We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
To my simple mind, teleological (outcome-based) ethics, like Utilitarianism, are not ethics or morals at all: our daily actions need to be teleological most of the time, but that is about practical judgement - not morality. As a foundation for a moral code, teleological ethics are insidious and dangerous.
Like most people, my moral codes are not carefully thought through. They are mostly inherited from a long line of Yankee Puritans, and Christianity-based. Thus far, they have kept me out of the clink, but have not protected me from doing my share of stupid, cruel, or selfish things. Like most people, I only focus on morals when presented with a moral dilemma that comes up on the radar, because the rest of the time I am on moral autopilot. I guess I'd have to say that my morality is neither deontological nor teleological, but mystical as G.K. Chesterton would say(Ten Commandments, The Great Commandment, etc) in its origins, with a dose of my personal obsessionalism on top.
Still, it's an interesting thought experiment to spend a day thinking about how - or whether - my daily decisions might be different if I consciously and deliberately pretend to adopt a different moral foundation.
Image: Immanuel Kant
Dr. Bliss comment: You are right that one's morality is not arrived at by deliberate thought. Guilt and morality are quasi-internalized during youth. After that, it's all about just learning the rules, laws, and socio-cultural expectations to avoid a messy life. Maybe I will post a draft of a piece I once wrote on the subject for a lay audience.
I sure do. That's why I said "...most times...". The majority do the right thing, however, and never give it a thought. It's living. Shoulders hunched in pondering every action is a sad waste of living if you ask me. So is looking to haunted philosophers for the answers.
Emmanuel Levinas has ethics coming before epistemology (Totality and Infinity), from a phenomenological argument,
which if you're the sort who can read that sort of stuff with pleasure, seems closer to experience than Kant's attempts.