Ethics is a branch of philosophy dealing with questions of morality, including justice, virtue and vice, and good and evil

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Kill the last of a species to save one child?

On 30 May 2016 a gorilla was killed after a small child fell into its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. The type of gorilla was a Western Lowland Gorilla, which are endangered. Now, what if the ...
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Within a duty based framework, are apologies contingent on the harmed party's acknowledgement of or contrition for wrongdoing?

During the debate on whether Obama should apologise for the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as some people making trolley problem style comments about how many would have been ...
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Should individual moral obligations determine government policy?

So, there are plenty of arguments out there that argue that since governments do not possess intentionality, are not the origin of their actions, and are not self-aware of their actions or their ...
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Aristotelian views on Justice and Equality

Aristotle discusses two types of justice - one, more general justice that concerns having all the virtues, and a second justice concerning how a state should act. He believes, if I'm not mistaken, ...
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Can donation or charity be a big mistake

Suppose I donate my eyes at an eye bank. The eyes are implanted to a rapist who uses it for doing all wrong things with them, then it is not good. Isn't donating without knowing the recipient a ...
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My Car, She Was Driving, Who Pays the Lapsed Registration Ticket? [on hold]

The title sums the situation up pretty well. My friend was out driving in my car (with my permission) when the car received a ticket (while parked--she wasn't in the car) for a lapsed registration. ...
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How can a utilitarian argue against a “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” scenario?

Imagine that a person steals money from a rich company without the company noticing and gives it to charities that give food to refugees. I can argue that since the money that is stolen from the ...
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Poison and antidote gambit morality problem. If the antidote is sold at fair price, and all negative impacts blocked, what is moral?

The poison and antidote gambit is a frequently used trope in zombie and outbreak fictions, where a poison was distributed followed by selling the antidote at lucrative price as a means to generate ...
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How can I convince a racist that he's wrong?

Starting from the assumption that there is no absolute morality and that good and bad are stories we tell ourselves, how can I logically convince a racist person that he's wrong? There is no right ...
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What is a rebuttal for this argument that “fast passes” are unethical?

Many amusement parks offer fast passes. This option costs a premium over a regular guest pass and allows a fast pass guest to cut in front of a regular guest in line for rides. An argument that this ...
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Nietzsche on the idea of Alienation

Nietzsche believes that modern human beings were alienated from themselves. what was the nature of this alienation? how did we come to be alienated? what exactly are we alienated from? (I believe ...
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How can one change one's motives and know whether they are right, if reasons do not depend on 'people's actual motives'?

Source: pp 70-71, What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (1987) by Prof. Thomas Nagel   Morality is often thought to be universal. If something is wrong, it's supposed to ...
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What does Nagel mean: 'a reason to do what's right and avoid what's wrong' vs 'reasons for action'?

Source: pp 70-71, What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (1987) by Prof. Thomas Nagel   Morality is often thought to be universal. If something is wrong, it's supposed to ...
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Where is the line drawn between immoral inactivity and a simple lack of action?

I've heard a lot about the supposed evils about not voting/voting for a 3rd party in recent political discussion here in the States. The reasoning seems to posit that (e.g.) in the Trump/Hillary race, ...
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Can one believe in Divine Command Theory without the Bible?

If one believes that there is a God and that He created the universe, it would seemingly follow logically that whatever God commands is moral (and whatever He commands not to do is immoral). For ...
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Is it ethically wrong to not vote?

I'd like to describe a scenario and understand what sort of general philosophical tools or schools of thought may be used to answer the question one way or another. The scenario involves an individual ...
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Books on moral realism and moral relativism?

Does anyone know any good books on the topic of moral realism / moral relativism? The kind of book I would most prefer would be one that would address both (realism and relativism) from a completely ...
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Why is engaging others as friends considered good while engaging others sexually considered bad?

Cheating on one's partner(s) is considered a bad thing in most societies; it's definitely often taboo. With "cheating", I mean engaging with another human being in an intimate way, without your life ...
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From a consequentialist perspective, how is using slaves to build buildings immoral?

The consequences I can think of: The slaves die The slave's death can affect their families financially etc.. The buildings benefit people for many years ahead by providing shelter To me it seems ...
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Ethics and countries looking out for their citizens overseas [closed]

Was it ethical for countries to look out for purely just their own citizens / nationals overseas abroad and leave the citizens of other countries to their own devices when the people in those other ...
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From a Kantian perspective, could any aspect of this situation be considered moral?

The situation: Let's say two teams are competing in a research competition. The rules require the teams to have members that have never competed in this competition in the past. The director of Team A ...
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Is it moral for humans to procreate? [closed]

I know it's in our nature and that we want to have kids so that humanity can continue. But is it moral to continue bringing kids into a world that's dying and is full of evil and hate? I feel having ...
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Is it moral/ethical to put use to something(which good intentions) from a Kantian perspective… even though that something has an immoral past? [closed]

For example, the United States put Nazi scientists (who had committed atrocious crimes against humanity in the past) to work on developing rockets in NASA.
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Is it intellectually dishonest for an atheist to become a Freemason

Concern I am debating the merits of becoming a Freemason. My interest is primarily out of curiosity, and finding a social group to join that isn't a gun club or church group. Not that I don't enjoy ...
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Can utilitiarianism require informed consent?

Background In 2014, it was revealed that Facebook had manipulated news feeds to study emotions. Facebook did not go through any sort of ethical review at the time and has been criticized for this and ...
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Is the Golden Rule only half of the story?

