Dr. Elliot Dorff
17 December 2014
Final Examination Part B
Question #2a: Why should I help someone else in need? David Hume based his philosophy on a belief in cause and effect relations. Hume would begin by observing the person’s current situation and what originally caused him or her to end up there in the first place. He would then analyze the factual relationships between the events (i.e. events A and events B), provided by the senses and evidence, and try to search for a reason that contributed to the cause of these events. During the investigation of his moral philosophy, he is using a method that suggests similarity, contrast, and a comparison between these causative explanations consisting of moral issues and heuristic matters of fact. “The matters of fact of scientific assertions lie in the object, whereas the matters of fact of moral assertions are rooted in human feelings or human nature” (Denise, Theodore Cullom. Great Traditions in Ethics. 11th ed. Australia: Wadsworth, 2005. 133. Print.).
Also Hume would refer to a conjunction of two kinds of experiential events; one event would consist of voluntary actions and the other event would consist of feelings of approval or disapproval. In reference to those two events, Hume would analyze feelings and emotions, but not reason. Another part of his philosophy raises the question of whether the source of morality resides solely in the rational nature
Cooper 2 of the person in need, or solely in their passional nature that helps to consider principles of this understanding. The main principle that motivates Hume to help someone that is in need, is the fact that not all, but at least some, of any person’s passions and concerns do not pertain to their own benefit. “He insists that an individual’s morality is based on sentiments having their origin in concern for others. Such sentiments are universally shared, because they are not affected by the relativism of any personal considerations” (Denise, Theodore Cullom. Great Traditions in Ethics. 11th ed. Australia: Wadsworth, 2005. 133. Print.). Thomas Hobbes’s main motive to help someone in need lay in the evaluations of moral standards of this person. The elements of his psychological theory are displayed in a set of principles that govern several different “motions” of the human mind. He would consider interpreting the traditional ethical concepts consisting of good and evil. “But whatsoever is the object of any man’s appetite or desire, that is it which he for his part calleth good: and the object of his hate and aversion, evil; and of his contempt, vile and inconsiderable” (Denise, Theodore Cullom. Great Traditions in Ethics. 11th ed. Australia: Wadsworth, 2005. 94. Print.). Hobbes would study the desire and aversions that emphasize the person’s judgments of good and evil towards their primary objective in life as well as self-preservation. He must understand what qualities and values are important to the person who is in need of help, and what happiness really means to this person. He would also consider the value that this person has to the other people in his life (wife, children, loved ones, relatives, brothers, sisters, etc.). Hobbes does most definitely consider moral
Cooper 3 standards but his interests also lay in what all of the gamesters all agree on, so that injustice would be delivered to none of them. “A good law is that, which is needful, for the good of the people, and withal perspicuous” (Denise, Theodore Cullom. Great Traditions in Ethics. 11th ed. Australia: Wadsworth, 2005. 103. Print.). Why should I help someone in need? Richard J. Israel would respond by saying he would do it in regards to protecting civil rights. He was fighting for freedom and liberation. “I am a Jew and I am living in the twentieth century. I cannot deny either my modernity or my Jewish. The form of government, which I warmly support, is Western democracy. I am a