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Dworkins Distinction Between Ethics and Morality - Essay Example

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An essay "Dworkin’s Distinction Between Ethics and Morality" reports that ethics can be used to draw specific lines and establish minimum standards of conduct.The law and legislators’ success, therefore, depends on the members of a community accepting the ethical standards.
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Dworkins Distinction Between Ethics and Morality
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Download file to see previous pages Certainly, morals are informed by both “majorities” and “minorities”4 and it, therefore, makes sense that standards are set, regulated and enforced by via executive functions. For Dworkin, it is within this paradigm that the political community exists. The political community is a pivotal point of individual and collective identity. Depending on whether or not the political community is successful or not, members of the community will either perceive that the political community enhances the quality of our lives or limits it.5 According to Dworkin, morals and religions differ and conflict among groups and thus it is impossible to construct a universal legal or communal code that embodies all moral and religious ideologies and values. Thus, political communities set limits and standards for all.6 In this regard, Dworkin’s conceptualization of the relationship between morality and ethics explains the relationship between morality and the law in a way that is consistent with Rawls’ idea of justice.7 For Rawls, justice is achieved by setting standards, but by avoiding prohibiting moral and religious beliefs that deviate from the established standards. A just society instead will tolerate the views of others.8 Similarly, Dworkin advocates for a political framework that takes a neutral stance in that it does not favor one set of religious or moral values over another.9 Rawls conceptualization of justice and the political community is more realistic than Dworkin’s theory. It is conceivable that a legal and/or political framework can set and enforce specific moral standards and at the same time recognize and tolerate other religious and moral standards that are different from the normative standard. This would accord with ideas of equality. Thus Rawls’ theory of political liberalism makes more sense than Dworkin’s theory of liberal community. Dworkin advocates for a neutral framework while admitting that it is impossible to formulate a universal moral code. Arguably, in order to be neutral, the political community’s framework must reflect the common values of all members of the community. The values and morals of some members of the political community will be left out since the liberal community must determine and set standards for all to follow. Therefore, Dworkin’s theory of liberal community is a bit contradictory. Nevertheless, Dworkin insists that law and the liberal community that informs the law is beneficial to members of the community because it formulates standards thus facilitating fairness and certainty. It also ensures that members of the community are treated equally and thus makes the community more sincere and enhances the moral rationale for the exercise of executive powers.10 The difficulty with this aspect of Dworkin’s reasoning, however, is that the executive may decide to treat all members of a community with equal oppression.11 In such a case, would the executive have a moral justification for the exercise of its powers? The answer according to Gough and Stables is found in Dworkin’s general assumption that the liberal community is structured around respect for rights and dignity of the members of the community. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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