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Which Rules or Laws Should Be Absolutes

Absolute law is a code of human behavior derived from morality, which is considered universal to all people. It is also sometimes called the law of nature and refers to the idea that it reflects the laws of nature rather than the laws developed by humans. Many nations integrate absolute law into their legal systems in addition to positive law, which is the law created by society to make it more fluid. Another consideration in this problem is that consequentialist and utilitarian views are not immune to this. Instead, they seem determined to assert that a certain quantity has qualitative value (Why should we care about suffering that lacks objective meaning?) There`s a lot in your question about what makes sense given that you`re expressing that you don`t understand where some people are coming from. I will try to answer two of the questions you raised, and I hope that answers your question. There are simply far too many things to consider in order to live in a society filled with absolute laws, so guidelines and written laws are created to deal with the huge gray area that plagues every society when it comes to law. There may be situations where people are unable to understand absolute right. These are cases where people can offer insanity as a defense by arguing that at the time of the crime they were in a mental state that compromised their understanding of right and wrong as moral concepts. It is also generally accepted that persons under the age of majority may not be able to understand the consequences of their actions and that they will not be held liable in the same way as adults, unless otherwise agreed in exceptional cases. From some ethical perspectives, it is always wrong to take certain steps.

For example, some will say that it is always wrong to lie or kill. However, for this to be true, this rule must be important enough to override any other ethical obligation. In the example where it is always wrong to lie, it would mean that it is not acceptable to lie, even if it would save someone`s life. This seems to lead to at most an absolute rule in ethics, since there cannot be several absolute rules without contradicting each other. First of all, you will never get a completely convincing causal story that directly juxtaposes qualitative good with much good. This is because many of the things that people value qualitatively (such as freedom) relate to agency and do so in such a way that it is rarely, if ever, convincing that the protection of the qualitative good is the cause of quantitative loss. So why should it be abandoned or reduced? If we look at Aristotle instead, there are several qualitative characteristics that are important to be ethical. Sometimes they contradict each other, but then we have to balance them on the basis of what belongs to a life of excellence – something Aristotle claims someone with moral wisdom can do. Deontology is associated with the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who is notoriously difficult to understand. Kant`s basic principle is called a categorical imperative; He provided several different formulations of this principle, which obviously do not say the same thing.

But the most popular version asserts that «we should never act in such a way as to treat humanity, whether in ourselves or in others, only as a means, but always as an end in itself» (see here). In an (un)famous essay, Kant argues that lying to someone treats it as a means and not an end, and therefore we should not lie to the murderer at the door. (Some of Kant`s defenders argue that this is a misinterpretation; see here.) In Buddhism, there is a legend or doctrinal story in which (in a previous life) the Buddha commits murder to save his fellow travelers on a ferry. I imagine it will be preserved because it tells us that intentions matter, not the details of our actions. A second approach, which is Kant`s, is to reject the claim that these things can conflict. Kant`s trick is complex, but we can limit it (to answer your objection) to qualitatively evaluating reason in free rational creatures above all and understanding ethics as the application of reason to matters of action. Another consideration is that, again, consequentialist views are not lacking in conflicts of principle. Mill`s utilitarianism claims that actions are good to the extent that they promote happiness and bad to the extent that they promote unhappiness, but he also incorporates at least two other principles that seem to contradict it.

First of all, in the same text, he tries to claim that there is a difference in the types of pleasures depending on what should make us happy. Second, in On Liberty (and elsewhere), he argues that we cannot harm anyone to maximize happiness – but this means that in his consequentialist view, there are two principles: the principle of greatest happiness and the principle of evil.