Human & Animal issues

AQA
Ethics

Theft

Natural law on theft: 

  • Theft could sometimes violate the preservation of life – if you steal a person’s limited resources.
  • Theft is against the primary precept of an orderly society
  • However if someone is in danger and theft is the only way to save them, then theft can be justified and shouldn’t techincally be called theft. Double effect could allow this if the intention is to save life and theft is beside the intention.

Situation ethics on theft:

  • Situation ethics would be in favor of an action when it maximises agape and against it when it does not.
  • Theft could be justified to save a starving family.
  • Theft would not be justified if it was unnecssary and purely done for greedy purposes.

Virtue ethics on theft:

  • Aristotle regards theft as ‘base’ meaning it is always wrong.
  • However, the context is that Aristotle’s ethics is meant to be relevant to rich Greek men of high social status. Theft would always be wrong for them, but it could be acceptable for those of a lower class if it is to save others which would enable eudaimonia. 

Lying

Natural law on lying:

  • Lying goes against the orderliness of society.
  • Aquinas accepts that to prevent harm or danger it could be acceptable to ‘hide the truth prudently, by keeping it back’. E.g. the murderer at the door example. If they ask where their victim is, and you know, you should simply not tell them.

Situation ethics on lying:

  • Situation ethics would be in favor of an action when it maximises agape and against it when it does not.
  • Lying could be justified to save a life or prevent danger (murderer at the door).
  • Lying would not be justified if it was done for unloving purposes of manipulation, e.g. lying to someone in order to defraud them.

Virtue ethics on lying:

  •