Friedrich Nietzsche and the Attack on Morality
What is your conception of the good life? What goals or principles are primary? What are the roles of success, wealth, freedom, and friendship? Are they ends or means? If they are means, how do they lead to the end in question?
What qualities do you consider to be the most important virtues a person can possess? What are the qualities most valued by our society?
In our sense, is it always the case that everyone strives for happiness? Are there other goals or principles that might be more important?
What considerations do you use to tell whether someone’s action is selfish? Is selfishness always wrong? Sometimes wrong? When? Be specific.
Under what circumstances, if any, is it permissible to lie? What does your answer indicate about the justification of the principle that one ought not to lie?
How would you apply the first formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative to a specific circumstance? Imagine, for instance, that you are considering stealing a book when no one is looking. How would you decide, according to Kant, that this act is immoral?
The British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once wrote, “What is morality in any given time and place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like and immorality is what they dislike.” Do you agree?
A hungry cannibal chieftain looks you over and declares that you will indeed make a fine dinner. What can you say to him to convince him that cooking you would be wrong? (Convincing him that you won’t taste good is not enough.)