Are there any "objective" arguments for that one ought or ought not to be ethical?

  • plato.stanford.edu/entries/skepticism-moral/supplement.html for me, navely, the fact is everyone has values, so practical value skepticism is not an option, whether or not some values (ethical ones) are more rational than others
    – user25714
    Jul 11, 2017 at 15:05
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    What are you reading or studying that has made this an interesting or important problem?
    – Joseph Weissman
    Jul 12, 2017 at 19:18
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    There's actually a lot of things to unpack in this question. Can you define "objective" for the purposes of your question? Also, it might help to define "ethical."
    – virmaior
    Sep 11, 2017 at 3:50
  • If we all share the same identity then it is always in our best interest to act in everyone's best interests. Schopenhauer explains altruism as the 'breakthrough of a metaphysical truth' - this being the identity of all sentient beings. It would not be a question of 'ought' but one of simple self-interest. Altruism would be indistinguishable from selfishness, and thus the the distinction is sublated and resolved by a doctrine of unity.
    – user20253
    Sep 11, 2017 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


I guess, to make an argument similar to that of Rachels in his "The Challenge of Cultural Relativism", practically all of us live in societies and wish to continue living in some form of a society. For societies to exist requires certain ideals and values to be kept: for example, murdering others who live in the same society is frowned upon because if murdering others was acceptable, then the society would degenerate into chaos and would likely cease to exist. So we need to be ethical to some extent if we wish to continue living in a society.

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