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

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what if aliens had diffrent morals

This question is intended for anyone who does not espouse a belief in total "moral relativism." If intelligent aliens existed, would it be our duty to treat them the same way we treat fellow humans? ...
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Is 'with great power comes great responsibility' true? [on hold]

I wonder if the quote with great power comes great responsibility is true. If you don't use the power, what's the point of taking responsibility?
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Do people have the right to split off part of a sovereign state?

On one hand we have sovereign nation states with stable, recognised borders. On the other hand there can be groups of people inside them that want to split off to become independent, or join a ...
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33 views

Consolation for failure or fear of failure?

What philosophers have specifically explored failure and the fear of failure? What works / passages?
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What philosophical school does Raskolnikov belong to in Crime and Punishment?

At the beginning of the novel, Raskolnikov sees himself as a “superman,” a person who is extraordinary and thus above the moral rules that govern the rest of humanity. His estimation of himself ...
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Could a machine or an AI ever feel genuine human-like emotions?

The question of "Could a machine/AI ever feel genuine human-like emotions"? arises in movies such as Bladerunner, IRobot, Star Trek and A.I among others. What is the philosophical arguement behind why ...
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How should people who don't follow the “golden rule” be treated?

I think the value and effectiveness of the golden rule as guide to ethical conduct is self-evident, so far as the individual is recieving equivalent treatment in return among peers. Yet, I have ...
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Can I assume that “Normative Ethics (Moral theory)” all about “Justice”?

It seems that absolute goodness is impossible to convince or to prove logically other than within religious communities. Q1) Am I thinking right here? If there is no absolute goodness except from ...
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Do human rights exist?

What is the basis for believing that there is such a thing as human rights? I am all for human rights but it could be argued that the notion of human rights is imaginary and reducable to absurdity ...
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Does any ethical theory concern value prioritization?

Please pardon my wordings (a big hurdle for a non-native english speaker) My short knowledge recognizes Kant's system quite unique in the sense that it does not have any materialistic value ...
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Is human exceptionalism justifiable?

This is syntactically a little awkward, but my question is: Is there some objective sense in which the differences, taken in sum, between humans and other animals are greater than the differences ...
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Is C.S. Lewis argument for absolute morality valid?

I just stumbled on this argument from a Christian website that claims it is from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity: The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, ...
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Does racism towards racists count as racism? [closed]

I'm not good at giving examples (at this moment), but I think you can understand what I mean.
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Should ever one ought to believe a proposition that he *knows* to be false?

Has this question ever been discussed in the philosophical literature? An example that comes to mind is a proposition like "I am the best chess player in the world" during a chess match. Arguably, ...
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Should people feel bad when the laugh at the misfortunes of others?

Aristotle wrote, As for Comedy, it is an imitation of men worse than the average; worse, however, not as regards any and every sort of fault, but only as regards one particular kind, the Ridiculous, ...
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What would be considered ethical behavior if decision making was devoid of emotional attachment?

Would human behavior be more or less ethical if decision making was devoid of emotional attachment? There are many different philosophical systems that argue either for or against emotional ...
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107 views

What would be the philosophical implications of a solution to the Riemann hypothesis?

In mathematics, the Riemann hypothesis, proposed by Bernhard Riemann (1859), is a conjecture that the nontrivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function all have real part 1/2. The name is also used for ...
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Is patriotism ethical? [duplicate]

In the 24th lecture of Steven Smiths Political Philosophy class at Yale available on ItunesU, he says that Patriotism is unethical because it implies "a blind deference to tradition" and sums it up in ...
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Is a work ethic, ethical?

Having a work ethic means being disciplined and hard-working amongst other things. But I'm hard-pressed to see this as being part of the notion of ethics in the usual or philosophical sense. Who ...
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Is it unethical for a person to become a doctor because it is a high income profession?

It is posited that the most ethical reason for a person to become a doctor is out of a genuine altruistic desire to help people, in contrast to because it is a profession which pays well. Therefore is ...
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Philosophy of stress?

Is there any interesting philosophy about stress? Being stress free 24 hours a day isn't necessarily a good thing - don't people need a little stress to keep going? We aren't used to a stress free ...
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Is it possible to act unethically against oneself?

Usually discussions of practical/applied ethics (which this site really needs a tag for, by the way) discuss matters in which a person's actions will have an effect on others. However, is there ever a ...
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Is a violation of intellectual honesty unethical?

Is someone who is not intellectually honest doing something unethical, or merely untruthful? Is any form of dishonesty always unethical, even methodological dishonesty? (i.e. not thinking a problem ...
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Can a dogmatic person engage in intellectually honest inquiry?

Can someone fooling themselves still be intellectually dishonest? Certain people may be dogmatic theists and believe that 'D' (for dogma) is true, and would really believe that D is true no matter ...
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Why is orangutan meat not good to eat?

Many of us, even slightly familiar with ethics, know about Tom Regan and his quest of establishing animal rights with us humans. According to him, vegetarianism is a moral obligation of all people, ...
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Evil thoughts without actions?

Can a thought without a corresponding action be morally wrong? More fully, under which approaches to morality do thoughts, in and of themselves, carry moral significance? In particular I'm looking ...
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Would it be good if everyone was good?

