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Moral Decision Making Lecture

Moral Decision Making: How to Approach Everyday Ethics

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Publisher's Summary

Whether or not we're aware of them, we make important ethical decisions all the time - as professionals, consumers, citizens, parents, sons and daughters, and friends. These 24 thought-provoking lectures offer you the chance to reflect on some of the most powerful moral issues we face in our daily lives: Is it ever OK to lie? What are our moral obligations to others? What is the key to living the good life?

From Plato to Kant to Bonhoeffer, you'll see how some of the world's greatest thinkers from across the ages have approached similar problems. Professor Martin provides a complete picture of various ethical schools and approaches and applies this rich philosophical overview to "case studies" relevant to our contemporary lives.

You'll explore all the ins and outs of issues such as business ethics, love and marriage, privacy and technology, genetic engineering, animal rights, and much more. Engaging stories and thought experiments bring these issues to life, showing what different philosophical theories have to say about real-world ethical dilemmas.

According to Professor Martin, the trick is to understand that the mind is like a parachute; it only works when it's open. Rather than take a side in any particular debate, this course provides a framework for thinking through a host of debates and dilemmas from all sides. Through it all, Professor Martin is a sympathetic guide, helping you think through some of our most complex decisions.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2014 The Great Courses (P)2014 The Teaching Company, LLC

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  • Jacobus
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    19/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easy-followed down-to-earth relevant ethics course"

    In 24 lectures prof. Clancy Martin makes his listeners realise that moral decision making is an important, yet often neglected part of life. He initially uses practical everyday scenario's to introduce those questions in life that seems to be the stuff that only Philosophers really ponder on. While highlighting various Western and Eastern Philosophical traditions as well as Christian and Buddhist religious traditions to show different ways in which you should approach a seemingly moral dilemma, he helps the listener to decide how he or she will deal with a certain issue in the future. Though he leads the listener in taking his view, especially towards the end of his lectures, he doesn't force it on you.

    Maybe a little bit of criticism from my side would be his inability to think a bit more globally about certain issues, especially about things like the death penalty, recycling and caring for your elderly parents. I think that in these lectures he seems to be unable to escape his North American mindset. That said, it was still interesting, and even these lectures can be of help to someone from another continent.

    The three lectures I found most valuable is "Aren't Whistle-blowers being disloyal?" and "What is wrong with Gossip?" and "Why can't I date a married person?" Some of the ways in which he navigates his reasoning through difficult issues without religious endorsement is ingenious. As a chaplain working within a multi-religious environment, this course is really beneficial.

    I think the goal on any course in ethics would be to get people thinking about what they do and if it is right and wrong. By empowering people to evaluate their own actions, you can change people's behaviour radically and in a very short period of time. A successful course in ethics should just to what I've described above. Prof. Clancy Martin has surely succeeded through these Great Courses' lectures to do just that. It is recommended extremely high!

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Carrie Booth
    Albuquerque
    10/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Taking as Many Perspectives as Possible"
    Would you listen to Moral Decision Making again? Why?

    Yes, I actually plan to after reading something else. This course was very engrossing and thought-inspiring. The topics were relevant to most people facing the modern world of today and I feel that much could be gleaned from a second and third listen.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was really into the discussions on money and economics, as well as the Golden Rule and hedonism.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I certainly tried! It took me 2 days to get through.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    04/03/15
    Overall
    "Great"

    Thought provoking. Especially the last few lectures discussing animal rights. Though, the whole course is laced in utilitarianism. Still great

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Guilherme
    Porto Alegre, Brazil
    22/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thinking about issues people don't talk about"
    Would you listen to Moral Decision Making again? Why?

    This is a book that there is just so much important information, that is simple not possible to get it all one single listen. I certainly will listen to it again.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Moral Decision Making?

    I can name a few likeChapter 9 was The golden rule - don't do unto others what you wouldn't want them do unto you and its implications are not as simple as they seem at first. Emanuel kant's review of the law - treat people a an end not as a means. Chapter 11 with the master and slaves ethics and where the judeo-chistian tradition have taken their ideals from are also very interesting.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    As for me, all I know is that I know nothing, for when I don't know what justice is, I'll hardly know whether it is a kind of virtue or not, or whether a person who has it is happy or unhappy.
    Republic, 354b-c - On the last lecture


    Any additional comments?

    A book that all humans should listen to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • "unknown"
    Albany, CA, United States
    09/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is college level material?"

    I am only a few chapters into this, but I'm sorry to say I don't think I can stand any more of it. The content of these lectures is at the level of self-help pep talks, or maybe non-denominational church sermons, but certainly not college courses. If I had signed up for this course in college I would have dropped it after the first lecture unless I needed an easy 'A'.

