’ in our society.  What is justice, in essence, within that framework? Punishment? Retribution? Deterrence? Correction? Protecting society from harm? Maintaining the status quo (a tradition and social order to be upheld and continued unchanged) and, if so, can it be separated from another concept, ‘social justice?’

2. Is our justice system ‘just,’ according to the definition you find relevant, and also, is it so according to its moral definition in our society? What can be the reason for ‘injustice’ (if there is any) within our justice system?

3. There are all kinds of talks about the need for prison reform — why? Is there anything wrong with it? And if so, how could the system be improved (in case it should be improved)?

Here is a dictionary definition of ‘just:’

just 1

    (jŭst)

adj.

1.  Honorable  and  fair in  one’s  dealings  and  actions:  a just ruler.  See  Synonyms at  
fair
 1.

2.  Consistent  with  what is  morally  right;  righteous:  a just cause.

3.  Properly  due or  merited:  just deserts.

4.  Law  Valid  within  the  law;  lawful:  just claims.

5.  Suitable or  proper in  nature;  fitting:  a just touch of solemnity.

6.  Based on  fact or  sound  reason;  well-founded:  a just appraisal.

adv.  (jəst, jĭst; jŭst when stressed)

1.  Precisely;  exactly:  just enough salt.

2.  Only a  moment  ago:  He just arrived.

3. By a  narrow  margin;  barely:  just missed being hit; just caught the bus before it pulled away.

4. At a  little  distance:  just down the road.

5.  Merely;  only:  just a scratch.

6.  Simply;  certainly:  It’s just beautiful!

7.  Perhaps;  possibly:  I just may go.


Idioms:


just about

Almost;  very  nearly:  This job is just about done.


just now

Only a  moment  ago.

[Middle  English  juste,  from  Old  French,  from  Latin  iūstus;  see  
yewes-
 in  
Indo-European roots
.]

just′ly  adv.

just′ness  n.

just 2

     (jŭst)

n.  & v.

Variant of  
joust
.

 American  Heritage®  Dictionary of  the  English  Language,  Fifth  Edition.  Copyright ©  2016 by  Houghton  Mifflin  Harcourt  Publishing  Company.  Published by  Houghton  Mifflin  Harcourt  Publishing  Company.  All  rights  reserved.

just

adj

1.

a.  fair or  impartial in  action or  judgment

b. as collective noun;  preceded by  the):  the just.

2.  conforming to  high  moral  standards;  honest

3.  consistent  with  justice:  a just action.

4.  rightly  applied or  given;  deserved:  a just reward.

5.  (Law)  legally  valid;  lawful:  a just inheritance.

6.  well-founded;  reasonable:  just criticism.

7.  correct,  accurate, or  true:  a just account.

adv

8.  used  with  forms of  have to  indicate an  action  performed in  the  very  recent  past:  I have just closed the door.

9. at  this  very  instant:  he’s just coming in to land.

10. no  more  than;  merely;  only:  just an ordinary car.

11.  exactly;  precisely:  that’s just what I mean.

12. by a  small  margin;  barely:  he just got there in time.

13.  (intensifier):  it’s just wonderful to see you.

14.  informal  indeed;  with a  vengeance:  isn’t it just.

15.  just about

a. at  the  point of  starting  (to do  something)

b.  very  nearly;  almost:  I’ve just about had enough.

16.  just a moment  just a second  just a minute an  expression  requesting  the  hearer to  wait or  pause  for a  brief  period of  time

17.  just now

a. a  very  short  time  ago

b. at  this  moment

c.  South African  informal in a  little  while

18.  just on  having  reached  exactly:  it’s just on five o’clock.

19.  just so

a. an  expression of  complete  agreement or of  unwillingness to  dissent

b.  arranged  with  precision

[C14:  from  Latin  jūstus  righteous,  from  jūs  justice]

ˈjustly  adv

ˈjustness  n

Usage:  The  use of  just  with  exactly ( it’s just exactly what they want) is  redundant  and  should be  avoided:  it’s exactly what they want

 Collins  English  Dictionary –  Complete  and  Unabridged,  12th  Edition  2014 ©  HarperCollins  Publishers  1991,  1994,  1998,  2000,  2003,  2006,  2007,  2009,  2011,  2014

just1

   (dʒʌst)

adv.

1.  within a  brief  preceding  time;  but a  moment  before:  The sun just came out.

2.  exactly or  precisely:  That’s just what I mean.

3. by a  narrow  margin;  barely:  just over six feet tall.

4.  only or  merely:  I was just a child. Don’t just sit there.

5. at  this  moment:  The movie is just ending.

6.  simply:  We’ll just have to wait and see.

