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Explaining Philosophy Concepts

I am having difficulties understanding certain topics of ethics and I have put them in question form below: I need the answers to those questions to help me to prepare for my exam.. The answers will be very rewarding in helping me to understand the topics of Ethcis that we have covered in our class better.
(our book " The elements of Moral Philosophy" by James Rachels)

These are the questions that I find diffuclt to answer and I would appreciate it if you could provide short answers ( maybe one paragraph, that will allow me to understand the answer fully) in order for me to get rid of the confusion and better understand my topics and also better prepare for my test. The answers that you provide will be used as a study guide for my upcoming exam.

1. What does it mean to say that moral reasons or motives depend on God? What is the problem with this view?
(Fear of punishment and hope of reward are the motives for morality?)

2.What is Classical Utilitarianism? Why, according to this view, nonhuman animals are entitled to equal moral concern.

3.Utilitarians hold that the rightness and wrongness of actions depend only on their consequences. What is one of Rachels' criticisms of this view.

4. Rachels considers and rejects, the argument that ethical Egoism is compatible with commonsense morality. He says there are " two serious problems" with this argument. what are these problems?

5. One of the arguments in favor of " Psychological Egoism" is "The Argument that we always do what we most wanted to do". What are Rachels' two criticisms of this argument?

6. What are the differences between ethical egoism and Psychological egoism ?
(Psychological Egoism is concerned with how people do behave. Ethical Egoism is a theory about how we ought to behave... what are some other differences?)

Solution Preview

I've uploaded my responses to your questions, but also please find them pasted below. I've tried to provide you with a guide to answering the questions on your own as you refer to Rachel's.Though this is an additional comment, and might not be worth too much consideration, you might bear in mind that Rachels has his own agenda. This is not necessarily either good or bad, it's just that his approach to certain concepts will bring with it his own biases and philosophical point of view.
When you're posting these sorts of questions, one thing you might do is relate the amount of experience you have in the field. So, in this case, you should mention how much philosophy you've read and who. That will help me (or whoever's responding to your post) gear my response to you. I don't want to presume too much or too little of your grasp on the material so that the response can be as helpful to your exam review as possible.

1. What does it mean to say that moral reasons or motives depend on God? What is the problem with this view?
(Fear of punishment and hope of reward are the motives for morality?)

Depending on who you read, morality is derived directly from God, indirectly, from God, or has no connection whatsoever to God.Of the former group, motives depend on God because God would be considered the moral lawgiver. Think of the Ten Commandments, for example. There, explicit prohibitions and obligations are laid out. Since the ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a review and explanation of important ideas an concepts found in philosopher James Rachel's book - The Elements of Moral Philosophy. The 6 concept-related questions are answered accordingly (see problem) and explained to help students in gaining a better understanding of Rachel's ideas.