Daniel: There are certain actions that moral duty obliges us to perform regardless of their consequences. However, an...

Daniel on March 23 at 11:19PM

Can we please get an explanation for this one?

I chose E, since Carrie would seem to agree with this but Daniel wouldn’t necessarily. Am I extrapolating too much that sense of duty = fulfill moral obligation? Thanks!

6 Replies

Shunhe on March 24 at 01:35PM

Hi @dannyod,

Thanks for the question! It’s true that in Carrie’s case, she would likely think that the criterion being used was incorrect. But we can’t know for sure what Daniel would think. The problem here is actually extrapolating too much in saying that motivations for acting based on a sense of duty are the “right motivations.” Daniel never tells us what the right motivations are, and so those could be based on a sense of duty or based on other motivations (love, empathy, trying to achieve the best consequences). Since we don’t know if duty-based motivations are “the right motivations,” we don’t know if Daniel thinks that people who act based on a sense of duty act in morally good ways. Thus, (E) can’t be the right answer.

(D), on the other hand, is the correct answer. Daniel would certainly agree with (D), since he explicitly tells us that no action can be morally good unless it is performed with the right motivations. In other words:

~performed with right motivations —> not morally good

which is what (D) tells us. Carrie, on the other hand, would definitely disagree with (D), since she believes that there are actions that can be performed with the wrong motivations that are morally good: namely, any action that fulfills a moral obligation, whether or not the motivations behind it are right or wrong.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

Daniel on March 24 at 11:37PM

Not sure if this was an error but I can't see your post, do you mind reposting? Thanks

Shunhe on March 25 at 12:50PM

Hi @dannyod,

Hmm, interesting, thanks for letting me know. I hope it works this time.

Thanks for the question! It’s true that in Carrie’s case, she would likely think that the criterion being used was incorrect. But we can’t know for sure what Daniel would think. The problem here is actually extrapolating too much in saying that motivations for acting based on a sense of duty are the “right motivations.” Daniel never tells us what the right motivations are, and so those could be based on a sense of duty or based on other motivations (love, empathy, trying to achieve the best consequences). Since we don’t know if duty-based motivations are “the right motivations,” we don’t know if Daniel thinks that people who act based on a sense of duty act in morally good ways. Thus, (E) can’t be the right answer.

(D), on the other hand, is the correct answer. Daniel would certainly agree with (D), since he explicitly tells us that no action can be morally good unless it is performed with the right motivations. In other words:

~performed with right motivations —> not morally good

which is what (D) tells us. Carrie, on the other hand, would definitely disagree with (D), since she believes that there are actions that can be performed with the wrong motivations that are morally good: namely, any action that fulfills a moral obligation, whether or not the motivations behind it are right or wrong.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

Daniel on April 6 at 10:42PM

Apologies, but this is still blank for me...

Shunhe on April 7 at 04:19PM

Let me try posting again, you might need to update the app from what I've heard?

Hi @dannyod,

Hmm, interesting, thanks for letting me know. I hope it works this time.

Thanks for the question! It’s true that in Carrie’s case, she would likely think that the criterion being used was incorrect. But we can’t know for sure what Daniel would think. The problem here is actually extrapolating too much in saying that motivations for acting based on a sense of duty are the “right motivations.” Daniel never tells us what the right motivations are, and so those could be based on a sense of duty or based on other motivations (love, empathy, trying to achieve the best consequences). Since we don’t know if duty-based motivations are “the right motivations,” we don’t know if Daniel thinks that people who act based on a sense of duty act in morally good ways. Thus, (E) can’t be the right answer.

(D), on the other hand, is the correct answer. Daniel would certainly agree with (D), since he explicitly tells us that no action can be morally good unless it is performed with the right motivations. In other words:

~performed with right motivations —> not morally good

which is what (D) tells us. Carrie, on the other hand, would definitely disagree with (D), since she believes that there are actions that can be performed with the wrong motivations that are morally good: namely, any action that fulfills a moral obligation, whether or not the motivations behind it are right or wrong.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

Daniel on April 8 at 03:01PM

For some reason this appears blank on my tablet but I can see on my phone. Thanks for responding. I actually thought Carrie would agree with E, since I equated fulfilling a moral obligation w a sense of duty, which Carrie says is required for an action to be morally good, but Daniel says does not necessarily make an action morally good, hence disagreement. I guess I still don't understand how Carrie's position that "the only thing required for actions to be morally good is fulfilling obligation" necessarily translates to her disagreeing w D, that "actions based on a sense of duty are morally good." Aren't these two positions compatible? What if all actions based on a sense of duty also fulfill moral obligations?