7.  quite;  really;  positively.

adj.

8.  guided by  reason,  justice,  and  fairness.

9.  done or  made  according to  principle;  equitable:  a just reply.

10.  based on  right;  lawful:  a just claim.

11. in  keeping  with  truth or  fact;  true;  correct:  a just analysis.

12.  given or  awarded  rightly;  deserved:  a just punishment.

13. in  accordance  with  standards or  requirements;  proper or  right:  just proportions.

14.  (esp. in  Biblical  use)  righteous.

15.  actual,  real, or  genuine.

[1325–75;  Middle  English <  Latin  jūstus  lawful,  deserved,  just,  adj.  derivative of  jūs  law,  right]

just′ly,  adv.

just′ness,  n.

And here are a few links that can help you started:

On right and wrong:

Why innocent people plead guilty? http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/11/20/why-innocent-people-plead-guilty/

It is not so simple: Why people keep returning to prison? http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35263313/ns/business-careers/t/unable-get-jobs-freed-inmates-return-jail/#.WUdK_-vyuCo

The difficulties of parole. https://people.missouristate.edu/michaelcarlie/what_i_learned_about/pp/difficulties.htm



Psychology Discussion Requirements:

1. You are required to have 3 posts in each discussion, and these three posts must be made on three separate days.  The first post is the initial response to the question that appropriately and completely addresses the topic

2. Your initial post (your response to the topic) must contain a citation.  It is your ideas supported by research. Please refer to the APA PowerPoint in the Start Here section of the classroom for information on proper formatting. There will be a deduction of 20 points for failure to cite a source within your initial post and to provide a reference at the end of your initial post.

3. Your initial post must be a minimum of 400 words and each response must be a minimum of 350 words. Please double-check your word count. Only posts that meet the word count requirements receive credit.

4. Post your word count at the end of each post. There will be a 5 point deduction for each failure to provide a word count.

5. Please address fellow students and professor by name. There will be a 5 point deduction for each failure to address by name.

6. Please use spell-check and proper grammar. Points will be deducted for each spelling and grammatical error up to 10 points for each post.

REPLY TWO PEERS MINIMUN 350 COUNT WORDS

The remaining two posts are responses to two different classmates

1- Dennise Williams 


COLLAPSE

Top of Form


                                            What is “Justice”?


                                        Dennise M. Williams


                          Critical Thinking, Keiser University


                                    Professor Zoltan Vamos


                                        September 13, 2021

 

         The definition of Justice can mean different things for each of us.  There are many meanings of the word “Just” or “Justice” in the dictionary. It means “honorable” or exactly, precisely, consistent with Justice, fair, “impartial “and consistent with Justice. These are many examples of the word Justice.  Crimes are committed every day, and the laws are made by men and are broken by men. The legal system was supposed to be made for punish people when the laws are broken, but there are so many flaws in the system.

     There are so many injustices done in society today. American citizens have the right for a speedy trial of twelve of their peers. These people must use all the evidence to prove within a reasonable doubt that the person was guilty or innocent. What is “right” or “wrong”. (Horowitiz,2011). This is questioning what we believe and why we believe it. Looking back in society many different ethnic groups didn’t have “Justice”. How can you get a fair trial when science was not brought into the courtroom until 1923?

      Millions of people’s lives were taken from them in some way or form because of “eyewitness statements” These statements held strong credibility with the court and until science was brought in many people went to jail or prison on false charges. (Rakoff,2012). According to the “American’s Guilty Plea Problem” out of 350 people about 10 percent of the people are guilty but most of the people were innocent, and they had to plea out because of the overrun court systems, or the social status of the person matters because of the financial costs of lawyers.

      “Social Justice “plays a big role in the court system. If you didn’t have the means or privileges for within society, pleading out was the only choice they had even if they were innocent. This appeared to be the only option because if they took it to trial, they might receive a must severe charge or punishment.

      When science met law, this helped hundreds of thousands of innocent people. (Fraser.2012) “Reconstructive memory “happens without our awareness. Bits and pieces of information is only used when recalling experiences and only partial of the information is stored. The definition of Justice means fair so is it fair for the killer of a mother gets parole or should he get the death penalty.

      In my eyes the laws are not fair because Justice for me is not the same as justice for the next person.   Can there really be “retribution’ for a child losing their parent? Can a person really be rehabilitated and change? Socrates’ believed in “Examine of life”. This was questioning what we believe and why we believe it. I believe in rehabilitation and retribution to society and the ones we hurt. If the death penalty is enforced, it doesn’t change the pain and suffering. It won’t change the pain or bring back someone from the dead. If someone is executed, they can try to pay back what they took, life.      