When people meet somebody who hurts us or just behaves in an inappropriate way, we usually think that the world would be so wonderful if all people were good. I know that one can have his own ...
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Lawyers and crimes: moral, work ethics, truth and culpability

If a lawyer that is representing a defendant finds that his client is guilty, how is he supposed to act? Can a lawyer lie or pretend he doesn't know something? Should or could he, morally, try to win ...
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Can Elon Musk & Stephen Hawking's Evil Robot theory be opposed by a loving robot theory?

CNBC recently released an article discussing how Elon Musk & Stephen Hawking fear the machine and the capabilities of AI in robots. The fear is that the robots will evolve to re-code themselves ...
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Is it incumbent upon humanity to look after our planet? [closed]

The science fiction writer Harlan Ellison wrote a story called "Phoenix without Ashes". Upon discovering the destruction of the entire planet, humanity had to build a massive Ark called Earthship Ark ...
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How was arranging the trade of POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five detainees possible without “negotiating with terrorists”? [closed]

The United States of America has had a historical policy that they do not "negotiate with terrorists". How was brokering a trade of POWs between opposing sides of the War on Terror possible without ...
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Can Rawls justify eugenics?

Rawls seems partial to the idea of eugenics, as perhaps this is the corollary of the difference principle. Am I correct in this understanding? I refer to p.92 of A Theory of Justice (1999): In the ...
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Critique of Korsgaard's polis-comparison?

I am currently reading Korsgaard's Self-Constitution in the Ethics of Plato and Kant (which you can find here). I was wondering if the argumentative step from an injustice in the perfectly arranged ...
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Works that tackle the question of vegetarianism

I'm looking for recommendations of works that argue for or against vegetarianism primarily from an ethical (rather than health or religious) POV. Rather than Epicurus, Pythagoras, et al., I'm ...
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Plagiarism problem

I have two exactly similar essays from my students. By the rules they should fail the class. But they claim that it's just coincidence. Taking into consideration the fact, that there is nonzero ...
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Was Kant successful in establishing the autonomy of the will?

Was Kant successful in establishing the autonomy of the will, and hence the authority of moral demands over us? Kant appeared not to recognize the gap existing between the law of an autonomous ...
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Kant on Euthanasia

I know there are many permutations of questions pertaining to euthanasia, but in the interest of specificity, let's keep it to these two cases. How might Kant respond to: A) The claim that ...
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What counts as a talent for Kant?

According to Kant, we have an imperfect duty towards ourselves to develop our talents. What counts as a talent? Could something as trivial as juggling constitute a talent? Surely Kant is referring ...
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Kant on Positive Obligations (to children)

With respect to the Formula of Humanity, if we accept that: A) We are each capable of acting 'on the basis of reason' (in accordance with the requirement of universal law); and B) Rationality is ...
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Assuming many-worlds interpretation of QM, do ethical obligations cross worlds' boundaries?

Bear with me here. Let's assume, for the purpose of this discussion, many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. This interpretation stipulates something like multiple parallel realities that ...
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In Kantian ethics, how does one choose a universalizable maxim?

For a homework assignment, I am to apply Kantian ethics (the categorical imperative) to a concrete question. I purposely do not mention the actual homework problem in this question; this is purely an ...
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Sartre and Existentialism

Can we cultivate ethics or morals from Sartre's existentialist perspective? What does he mean by a world where not only God does not exist but “Man” too? Is it a different world than Nietzsche's ...
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Should I use people's Facebook photos unauthorized and anonymously? [closed]

I'm a computer scientist trying to implement a smile detection algorithm, and for that, I need a lot of face images to train my algorithm. My question is, is it ethical to download people's Facebook ...
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Factors of a Utilitarian Calculation

The Economist assesses the results of studies that pose two moral dilemmas: ...you are on a footbridge watching a trolley speeding down a track that will kill five unsuspecting people. You can ...
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Fear of failure

Most of us may have witnessed times where the fear of failure is used as an effective tool to bring out the best or to make people perform. On the other hand, performing under constant fear may result ...
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What is the Difference Between Human Rights and Natural Rights?

When people discuss the human rights and natural rights, there seems to be a distinction between the two, where standard interpretations of human rights (such as the Universal Declaration of Human ...
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Is it Unethical to Use Sarcasm?

I am trying to find an ideal example of when it is best to use Sarcasm. It seems that sarcasm in general is a rude, and disrespectful approach to talk to someone. I can see how it may be used to prove ...
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What are some examples of solved philosophical problems?

Are there any examples of philosophical problems that have been solved? How can we know a proposed solution to a philosophical problem is correct? Examples of "philosophical problems": If a tree ...
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322 views

Illegal immigration due to poverty - Is there a moral way to tackle it?

It should be clarified that I would greatly prefer to see avoided any arguments on the subject matter that are based on race, belief, political affiliation or similar. It would be appreciated that we ...
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Using embryos in stem cell medicine

To what age of embryo (if at all) it would be considered socially/morally acceptable to use embryo as stem cell source to potentially save someone's live? EDIT: I would like an answer to give ...