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By Tibor R. Machan

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The idea that we have the moral responsibility to seek pleasure for ourselves is not widely publicized except perhaps in Playboy and similar magazines. Still, in ordinary life people look for opportunities to enjoy spectator sports, parties, vacations, eating, drinking, and sexual activities. Some people pursue these pleasures diligently, even systematically. Often we view such conduct as reflecting inner drives rather than conscious choice. If so, the conduct would have no moral sig- 44 _ A PRIMER ON ETHICS nificance, since choice must be possible before ethics can even enter the picture.

We may not reflect on them at length. Yet unless these decisions conform to basic guidelines, they will not fit into a consistent, workable life plan. Ethical principles supposedly steer us toward a good human life, which is the first goal of everyone. The principles of ethics involve basic moral values. The concept of value, however, is often used at moments when morality is not involved, for example when we speak of valuables, the truth of a statement, or something's aesthetic or economic worth.

Must address something that individuals may actually encounter in their lives. By the same token, the cases investigated in conjunction with the testing of scientific theories must be connected with reality even if only remotely. TYPES OF MORAL THEORIES Specific ethical theories are broadly classified as deontological, consequentialist, and teleological. A deontological moral theory focuses on the intention that underlies an action. " If someone does something that is highly valued but the person has ulterior motives (for example, he or she wants power or praise or favors granted in return), then the act itself is deemed morally insignificant.

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