2 . ERICK SOTO

. Try to define ‘justice’ regarding ‘crime and punishment’ in our society.  What is justice, in essence, within that framework? Punishment? Retribution? Deterrence? Correction? Protecting society from harm? Maintaining the status quo (a tradition and social order to be upheld and continued unchanged) and, if so, can it be separated from another concept, ‘social justice?’

When I think of justice, I think of the laws being enforced to make sure everyone follows them and if a person does wrong, they’re treated accordingly to the crime they committed. Justice doesn’t just punish those who break the law but also helps those who are innocent. Generally, when we think of justice, we think it “is a rational judgment involving fairness in which the wrongdoer receives punishment deserving of his/her crime” (Gordon, 2016). Social justice on the other hand is slightly different because it goes more into equal rights, opportunity, and treatment. The terms justice and just are similar in that they both involve fair decisions. 

2. Is our justice system ‘just,’ according to the definition you find relevant, and also, is it so according to its moral definition in our society? What can be the reason for ‘injustice’ (if there is any) within our justice system?

Our Justice system tries its best to be just, but I fear that it’s still not good enough since mistrials and innocents keep being sent to jail. When it comes to the moral definition in our society, I think our system is just. Lawyers in a courtroom will try to sway the opinions of the court so that their client may win even if their client is the one that did the crime. The reason for the injustice in our system could be corruption or the lack of evidence for a full, complete, and fair trial to be done. 

3. There are all kinds of talks about the need for prison reform, why? Is there anything wrong with it? And if so, how could the system be improved (in case it should be improved)?

“Prison reform is one remedy to the ineffectiveness of our justice system that many states and the federal government have explored. Prison reform is focused on ensuring public safety and restoration for those impacted by crime through the creation of a constructive culture within our prison system” (“Why prison reform matters in America,” 2018). Prison reform tactics such as mental help support, substance abuse treatment, and faith-based programs have been effective tools with the reduction of misconduct, reduced drug use, and reduced reincarceration. Prison reforms seek to provide individuals with a constructive and dignified experience while they are incarcerated, and they’re provided access to tools to help transform their lives. This is done by ensuring that individuals are given the opportunity to use these tools in their time incarcerated in a constructive manner and allows them to maintain positive relationships with their support network, this can increase the likelihood they become productive members of their communities upon reentry to normal life after leaving prison (“Why prison reform matters in America,” 2018).



INDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS

The aim of this tutorial is to help you learn to
recognize, analyze, and evaluate inductive
arguments.

Inductive arguments

Inductive arguments claim that their conclusion probably
follows from the premises. As a result, inductive
arguments are either stronger or weaker, rather than
either true or false.

Certain words and phrases are commonly used in
inductive arguments; these include probably, most likely,
chances are, it is reasonable to suppose, we can expect,
and it seems probable that. However, not all inductive
arguments contain indicator words.

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Most Corgis make good watchdogs.
My dog Mindy is a Corgi. Therefore,
Mindy is probably a good watchdog.

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Three types of inductive arguments

 There are three common types of inductive arguments:

 Generalizations

 Analogies

 Causal arguments

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Generalizations

 We use generalization when we draw a conclusion
about a certain characteristic of a group or population
based on a sample from that group.

 Certain data collection processes employ inductive
generalization. These include polls, surveys, and
sampling techniques. Types of sampling techniques
include representative samples, random samples, and
self-selected samples.

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Hot or Not?

Have you ever made a
generalization in your life that you
later found to be false?

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Problems with generalizations

 Although data collected using inductive generalization
techniques may be useful and credible, it is also
susceptible to problems.

 These problems include:
 Bias in wording, such as slanted questions, push polls, and

loaded questions.

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Evaluating polls or surveys

 When evaluating poll or survey data, it is important to
ask questions to determine the data’s worth and
accuracy.

 Who conducted the poll and what was its purpose?
 How was the sample selected? Was it large enough?
 Was the sample representative of the study group?
 What method was used to carry out the poll?
 What questions were asked? Were they unbiased?
 What other polls have been taken on this issue? Is this poll

consistent with their findings?

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Your participation in a poll helps to provide
an accurate portrayal of a specific group or

a population at large.

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Internet polls and some polls sponsored by television
programs or stations, such as American Idol or CNN,
may be biased or unrepresentative, since they rely on

call-ins from their viewers or subscribers.

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George Gallup

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Comparative table of heights of U.S. presidential
candidates

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Evaluating inductive arguments using
generalization

 When evaluating generalization-based arguments, the
following five criteria are useful:

 Check whether the premises are true.
 Decide if the sample is large enough.
 Decide if the sample is representative.
 Decide if the sample is current and up-to-date.
 Determine whether the premises support the conclusion.