One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated. The rule is self-referential and entirely independent of "other". One should not treat others in ways that one ...
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What are the ethical issues specific to the coercive treatment of schizophrenia?

Are there many ethical issues specific to forced psychiatric treatment of the schizo? I'm guessing there's a few, if the failure of psychoanalysis to treat the schizophrenic represents a failure of ...
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How does Badiou summarise Levinas' approach to ethics?

In Badiou’s opening paragraphs he offers an account of Lévinas’s concern with philosophy and its hostility to an ethical relation to the Other. In Badiou’s characterisation of Lévinas, why is it ...
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Are religions at the end more humble comparing with the more Asian streams?

The three monotheistic religions all have a God who provides commandments and rules which are to be obeyed. In Asian religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism there isn't such a God who gives ...
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Has any philosopher, ever, claimed that the life of some people is of no value whatsoever?

Has any philosopher, ever, claimed that the life of some people is of no value whatsoever? Not just that someone is e.g. dangerous, but some people can have no moral claim whatsoever to life? ...
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Can anyone tell me if I interpreted Schopenhauers ethic correctly?

May anyone please help me if I interpreted Schopenhauers ethics correctly/have forgotten something important: "Important for the ethics of schopenhauer is the egoism - because you see yourself as the ...
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Dasein is or isn't responsible, isn't accountable: so what?

I was looking at this The Origins of Responsibility By François Raffoul It's not immediately clear what it means to be responsible but not accountable. Is it just the very loud claim that ...
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Conflict among the religions pertaining to death and afterlife [closed]

I am from India and have got an exposure to the Vedic culture (Hinduism) and also I'm a practitioner of it but I have always been fascinated with other religions which are practiced in different ...
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Why is killing animal for food OK? [closed]

Vegetarian is in minority (I think, and I'm no vegetarian either), and I think most people accept that killing animals (e.g. chicken, sheep, cattles) just because we want to eat their meat is ...
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In defense of consequentalism

Deontologists such as Thomas Nagel say Consequentialism permits actions that aim at evil, which is why it is a false theory. If a (moral) Theory permits actions that aim at evil then it is wrong. ...
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Would selective partitioning of human transplant material in favor of a less desirable alternative based on history of nutrition be ethical?

So I was watching a video today that informed me that pig hearts have been genetically engineered to force compatibility with primates. This logical leap leads me to think "Wow that could be used for ...
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The morals of passivity

Listening to Justice with Michael Sandel, he talks about the trolley problem. In the first case he talks about the classic problem where you are on a tram, and you can steer it towards either a group ...
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If it's impossible to separate science from metaphysics, is it is also impossible to separate science from ethics and values?

One of the most important results in philosophy of science is that every observation is "theory-laden", i.e. that the outcome of any scientific experiment is affected by the theoretical ...
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Can we be ethical and still deny someone a health procedure or treatment, even if the procedure or treatment is necessary?

Recently, I have been getting in conversations with people who are politically active. The main discussion point I find myself struggling to be able to answer is the ethics of single-payer health care ...
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Is laziness and sloth a behavioural problem only?

I'd perhaps be better off asking on cogsci stackexchange. But, can laziness and sloth be a behavioural problem only? Or does it always implicate a cognitive / affective deficiency? Given that the ...
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Why is having a child and killing it worse than just not having it?

Consider these two scenarios: Parent(s) have a child. Mother and father realize they cannot feed the child, so they kill it. Parent(s) think about having a child, but realize that they will not be ...
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Why are equality and fairness valued so highly?

Some philosophies, such as Egalitarianism, highly value equality and fairness. My question is, why? What is so great about equality and fairness? For example, the Soviet Union was much more equal ...
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What is the Kantian reason to release a slave?

Suppose it is 1790 and I have inherited a slave. I have been reading this new book Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, and I trying to act according to the categorical imperative. I am ...
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Are there any school of thought share the same answer with me to veil of ignorance?

I am in a law school now. The teacher taught us the thought experiment of "veil of ignorance" / "original position" in a Tort Law lecture. This was my first time hearing such idea. My answer to the ...
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Kant's ethics and the Inquiring Murderer [duplicate]

Kant argues that you should not lie to the Inquiring Murderer because if lying is taken to be a principle and then universalized, it leads to a contradiction (namely, nobody would believe the liar). ...
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Arguments against “if I don't, someone else will”

Im looking at a class of problems where a person thinks in the line of: "Ok, what i am doing might be wrong. But if stop this activity, someone else will take my position. Therefore, it is not wrong ...
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How to judge ethically? [closed]

In my opinion the correct way on approaching a person which is doing something wrong is to judge their behavior, rather than them as a person. Compare for instance: Option A: John you are an absolute ...
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What ethical problems would recreating Neanderthals from preserved / extrapolated DNA raise?

Watching this Debate on Extinctions, I was struck by the fact that the assembled panel seemed to have no clear consensus on the morality of recreating Neanderthals, even though most of them seemed to ...
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Altrusim and its defenders

What are the best articles in defence of altruism? I've read lots of articles about objectivism but I could not find a consistent article which defends altruism. Could you suggest some because I want ...
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Aristotle on Voluntary Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide

Aristotle greatly emphasizes the influence of the master, or he who possesses the greatest amount of practical wisdom. It is this master that we should turn to in order to determine the most virtuous ...