    Add this professor is not lecturing, he is reading a script that was written to sound as if he's lecturing. But he reads it so badly that instead of sounding like a well-informed and interesting lecturer, he sounds like an amateur actor.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Cathy
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    06/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could Listen Again and Again"
    Would you listen to Moral Decision Making again? Why?

    Yes. The material in this study is presented in easy to digest, tasty chunks. At the end of every half-hour lesson, I was eager to think more about what I had just heard.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. This was a wonderful listen while I was commuting to and from work.


    Any additional comments?

    Professor Clancy Martin is a gifted speaker and the material he presented in this audible challenged my definitions and parameters of moral / ethical decisions, actions, and dilemmas. Stretched me to become more aware of what I think and how I choose to act.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mary E Nicolai
    13/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful and well done"

    One of the best. Every public servant (especially political) should listen to this insightful lecture. The historical perspective mixed with today's issues was so well done. I am referring this lecture to several people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • wbiro
    Bear, Delaware United States
    16/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Replace 'Everyday' With 'Striving for Popularity'"

    Content: One Star.

    These lectures read (listen) more like chapters in a popular book. I was expecting (and needed) something heavier. I viewed the applied philosophies presented as extremely lightweight - I concluded that the lectures were originally intended to be a popular book aimed at an audience that gossips while folding clothes and bedsheets.

    Nevertheless I found the lectures interesting in that they clearly illustrated the clueless nature of the human paradigm (in fact it made me feel like a higher mental species altogether) - in that a lot of questions were raised, and (typical for philosophies to date) no answers were offered (other than that "the questions still needed to be answered").

    Just to note, if you want a Top-Down perspective for evaluating the thought content herein (and all past and present philosophies - life-guiding or applied) (and human activity in general), use my "Philosophy of Survival and Objective Ethics for Higher Consciousness and the Space Age" (tentative title) where you would ask, "What does that have to do with securing higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe?"

    I gave it all the stars because the book was good for me personally - for it is a good lecture series for one's first foray into applied philosophies (though I had been sparing myself the pain of disappointment over the results) (and I wasn't disappointed in that disappointment), and into what mental effort has been done to date (very little) in the areas covered. So the content for such a person will be new, but useless otherwise.

    In summary, these lectures illustrate why 'wisdom' (and philosophy) have been so readily disregarded - their fingers have been wagging at us from vapid platforms.

    Just to note, (and to explain why), I say 'vapid' because the lecturer rarely offered any answers (and I'm not picking on the author - he reflects the state of academic philosophy - where academic philosophers hide in history or immerse themselves in lexiconic trivialities rather than addressing what we really need - a new life-guiding philosophy) (and before you claim you have one, 'trite platitudes', 'narrow maxims', and 'obsolete adages' are not philosophy - they merely masquerade as such, for they are not universal, nor broad and far-ranging - they apply to animal-level existence), and when the lecturer did attempt answers, the answers never addressed even the first level of a challenging "Why?" hence they were lightweight.

    and just a bynote on the challenging question "Why?" - the more appropriate challenging question is "Why bother?" for the answer to "Why?" is different (it is "Because the universe is a chaos system." where the answer to "Why bother?" is, "Because higher consciousness is a good thing.") - and, just a note on that answer, it becomes the Ultimate Objective (Universal) Value of a new life-guiding philosophy, which leads to an Ultimate (Objective) (Universal) Goal (securing higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe), which gives us a basis for clearly and quickly determining good and evil (which humanity still cannot do, or explain), which gives us a basis for building worthwhile individual lives and relevant civilizations. (and my apologies, but disseminating such enlightenment through comments has a certain grass-roots satisfaction); and another bynote - if you found yourself tempted to argue against 'higher consciousness' (which you embody), then give yours up or be a hypocrite (unless you are being a mere fool).

    So read the book (and view humanity) in that light, if not for the enlightenment itself, then at least to gain a sense of my disappointment (and drive behind developing a new (and real) life-guiding philosophy).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eric Michael
    Seattle, WA USA
    06/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not systematic"

    Because the course wasn't systematic in its approach to moral systems, it felt more like a wandering conversation as opposed to the systematic approach to moral decision making I was hoping it would present.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aashutosh Karnik
    09/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't include what I hoped it would"

    While it is a decent compilation of various viewpoints, it didn't impress me a whole lot. The author narrates the book reasonably well. There was a time though, when I felt like quitting since the content seemed like it was too banal. All in all, not bad, but not extraordinary as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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