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Women serving combat duty in the United States military has been an issue of contention—
but are we against (or for) it for the right reasons?

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Analogies

 An analogy is based on a comparison between two or
more things or events. Metaphors, a type of descriptive
analogy, are common in literature. Analogies can be
used on their own or as premises in arguments.
Arguments using analogies are common in personal
relationships, as well as in many fields such as law,
religion, politics, business, science, and the military.

 The success of an argument using an analogy depends
on the type and extent of relevant similarities and
dissimilarities between the things being compared.

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An alliance of tribes, Tecumseh argued, is like braided hair. A single strand of hair is easy to
break. But several strands braided together are almost impossible to break.

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Evaluating arguments based on
analogy

 Knowing how to evaluate arguments using analogy is a
valuable critical thinking skill.

 The following strategies are useful:
 Identify what is being compared.
 List the similarities.
 List the dissimilarities.
 Compare the lists.
 Examine possible counter-analogies.
 Determine if the analogy supports the conclusion.

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The argument from design states that God must exist because the world displays
purposefulness.

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“I do [say what I mean],” Alice
hastily replied; “at least—at
least I mean what I say—that’s
the same thing, you know.”

“Not the same thing a bit!” said
the Hatter. “Why, you might just
as well say that ‘I see what I eat’
is the same thing as ‘I eat what I
see’!”

“You might just as well say,”
added the March Hare, “That
‘I like what I get’ is the same
thing as ‘I get what I like’!”

“You might just as well say,”
added the Dormouse, which
seemed to be talking in its
sleep, “That ‘I breathe when
I sleep’ is the same thing as
‘I sleep when I breathe’!”

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“Your Brain on Drugs”

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The claim that AI are not conscious and lack feeling because they are not organic
is based on an irrelevant dissimilarity.

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Causal arguments

 A cause is an event that brings about a change or
effect. In causal arguments, something is claimed as
the cause of something else. Understanding cause and
effect relations is a crucial component of effective critical
thinking.

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Serial killer Ted Bundy blamed pornography for his
crimes.

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Antonia Novello

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Correlations

 When two events occur together at rates higher than
probability, the relationship is called a correlation. If the
incidence of one event increases when the second one
increases, the relationship is called a positive
correlation. A negative correlation occurs when the
occurrence of one event increases as the other
increases.

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The correlation between cigarettes smoked and lung cancer

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Evaluating causal arguments

 Knowing how to evaluate causal arguments makes it
easier for you to employ them productively.

 Use the following four criteria:
 Determine whether the evidence for a causal relationship is

strong.
 Make sure the argument is free of fallacies.
 Decide whether the data is current and up-to-date.
 Make sure the conclusion does not go beyond the premises.

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When making decisions on the basis of causal arguments,
such as whether to allow your children to sit close to a
television, your information should be up-to-date. What

was true at one time may no longer be the case.

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Conclusions

Knowledge of inductive arguments, including
generalizations, analogies, and causal arguments, is
essential for us to effectively function in the world. As good
critical thinkers, we must constantly identify and evaluate
these types of arguments, both our own and those
presented to us by others.

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Perspectives on legalizing marijuana

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  • INDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS
  • Inductive arguments
  • Slide 3
  • Three types of inductive arguments
  • Generalizations
  • Hot or Not?
  • Problems with generalizations
  • Evaluating polls or surveys
  • Slide 9
  • Slide 10
  • Slide 11
  • Slide 12
  • Evaluating inductive arguments using generalization
  • Slide 14
  • Analogies
  • Slide 16
  • Evaluating arguments based on analogy
  • Slide 18
  • Slide 19
  • Slide 20
  • Slide 21
  • Causal arguments
  • Slide 23
  • Slide 24
  • Correlations
  • Slide 26
  • Evaluating causal arguments
  • Slide 28
  • Conclusions
  • Slide 30

DEDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS

The aim of this tutorial is to help you learn to
recognize, analyze, and evaluate deductive
arguments.

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must
be the truth.”

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Deductive arguments

 A deductive argument claims that its conclusion
necessarily follows from the premises.

 Certain words and phrases are commonly used in
deductive arguments; these include certainly, absolutely,
definitely, conclusively, must be, and it necessarily
follows that. However, not all deductive arguments
contain indicator words.

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Hot or Not?

Are deductive arguments better
than inductive arguments?

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Deductive arguments and syllogisms

 Deductive arguments are often presented in the form of
syllogisms, with two supporting premises and a
conclusion.

