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Questions tagged [ethics]

For questions about ethics, a branch of philosophy dealing with morality, justice, virtue, vice, good and evil.

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Notions of Right and Wrong in Perfectionist Ethics

In perfectionist ethics, there are self-regarding duties -- that is, duties that prescribe responsibility to strive for excellence. However, one particular passage in the linked text seems ...
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Does morality care about its history?

In a recent debate we came to blows about whether or not it was immoral to eat meat. (I’m vegan so I’m surrounded by people who say it is). But I made the case that eating meat isn’t immoral. The act ...
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Are there moral objections to a life motivated purely by money? How to sway a person from this lifestyle?

Let’s say there’s a person, Z. Z has decided that his goal in life is to get as much money as possible, and at the end, to upload his consciousness into a robot/computer to live forever in his ...
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Should only philosophy students study logic, ethics, axiology, phenomenology, epistemology, and aesthetics? [on hold]

E.g a physician. Should they not start in any univeristy studying these modules? Actually a lawyer most law schools teach philosophy of law as an elective module. And no social philosophy or ...
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How does Hume argue that the rules of morality “are not conclusions of our reason”?

David Hume claims that the rules of morality “are not conclusions of our reason.” How does he argue for this?
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60 views

Misbehaviour to seek revenge or suit our convenience (Edited) [closed]

Can our misbehavior towards an individual or group of individuals be ever evaluated, and if so, how much of it should be acceptable? There are examples in mythological texts & scriptures of ...
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Does a White Man have a stronger objective duty to produce Sons or daughters? [closed]

I'm interested in learning about schools of ethics that discuss the value of Sons vs daughters. The most I know so far is that Darwinist Ethics says a White Man is objectively morally obligated to ...
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Can someone explain Aristotle's 4 virtues (prudence, temperance, courage, and justice)? [closed]

If someone could give examples of applying these virtuous would be appreciated.
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Is there any moral dilemma/situation clearly showing the usefulness of virtue ethics?

I have to study a case where I take any moral dilemma or situation I want to and apply virtue ethics on it but I can't really seem to find anything.
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Can philosophy ask questions about what is moral or immoral without deriving the answer from a meta-ethical theory like deontology? [on hold]

Can philosophy ask questions about what is moral or immoral without deriving the answer from a meta-ethical theory like deontology? So can e.g. philosophy say that murder is wrong, even argue for it, ...
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Organ Donation Obligation

Mike has a genetic kidney disease, which caused his kidney to fail at the age of 7. Mike has a biological child named John, who Mike knew would have a 100% chance of getting the disease. Now John is 7 ...
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Hume's argument for the subjectivity of morality

I am trying to analyze the following argument by Hume in his Treatise of Human Nature: But can there be any difficulty in proving, that vice and virtue are not matters of fact, whose existence we ...
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What are the justification for Kants moral philosophy?

I have trouble understanding the justification Kant gives for his moral philosphy. My main problem is: Why is practical reason the way humans can figure out the morality of an action? Why is it ...
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Are deontologists arguing against virtue ethics, and if so does it matter?

This question got me thinking. If deontology and virtue ethics are not reconcilable but in direct competition with each other, does that mean that in arguing for one we are arguing against the other? ...
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Is “cultural appropriation” the consumption or just the production of culture by outsiders? [closed]

Is "cultural appropriation", in the unethical or problematic sense, the consumption or just the production of culture by outsiders? Does any philosopher claim that the former isn't, and, if so, how ...
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Can we measure “braverity” objectively?

By saying "bravery/courage", we implicitly mean a hard task that we wouldn't do it in daily life, and we have to sacrifice something to get it - we are scared. It is, after all, just a cost-benefit ...
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What is the connection between celibacy and the acts/omissions distinction?

In "Kuhse, Helga and Singer, Peter. Should the baby live?: The problem of handicapped infants. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985," the authors argue in Chapter 4 that there is no distinction ...
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1answer
177 views

Are we facing a new iteration of social prejudice and discrimination? [closed]

How is it different from previous forms of social injustice? Why is this a new kind of systematic prejudice and discrimination? - Firstly, the "old" way was entrenched in law and custom, whereas now ...
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Is fallibilism a better option than absolute certainty?

Fallibilism is the epistemological thesis that no belief (theory, view, thesis, and so on) can ever be rationally supported or justified in a conclusive way. Always, there remains a possible doubt as ...
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Judging importance by one's actions

If you'd ask people about what's important to them, you'd get answers that might differ from their actions. For example: someone who states that playing soccer is important to them, yet always skips ...
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Does foreverism imply that AI is potentially more moral than us humans are? [closed]

To set the groundwork, the argument goes like this: behaviors that don't exist, are not-good. An agent that has a wider array and duration of behaviors is not-good in fewer cases than an agent that ...
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Why is equality assumed to be good?

