?Please answer all four questions in your own words, no secondary literature, with at least 400 words.
1) What would Kant say about the violence in one of the films we have seen in class, Reservoir Dogs, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Infernal Affairs. (PLEASE CHOOSE MOVIE FROM “Infernal Affairs (2002), “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”, “The Departed (Martin Scorsese)”)
**Find two characters to discuss** Consider Plato & Aristotle’s position first.
(a) Plato: Stories undermine ethics they are false, don’t bring you closer to the truth.
For example, Plato would say that Violent film makes you violence.
(b) Aristotle: Stories especially tragedy make audiences better people (watch and learn)
For example, Aristotle would say that people are smart enough to match a violent film and say no to it.
(c) Kant: Would not let any violent film. It is bad, doesn’t like violence at all.
**Focus on the following questions:
(a)explain and quote the categorical imperative. You use your own words to explain.
(b)explain Kant, Plato and Aristotle on whether viewing violence makes you violent
(c)explain 2 scene from the movie of your choice and explain how they make you experience violence. Is Kant right or wrong? Why?
Quote from text title “ Fundamental…”
Sentence: “Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature.”
(1) Categorical imperative: Not worthy to be ethical. Only accept actions that are good. Only do things that are categorical imperative. Always to be truthful (good) / no violence.
eg. If you are thirsty, then drink.
(2) Hypothetical imperative: Should I lie?
2) What would Bentham say about the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment? What about Mill?
(a) First explain what happened at Tuskegee. then explain Bentham.
Bentham is purely numerical, for him an ethical society is the one with the most happy people. Some people may have to suffer, but what matters is the SUMTOTAL of happiness. He calls one person’s happiness = 1 Hedon = unit of pleasure. So happiness requires adding up all the Hedons.
Bentham thinks that society is good if the greatest number of people are happy, it’s ok if the rest people are unhappy.
(b) Mill is about “higher goods” explain what this means and show with a quote from the text.
Mill asks himself that what kind of society are we if we let other people suffering. If we are actively harming other people, the society is not good. He wants all of us living in a good society. Experiment is an active government violence against people.
*Mill text: “happiness of principle”
– Chapter 2.
– Utilitarian, higher/lower pleasure
3) Ethics for Nietzsche is a mad-made social construct which needs to be replaced with a “New Science of Morality.” Explain Nietzsche’s view of the history of ethics and what his solution might be. Use a film to help you illustrate Nietzsche’s ideas. (CAN CHOOSE MOVIE FROM: “IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE” or “CONFUCIUS”)
Quote Nietzsche and show how he thinks religion and ethical systems are designed for social control.
He said God is dead, people have no beliefs, not care at all. Religious churches, institutions and moral systems: take the advantages of people’s desire to believe something. Decide each of us. How can I live without hurting other people, conform system.
We should live a good life without hurting people. (Antidemocratic)
Nietzsche: new science of morality.
Ask the question how I can be free thinking individual and do great things without hurting anyone. Use all of them to revenge. Use the passion to revenge to hurt others.
4) Freud believes that becoming an ethical, responsible citizen is a traumatic experience which makes one long for an “oceanic experience.” Explain the “oceanic” and consider the ways in which Freud is similar to Kant.
quote Freud, explain why we long to feel “oceanic” and why Freud says that we must obey society’s rules– it’s for our own good because humans are violent– Homo Homini Lupus.
“I had sent [Romain Rolland] my small book that treats religion as an illusion…”
Oceanic feeling: have the desire to be connected to the others, feel connected to the world, feel the center of the universal.
To be moral about right and wrong; painful to be moral, so escape.
Freud similar to Kant: He thinks that it is your duty to obey the law, not to escape.
“men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved…Homo homini lupus. [Man is wolf to man]”
Human are animal to prevent them to hurt others. Human naturally violent so we need to be controlled, and we can be trained to be good citizen.