 A deductive argument is valid if the form of the
argument is such that the conclusion must be true if the
premises are true. The form of an argument is
determined by its layout or pattern of reasoning. An
argument is sound if both (1) it is valid, and (2) the
premises are true.

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No fish are dogs.
All dogs are mammals.

Therefore, some mammals are fish.

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Types of deductive arguments

 There are several types of deductive arguments. Three
types are used in everyday reasoning:

 Arguments by elimination rule out different possibilities until
only one possibility remains.

 Arguments based on mathematics depend on mathematical or
geometric equations to generate conclusions.

 In an argument from definition, the conclusion is true because
it is based on a key term or essential attribute in a definition.

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A mouse locates the prize at the end of a maze through the deductive process of
elimination.

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Bo Dietl

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The smooth landing of the Mars rovers was a result of the deductive reasoning skills of
NASA scientists.

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“Marilyn and Jessica cannot be married, since a marriage is a union between a man and a woman.”
This argument may no longer be sound because the legal definition of marriage is undergoing change.

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Hypothetical syllogisms

 Hypothetical reasoning involves “If…then…” reasoning.

 A hypothetical syllogism is a form of deductive
argument that contains two premises, at least one of
which is a hypothetical or conditional if…then statement.

 There are three basic patterns of hypothetical
syllogisms:
 Modus ponens (affirming the antecedent)
 Modus tollens (denying the consequent)
 Chain arguments

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Modus ponens arguments

 In a modus ponens argument, the following structure is
used:

If A, then B.

A.

Therefore, B.

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Modus tollens arguments

 In a modus tollens argument, the following structure is
used:

If A, then B.

Not B.

Therefore, not A.

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Chain arguments

 In chain arguments, the following structure is used:

If A, then B.

If B, then C.

Therefore, If A, then C.

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Using hypothetical syllogisms

 Not all valid arguments are sound. Rewording
arguments in ordinary language in the form of
hypothetical syllogisms can help you expose faulty
premises. They are also useful as clarification tools, and
as decision-making aids.

16

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Categorical syllogisms

 A categorical syllogism is a type of deductive
argument that sorts things into specific classes or
groups. It is composed of a conclusion, two premises,
and three terms, each of which occurs exactly twice in
two of the three propositions.

 Categorical syllogisms can be written in any of 256
standard forms or combinations.

17

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Standard-form categorical syllogisms

 A standard form for categorical syllogisms is shown
here:

 All P are/are not M. (P=predicate, M=middle term)
 Some S are/are not M. (S=minor term, M=middle term)
 Some S are/are not P. (S=minor term, P=major term)

 As with hypothetical syllogisms, if the form of a
categorical syllogism is valid, then the argument will be
valid regardless of term substitutions.

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Quality and qualifier

 Each proposition in a standard-form categorical
syllogism is written in one of four forms based on
quality (universal or particular) and qualifier (affirmative
or negative).

 Three forms predominate.
 Universal affirmative: All S are P.
 Universal negative: No S are P.
 Particular affirmative: Some S are P.

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Venn diagrams

 Venn diagrams are useful instruments for diagramming
and evaluating categorical syllogisms. They directly
engage our spatial reasoning ability and help us to
visualize group relationships effectively.

20

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21

P M
No (dogs) are (cats).

S M
Some (mammals) are (cats).

S P
Therefore, some (mammals) are not (dogs.)

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Translating arguments into standard
categorical form

 Rewrite each proposition in standard form, starting with
the conclusion.

 Use the context and grammar of the original argument to
decide on which qualifier to use.

 Identify the three terms in the argument.
 Where necessary, rewrite each term as a noun or noun

phrase.
 Each proposition uses a form of the to be verb.
 Assemble in standard form: major premise, minor

premise, conclusion.

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Conclusions

Knowledge of deductive arguments—including arguments
from definition, mathematical arguments, arguments by
elimination, and hypothetical and categorical syllogisms—
is essential for us to effectively function in the world. As
good critical thinkers, we must constantly identify and
evaluate these types of arguments, both our own and
those presented to us by others.

23

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How can learning about deductive logic help us make better-informed
decisions?

24

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Perspectives on the death penalty

25

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  • DEDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS
  • Slide 2
  • Deductive arguments
  • Hot or Not?
  • Deductive arguments and syllogisms
  • Slide 6
  • Types of deductive arguments
  • Slide 8
  • Slide 9
  • Slide 10
  • Slide 11
  • Hypothetical syllogisms
  • Modus ponens arguments
  • Modus tollens arguments
  • Chain arguments
  • Using hypothetical syllogisms
  • Categorical syllogisms
  • Standard-form categorical syllogisms
  • Quality and qualifier
  • Venn diagrams
  • Slide 21
  • Translating arguments into standard categorical form
  • Conclusions
  • Slide 24
  • Slide 25

ETHICS & MORAL
DECISION-MAKING

The aim of this tutorial is to help you learn to
identify and employ ethical approaches to
morality and reasoning.

