A Summary of the Terms and Types of Ethical Theories

Do you have an Ethics class you need to take as a prerequisite or an elective? Here’s a summary of the terms, types, and critiques of ethical series that may help you successfully pass the course.

First, we need to define ethics. What is ethics? Ethics is a branch of philosophy addressing questions about morality.

Ethics is divided into two different ways of looking at the morality of humanity. They are Consequential and Non-Consequential.

CONSEQUENTIAL ETHICS

In Consequential Ethics, the outcomes determine the morality of the act. What make the act wrong are the consequences. It says, it will be legitimate to lie in order to get out of a serious problem, such as to save a persons life. In other words a white lie is fine. So the essence of morality is determined by the result or outcome of the act.

NON – CONSEQUENTIAL ETHICS

In non-Consequential Ethics, the source of morality comes from something else: law, God’s law, moral law, sense of duty, and your definition of what is the virtuous thing to do. All those considerations are built into the act itself before you could think of consequences, before it makes it right or wrong. One classic example is this system is lying. Lying could be wrong because in one system, it’s a violation of the nature of speech. It’s wrong to use a lie to achieve a good end. Simply put, a lie is a lie, is a lie.

Egoism – Utilitarianism – Pragmatism

Egoism – Means, act in your own self-interest.

Utilitarianism – Do that which is moral only if the act produces the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.

There are two brands of Utilitarianism:

1. Act Utilitarianism– Do the act. No consideration of before or after. Do what is called for now, and consider what action will produce the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.

2. Follow the Rule– Means you can’t think of actions as isolated instances. We make decisions based on trial and error, on our experiences. Follow the pattern that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In fact, that’s almost the essence of legislative behavior of law.

Pragmatism- Means, whatever works. Pragmatism believes in the scientific ways of making decisions. Business schools are driven by pragmatism. Pragmatism says, you have to have numbers to prove anything. It’s quantitative not qualitative.

-vs-

Non-Consequential

Non-consequential ethics says morality is determined by higher authority, some sense of duty, the nature of the thing, love, virtue involved, the right thing to do, or intuition. The source of morality comes before the act is done.

1. Intuitionism– Intuitionism says, each person has an in-built sense of right/wrong, a gut feeling, a hunch, and impulse.

Critique:

  • Intuition varies from person to person
  • Intuition lacks solid evidence

Assumptions and values:

  • It assumes that each person is sovereign in making decisions. For example, “it’s my decision; mine alone, my sense of right or wrong.
  • The values are caring, giving, love, support, and justice but it is interpreted according to the assumption behind it. In other words, why do I care about you? Because it’s in my self-interest to care about you, not because you’re a human being.

2. Natural Law Ethics– Natural Law ethics says, respect your natural inclinations.

  • It says, the universe is governed by rational thinking. There’s an orderly way of things.
  • It may or may not include God. There’s just some order behind this.
  • Humans are governed by natural inclinations (natural law). According to ancient philosophers, we’re driven by these basic inclinations:

– Respect/ Preserve life

– Propagate human species (family)

– Search for truth (we want to know the truth)

– Have a peaceful society (we can’t live in chaotic social environment)

  • Ancient philosophers say we have the inclinations that are governed by the following hierarchy of laws:

– Eternal – Grand Plan

– Natural – Human conduct

– Moral – Human conduct (it governs the conduct)

– Physical – Sciences (our community, our government)

– Civil – Practical (our community, our government)

  • Thomas Aquinas says God is behind this eternal plan. However, the ancient laws say there is something orderly in the universe. Thomas Aquinas gave it a religious twist, he said we have a moral obligation to the natural law.

Critique:

  • Positive view of Human. We are rational individuals. We need a rational, stable relationship, regardless of what’s right or wrong, or what social impact our behavior has on others.
  • Discounts human feelings, a natural law (rational is in control).

Can You Really Make Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Accidentally coming across information about making homemade laundry detergent caused me to take some time for research and do some thinking before deciding to give it a go.One of the most interesting lessons that came from experimenting with making my own laundry soap is that it actually is cost-effective. The small effort it takes to learn to make one’s own detergent is surprisingly worth it.