What do you think motivated this man to volunteer his time helping
others?

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Moral and ethical reasoning

Perhaps in no other area are people so prone to engage in
rhetoric and resistance as in debates over controversial
moral issues. Skills in critical thinking can help us to
evaluate moral issues from multiple perspectives, as well
as break through patterns of resistance.

3

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What is moral reasoning?

We engage in moral reasoning when we make a decision
about what we ought or ought not to do, or about what is
the most reasonable or just position or policy regarding a
particular issue. Effective moral decision-making depends
on good critical-thinking skills, familiarity with basic moral
values, and the motivating force of moral sentiments.

4

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Aristotle taught that morality is the most fundamental expression of our rational
nature.

5

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Moral values and happiness

 The association of morality with happiness and a sense
of well-being is found in moral philosophies throughout
the world. Studies support the claim that people who put
moral values above nonmoral concerns are happier and
more self-fulfilled.

 Moral values are those that benefit yourself and others
and are worthwhile for their own sake. They include
altruism, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, and
justice.

6

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Nonmoral, or instrumental, values

 Nonmoral values are goal-oriented. They are a means
to an end we wish to achieve. Nonmoral values include
independence, prestige, fame, popularity, and wealth.

 Although many Americans regard nonmoral values
such as career success, financial prosperity, and flashy
materialism as the means to happiness, there is in fact
little correlation between prosperity and happiness,
except at the very lowest levels of income.

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The case of Phineas P. Gage

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Moral tragedy

 When we fail to take appropriate moral action or make a
decision we later regret, we commit what is called a
moral tragedy.

 These failures can be avoided through development of
critical thinking skills that enhance our moral reasoning.

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Conscience

 A well-developed conscience provides us with
knowledge about what is right and wrong. Like
language, whose basic structure is innate, our
conscience is nurtured/neglected, and shaped by our
family, religion, and culture. Conscience has an affective
(emotional) element that motivates us to act on this
knowledge of right and wrong.

 Effective moral reasoning involves listening to the
affective side of our conscience, as well as the
cognitive/reasoning side.

10

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Moral sentiments

 Moral sentiments are emotions that alert us to moral
situations and motivate us to do what is right. They
include, among others, “helper’s high,” empathy and
sympathy, compassion, moral outrage, resentment, and
guilt.

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“Helper’s high”; empathy and
sympathy; and compassion

 “Helper’s high” occurs when you experience an
endorphin rush after helping others. It aids in promoting
relaxation, and enhances self-esteem.

 Empathy or sympathy is the capacity for and inclination
to imagine the feelings of others.

 Compassion is sympathy in action, and involves taking
steps to relieve others’ unhappiness.

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Moral outrage, resentment, and guilt

 Moral outrage, also known as moral indignation, occurs
when we witness an injustice or violation of moral
decency. Moral outrage motivates us to correct unjust
situations through demands for justice.

 Resentment, a type of moral outrage, occurs when we
ourselves are treated unjustly.

 Guilt both alerts us to and motivates us to correct a
wrong.

13

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Rosa Parks’s resentment motivated her to refuse to give up her seat; her actions
sparked the Montgomery bus boycott.

14

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Guilt and shame

 Guilt is often broadly defined to include shame.
However, the two are different. Guilt results when we
commit a moral wrong or violate a moral principle.
Shame, on the other hand, occurs as a result of the
violation of a social norm, or as a result of failure to live
up to others’ expectations.

 As good critical thinkers, we must learn to distinguish
between the two, and employ other skills such as good
listening and problem-solving to assist in moral
decision-making.

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Hot or Not?

Is guilt good, or is it a barrier
to our happiness?

16

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Lawrence Kohlberg

17

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Development of moral reasoning

 Psychologists such as Harvard scholar Lawrence
Kohlberg (1927-1987) argue that human beings
advance through distinct stages in their moral reasoning
development. These stages are transcultural and
represent increased proficiency in critical thinking skills.

 Research has identified three levels of moral
development:
 Preconventional
 Conventional
 Postconventional

 These levels each contain two distinct stages.

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Preconventional moral development

 In the first two stages of moral development, or the
preconventional level, morality is defined egotistically
in terms of oneself. People at this level expect others to
treat them morally, but generally do not reciprocate
unless they derive benefit. Most people outgrow these
two stages of moral reasoning by high school.

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Conventional moral development

In the next two stages of moral development, or the
conventional level, people look to others for moral
guidance and self-affirmation. People at stage 1 conform
to peer group norms, and believe there are right and wrong
answers and that those in authority know the right
answers. Most college freshmen are at this stage. By
substituting wider norms and laws for peer group culture, a
process known as cultural relativism, people move to the
second conventional stage. Most Americans are at this
stage of moral development, which involves adopting
prevailing views rather than thinking through moral
decisions.

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Postconventional moral development

 In the final two stages, or postconventional level, of
moral development, people recognize that social
conventions need to be justified. Moral decisions should
be based on universal moral principles and on concerns
such as justice, compassion, and mutual respect, rather
than popularity and legality.

 Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of American adults
ever reach the postconventional level of moral
reasoning.

21

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People at the postconventional state are more likely to reach out to the
underprivileged.

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Moral reasoning in women

 Psychologist Carol Gilligan argued that women’s moral
development proceeds differently from that of men. Men,
she said, tend to be duty- and principle-oriented, an
approach she called the “justice perspective.”

 Women, in contrast, are more context-oriented and view
the world in terms of relationships and caring, called the
“care perspective.”

 Research has reached no consensus on Gilligan’s
claims.

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Carol Gilligan

24

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Mohandas Gandhi

25

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Hot or Not?

Does our current education system
inhibit moral development?

26

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Moral theories

 Moral theories provide frameworks for understanding
and explaining what makes a certain action right or
wrong. They also help us clarify, critically analyze, and
rank the moral concerns raised by moral issues in our
lives.

 Our everyday moral decisions and level of reasoning are
informed by the moral theory we accept as true, even
though we may never have consciously articulated that
theory.

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Two types of moral theory

 There are two basic types of moral theories:
 Those that claim morality is relative
 Those that claim morality is universal

 Moral relativists claim that people create reality and
that there are no universal or shared moral principles
that apply to all.

 Moral universalists, on the other hand, maintain that
there are universal moral principles that apply to all.

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Morality is relative: ethical subjectivism
and cultural realism

 According to ethical subjectivists, morality is nothing
more than personal opinion or feelings. What feels right
for you is right for you at any particular moment. Ethical
subjectivism is one of the weakest moral theories.

 Cultural relativism, the second form of moral
relativism, looks to public opinion and customs rather
than to private opinion for moral standards. For cultural
relativists, morality is nothing more than socially
approved customs. Cultural relativism, like ethical
relativism, can be used to support discrimination.

29

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Slavery was once justified as moral by cultural
relativists.

30

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Morality is universal

 Moral universalists maintain that there are universal
moral principles that apply to all. Most philosophers
accept this principle. The following slides examine four
different universal moral theories: utilitarianism
(consequence-based ethics), deontology (duty-based
ethics), rights-based ethics, and virtue ethics.

31

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Morality is universal: utilitarianism

 In utilitarianism, actions are evaluated based on their
consequences. According to utilitarians, actions that
bring the most happiness to the greatest number of
people reflect the principle of utility, or the greatest
happiness principle. In the nineteenth century, Jeremy
Bentham developed the utilitarian calculus as a means
of determining which actions or policies are morally
preferable.

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Jeremy Bentham

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Utilitarian calculus

 According to the utilitarian calculus, there are seven
factors to take into consideration in determining the
most moral action or decision:
 Intensity: strength of the pleasure/pain
 Duration: length of time the pleasure/pain lasts
 Certainty: level of probability the pleasure/pain occurs
 Propinquity: how soon the pleasure/pain will occur
 Fecundity: extent to which pleasure will produce more pleasure
 Purity: the pleasure does not cause concurrent pain
 Extent: the number of sentient beings affected by action

34

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Morality is universal: deontology
(duty-based ethics)

 Deontology claims that duty is the foundation of
morality. Some acts are morally obligatory regardless of
their consequences. Moral principles or duties apply to
everyone, regardless of a person’s feelings or culture.
A famous example of this is the Golden Rule, or the
principle of reciprocity, which exists in every major world
religion and ethical value system.

35

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Immanuel Kant

36

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The categorical imperative

 German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
devised the categorical imperative, which states:
 “Act only on that maxim by which you can at the same time will

that it should become a universal law.”

 Scottish philosopher W. D. Ross (1877-1971) came up
with a list of seven duties derived from the categorical
imperative. Ross argued these duties are prima facie
(Latin for “at first view”)—that is, they are morally binding
unless overridden by a more compelling moral duty.

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Seven prima facie duties

 There are three types of prima facie duties: future-
looking duties, duties based on past obligations, and
ongoing duties.