Although the conclusions of my experiments are satisfactory, I’m still planning to refine the recipe. I hope to post new results with optional recipes in a future hub.

On this end of my experimentation as I’m getting ready to post this hub, it’s very funny to me that the article I read was overly critical of making laundry detergent at home!

There Are Projects, Then There Are Projects!

In the beginning, though, I remembered that projects sometimes claim to be easy when in fact they turn out to be beyond me, particularly if chemistry is involved. This could be dangerous in my hands.

Besides that, I did not want to ruin my clothes by making a dreadful mistake, nor waste any time rewashing clothes that did not come clean the first time. Laundry is not a fun chore, even in my lilly pad green laundry room.

Mind you, I am thankful for the conveniences of my laundry room for I surely am not wanting to plop a basket of dirty clothes on my head and trot down to one of the creeks on either end of our street. Nor would I ever be in the mood to wash them by hand on my knees, inviting moccasins to bite my nose. I am thoroughly thankful, yes’siree ma’am.

Recipes For Homemade Laundry Soap!

But, homemade laundry detergent? I could waste a lot more than my time if what I read was not true so there was only one thing to do–research the topic. Unlike laundry, research is something I relish. Tracking down the truth, testing the waters, getting others’ opinions. Now that’s fun stuff.

I read several different detergent recipes, and several blogs about making and using it. The recipe I decided to try had options on some of the ingredients, one being the bar soap that was to be melted down.

A strange-to-me product called Zote was mentioned, pink Zote to be exact. I had never heard of Zote before, not pink, green, or any other color. I didn’t even do any research on it because I thought it must be from Mars and I would never see it in real life. I simply decided to go with one of the other bars.

You Can Make Laundry Detergent!

Although I knew I could find one of the other bar soaps in a blink, the two other main ingredients, Washing Soda and Borax, proved not so easy to find. An online search showed that I could pick these up at an Ace Hardware, but when would I ever get to one of those stores?

Then one day my husband called to announce that he had found them at a Publix located across town. Go figure, we were using cell phones to talk about making homemade laundry detergent.

Then, there I am shopping in a local Big Lot’s store and I come across Zote. Pink Zote, no less! There were no other colors, only pink. I just stood there looking at it for a few minutes as if it were an alien, only recovering when I realized I was talking out loud to myself. “Well, how about that…here it is…it’s a real product…etc.” I grabbed one bar and fled the scene.

The recipe was not hard to make. It was a little time consuming, but interesting, and now that I’ve done it once I’m looking forward to doing it again. In the end, I wound up with a 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap that was to be dispensed into other containers to their half-way mark, each then to be finished off with water. The total would produce 10 gallons of laundry soap.

In the process of my first experiment I learned something important about storing the detergent. After saving a few large store-bought laundry detergent containers and then filling one with the recipe according to directions, I found that the home made product needs to be well shaken before each use. It did not take long for me to realize that I only wanted to store my detergent in 1 gallon containers that have a tight lid.

How Would Making Homemade Laundry Detergent Add Up?

Cheap laundry detergent starts at about 60 cents per load and prices quickly go upward from there. This homemade soap is supposed to run about 7 cents per load. No, I have not figured mine up exactly, but I can tell you that it is a huge savings. This detergent is also easier on the environment because containers are being reused and it works as well if not better than the store brands.

Just to make certain it worked like the reports promised I tried it out before giving 4 friends bottles of the stuff to use. They were incredulous, but willing to take my word and give it a try. I told them I would be writing about their experience with this recipe and that I would be trying other recipes for them to experiment with. Thanks bunches, A., K., J., and M.!

My friends were all about the questions I’ve tried to answer here and they additionally wanted to know if the homemade detergent was safe for HE machines. Good thing it is safe for those machines because I had not considered that issue! (The concern re HE machines is whether the detergent suds, but manufacturers want us to believe that the issues with HE machines’ need for the special detergents are profound and costly.)