 Future-looking duties:
 Beneficence: The duty to do good acts and promote happiness
 Nonmaleficence: The duty to do no harm and to prevent harm

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Duties based on past obligations

 Duties based on past obligations:

 Fidelity/loyalty: Duties arising from past commitments and
promises

 Reparation: Duties that stem from past harm to others
 Gratitude: Duties based on past favors and unearned services

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Ongoing duties

 Ongoing duties:

 Self-improvement: The duty to improve our knowledge
(wisdom) and virtue

 Justice: The duty to treat all people with dignity and to give each
person equal consideration

40

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Morality is universal:
rights-based ethics

In rights-based ethics, moral rights are not identical to
legal rights, as they are in cultural relativism. The right to
pursue our interests without interference from others is
limited to our legitimate interests—that is, those interests
that do not harm other people by violating their similar and
equal interests. Moral rights are generally divided into two
areas: welfare rights and liberty rights.

41

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Welfare rights and liberty rights

 Welfare rights entail rights to receive certain social
goods, such as education, emergency medical care, and
police/fire protection. They are important, for without
them we cannot pursue our legitimate interests.

 Liberty rights entail the right to be left alone to pursue
our legitimate interests. Freedom of speech, freedom of
religion, freedom to choose career paths, the right to
privacy, and the right to own property are all liberty
rights.

42

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Welfare rights include the right to emergency
medical care

43

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Morality is universal: virtue ethics

 Virtue ethics emphasizes character over right actions.
A virtue is an admirable character trait or disposition to
habitually act in a manner that benefits oneself and
others. Compassion, courage, generosity, loyalty, and
honesty are all examples of virtues. Virtue ethics goes
hand in hand with other universal moral theories.

 Being virtuous entails cultivating moral sensitivity. Moral
sensitivity is the awareness of how our actions affect
others and involves good communication skills and the
ability to empathize.

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Moral arguments

 Moral theories provide the foundation for moral
arguments and their application to real-life situations.

 In making a moral argument, the point is not to prove
that you are morally superior to others, but come to a
conclusion that leads to an action or policy that is
reasonable and most consistent with moral values.

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Moral dilemmas

Moral dilemmas are situations where there is a conflict
between moral values. Solutions to moral dilemmas are
not right or wrong, only better or worse. Ideally, the best
resolution to a moral dilemma is the one that honors
as many moral values as possible.

46

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Is restricting the rights of certain groups in times of crisis morally justified? On
what grounds?

47

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Resolving moral dilemmas

 When evaluating and resolving moral dilemmas, you
should follow several steps.

 Describe the facts.
 List relevant moral principles and concerns.
 List and evaluate possible courses of action.
 Devise a plan of action.
 Carry out the plan of action.

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Conclusions

Being able to recognize moral arguments and developing
skills to evaluate moral reasoning are important factors in
critical thinking. There is a positive correlation between
level of moral reasoning and critical thinking ability.
Effective critical thinking requires not only that we be
aware of our own moral values, but also that we be open-
minded and willing to respect the concerns and values of
others.

49

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Ku Klux Klan lynchings, and questions or cultural relativism and moral
sentiments

50

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Perspectives on abortion

51

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  • ETHICS & MORAL DECISION-MAKING
  • Slide 2
  • Moral and ethical reasoning
  • What is moral reasoning?
  • Slide 5
  • Moral values and happiness
  • Nonmoral, or instrumental, values
  • Slide 8
  • Moral tragedy
  • Conscience
  • Moral sentiments
  • “Helper’s high”; empathy and sympathy; and compassion
  • Moral outrage, resentment, and guilt
  • Slide 14
  • Guilt and shame
  • Hot or Not?
  • Slide 17
  • Development of moral reasoning
  • Preconventional moral development
  • Conventional moral development
  • Postconventional moral development
  • Slide 22
  • Moral reasoning in women
  • Slide 24
  • Slide 25
  • Slide 26
  • Moral theories
  • Two types of moral theory
  • Morality is relative: ethical subjectivism and cultural realism
  • Slide 30
  • Morality is universal
  • Morality is universal: utilitarianism
  • Slide 33
  • Utilitarian calculus
  • Morality is universal: deontology (duty-based ethics)
  • Slide 36
  • The categorical imperative
  • Seven prima facie duties
  • Duties based on past obligations
  • Ongoing duties
  • Morality is universal: rights-based ethics
  • Welfare rights and liberty rights
  • Slide 43
  • Morality is universal: virtue ethics
  • Moral arguments
  • Moral dilemmas
  • Slide 47
  • Resolving moral dilemmas
  • Conclusions
  • Slide 50
  • Slide 51
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