So, the friend that I thought would be the toughest sell called to say she loved using it, loved the smell, and said that she wanted to make her own big batch. I asked her to just help me use this up and let me experiment with my other recipe ideas before we decide on which one we like best.

Then I heard from the first friend I gave it to and she was more than willing to let me refill her bottle. The third friend liked it fine–she has a lot on her mind and did not elaborate, but she was happy to get a refill. The last friend I heard from mentioned that their clothes were softer for having used this home made laundry detergent. They all laughed at first, but are now hooked on this new “product.”

My homemade laundry detergent does not contain the harmful-for-the-environment “stuff and such” and, as mentioned, it is safe for HE machines. It really is easy to make and inexpensive. I am looking forward to trying out adaptations of this recipe and I plan to write hubs about them, but I’m going ahead and offering you this introductory recipe today:

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

How Would Making Homemade Laundry Detergent Add Up?

You’ll need:

  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • 1 bar of Pink Zote
  • 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • Several drops of lavender essential oil
  • Several smaller containers with tight lids to divide the mixture for ease in storing and using your product
  • A medium-large funnel (the top opening on mine is about 8 inches)

What To Do:

First, grate or chop the bar of Zote and melt it down in 4 cups of hot water using a medium-large pot of water set on low heat. The smaller the particles the quicker it will melt down.

Fill the 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot water (not boiling). Stir in the melted Zote, several drops of lavender essential oil (start with 7 to test how much scent you want to use–I will be adding 14 next time), the Borax, and the Washing Soda.

Fill the bucket with more hot tap water and stir well. Let sit overnight to thicken.

The next day, stir the thickened detergent again, combining the thickest top layer with the thinner bottom layer. The top layer will be viscous and will likely need to be broken up a bit as you begin to mix it with the bottom layer.

Then fill your smaller containers half full with the detergent using the funnel. Fill the remainder with warm water, cap tightly and shake to mix thoroughly. There will be some sudsing in this process, but I have not seen suds in my washer when using this detergent.

Shake storage containers before each use. Use 1/2 cup of your homemade laundry detergent per average load. This recipe will provide you with 10 gallons of laundry detergent.

Teens Would Love to Have These Things in Their Baskets!

When putting together an Easter basket for a teenager, most parents probably would just fill it with candy and send them on their way. Do you really want to capture their attention, though? Giving them an Easter basket full of goodies they would find ‘cool’ and actually use might make them think twice about rolling their eyes at you.

Below is a list of items and gifts that teenagers would love to see in an Easter basket. I have even included some useful baskets that can be reused and repurposed once the holiday is over.

The Easter Basket for a Teenager

Just like I would for younger children, I would create functional and practical Easter baskets for the teenagers. I would start with a small-ish plastic or woven basket that later can be used as a storage container for CDs, DVDs, or other teenage-approved items.

The container, whatever you choose, could match the teenager’s room or just be a funky (yep, I said funky) patterned storage container, like the black and white striped basket I bought in the picture to the right.

Before you choose your basket, you first must decide with what you’re going to fill it for Easter. Below are some great ideas for teens!

Things a Teenager Would Love to See in a Basket!

Here are some ideas for goodies to fill those baskets for teenagers:

  • iTunes gift cards–Do they have an iPod? Give them a gift card to pick out their music!
  • Cell phone covers–Want to pay for a new phone when the old one is scratched or cracked? Find a cover, like a rubber one, that will save the day.
  • Tickets to movies, sporting events, concerts–Will you go with them or let them take a friend? Keep that in mind.
  • Video game or accessory–This is a no brainer for most teens. Make sure you’re buying for the right video game console.
  • DVDs–Perhaps it’s time to update the collection from SpongeBob and Phineas and Ferb.
  • Popular teen novels–Oh, there are so many to choose from! You could go the normal route of vampires and werewolves, but there are a plethora of great young adult novels out there. I hear the Hunger Games are great novels…
  • Small sports gear (baseball glove, mouth guard…)–Wouldn’t hurt to protect those teeth, would it?
  • Nintendo 3DS–A very, very popular gaming system right now.
  • iPod–A must if you are going to buy an iTunes gift card, of course.
  • Reusable water bottle– Save the environment from all of that plastic and get your teen to drink more water! It’s a win-win!
  • Gum–Help them to freshen their breath, but remind them that they still need to brush twice a day!
  • Gifts from popular TV shows/movies (Glee, etc.)--T-Shirts, hats, notebooks, pencils, posters..You can find something, I’m sure…
  • Photo frames–They can use these to decorate their rooms. It can rest on top of the mound of clothes in the corner, but golly it’ll make the room nice! 😉
  • Sunglasses–They need to be at least semi-close to a designer pair or the teens won’t wear them.
  • Homemade coupons (1 extra hour past curfew, extra time with computer/video games, extra time on phone…)–Simple and perfect.

The Market has a Name. It is Goldman Sachs

A few months ago Ken Clarke, the justice secretary and former chancellor, said that it would take two to three years for Britain to get out of the recession.

“People have got to understand it is going to be a long haul,” he said. “We have got ourselves into a real mess.”

Meanwhile Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned that UK take-home pay will continue to be squeezed.

You get the feeling we may be being softened up by statements such as these: that we are being prepared for a permanent reduction in our living standards rather than a temporary one.

A pay freeze alongside rising inflation means an effective pay-cut. We are seeing massive cuts in our public services and large scale redundancies. Restructuring of the NHS means privatisation by the back door. Libraries are closing. The lift on the cap on council house rents will lead to a form of social cleansing, as poorer people in wealthy areas are forced to leave.

Bankers bonuses, on the other hand, continue to rise. CEOs of large corporations continue to receive the kind of pay and benefits that would keep whole nations afloat.

The narrative being used to justify all of this is one of economic competence. There is a massive black hole in our budget which needs to be filled. At the same time, the government’s economic advisors – the ones who are prescribing these austerity measures – are also the same people who entirely failed to predict the financial crisis in the first place.

Worse: they are the very people whose economic theories brought the financial system to the brink of collapse. Remember, it was these same “experts” who argued for bank deregulation and a liberalisation of the markets. Wherever these policies have been instituted they have lead to financial chaos and a break down in the social order, as wealth flows upward, from the poor to the rich.

Is this deliberate? Are we seeing the creation of a form of corporate feudalism in which a capitalist aristocracy – a corporatocracy – lords it over the rest of us, with democracy as a convenient front?

The Market

In an interview on BBC News 24 on the 26th of September 2011, Alessio Rastani, an independent trader, made certain predictions about the economy.

He said that the euro will crash. “Markets are ruled by fear,” he said. “The big funds don’t buy this rescue plan. They know the market is toast. The stock market is finished. They’re moving their money away to other, safer, assets.”

The interviewer asked him if there’s anything that governments can do to prevent it? “I don’t care,” he said. “If I see an opportunity to make money, I go with that. People don’t remember, but the 30s depression wasn’t just about the market crash. There were some people who were prepared to make money off that crash. It’s not a time right now for wishful thinking hoping that the government is going to sort things out. Governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world.”

Goldman Sachs, in case you don’t know, is the world’s most powerful investment bank.

Some of you may remember an interview in the Times two years ago with Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs. In it he said that he was “doing God’s work.” That interview came out as a response to an article in Rolling Stone magazine by Matt Taibbi, which accused Goldman Sachs of being like “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”

The article was called The Great American Bubble Machine. I recommend you read it.

Taibbi was very clear. Not only did Goldman Sachs make money from the depression, but it engineered it as well. In fact Taibbi goes on to list a whole series of economic crises that Goldman Sachs specifically engineered in order to make money from them, including the sub-prime crisis which brought about the financial collapse of 2008.

It’s a measure of the veracity of the information in the article that Goldman Sachs never sued him over it.

So the next time you hear someone on the TV telling you what “the market” demands, you should remember this.

The market has a name. It is Goldman Sachs.