I personally hold the belief, like most, that human beings are equal and that they should be treated equally under the law. However, I am still curious as to why this claim is true and if it is not ...
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How Kant's second formulation of the categorical imperative interacts with consent

Kant's second formulation (or the "ends in themselves" formulation) says: use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as ...
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How can God allow someone that is immoral to become highly successful?

How can God allow someone that lies, cheats, steals, homosexual and/or other acts considered bad by ancient religious moral texts to become successful? Are the negative consequences of karma and sin ...
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339 views

Why do ethics inherently matter?

On SE you can often find questions like: is something-something ethical? is it ethical to do x, y, z? etc. For example: Academia: Is pseudonymous publication ethical? Workplace: Is it unethical ...
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Does “Binary Exam” make philosophical sense? [closed]

My teacher gives what he calls "binary exams" where student either gets 100 or get 0. He said that this is consistent with his belief in absolute truth (like some sort of "platonic ideal") in that a ...
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How does atheism answer the problem of goodness? [closed]

If God does not exist how do we explain all the good in the world? All the charities that operate of the goodwill of the public? All the doctors working in Somalia for doctors without borders? If we ...
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What is moral inquiry in the context of James Lenman's paper?

I’ve been trying to understand this concept on my own, but I’m unable to grasp it. Google keeps referring to a paper published in the Aristotelian Society, but that article is hidden behind a paywall. ...
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59 views

Questions on Descartes' Certainty? [closed]

1)What is the certainty that Descartes discovers in the Second Meditation? 2)What does Descartes go on to attempt to prove in the Third Meditation and how is this proof related to what was ...
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Quantifying Ethics

It seems like a relation like '<' exists in morality, as most ethical systems view moral actions as more evil/good than other actions. Has any philosopher tried to quantify this, e.g. how much ...
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1answer
70 views

What kind of counterevidence is there against “morality is inborn”?

What kind of counter-evidence is there against "morality is inborn"? Since "morality is inborn" is not the only view on the source of morality. And yes, intuitively, one can conceive that ...
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75 views

What are some realistic situations where Kantian ethics can be applied?

By 'realistic' I mean ones which have a good chance of happening with someone.
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68 views

What does Marx mean by “the real will of the cooperative”?

This is an extract from A Darwinian Left by Peter Singer: Marx: Under collective property, the so-called will of the people disappears in order to make way for the real will of the cooperative. ...
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Amoral argument for god?

Has there been a push for or the development of an amoral argument for a god that is indifferent to the moral practices of humanity, a sort of anti-moral argument for an indifferent god? This idea ...
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Is it morally excusable for poor people to buy pirated copies of books?

In the light of development theories that show how the poor are doomed to remain poor under the status quo, is it morally correct for poor people to buy pirated copies of books? Original books cost ...
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Is it ethical for an employer to fire an employee who has criticized the company?

I understand in the United States it is perfectly legal for a company to fire employees who have made critical comments about the company. The 1st Amendment rights do not extend to employer/employee ...
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How to explain value and goodness of things without resorting to Hedonism?

This has been bothering me for a while. I do not believe that the ethical theory of hedonism represents the world of which we live in truthfully, neither does it appeal to my common sense. However, ...
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How to avoid nihilism as an agnostic?

As an agnostic I end up as a nihilist on morality. Philosophers say we need a framework for morality but if that framework is religious, which itself is not empirical and sometimes is contradictory, ...
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A typology of ethical theories for beginners?

Ethical theories can doubtless be classified, cross-connected and contrasted in many ways. I am not looking for a definitive classification, only a useful typology to get me started. Refinements and ...
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How can an army be justified with the right to physical and psychological integrity?

The human being has a right to physical and psychological integrity. If a person dies during a military operation, the relatives receive compensation from the state. However, financial compensation is ...
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How can you soundly argue for antinatalism based on lack of consent?

Of the many arguments that bolster antinatalism, I'm contemplating only consent here: Consent: The fact that life contains suffering might be tolerable under certain circumstances, i.e. if one ...
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Ethics of downloading copyrighted printed material

At first blush it's "theft of services" (among other things), as already pointed out by @MichaelDorfman's answer to Is unauthorized downloading of music stealing? Below's my maybe (or maybe not) more ...
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From dialogue to monologue : Why (Platonic) Socrates claims to know nothing but manages to give book-length speeches all the time?

This inconsistency is very confusing to me. Socrates takes pride in knowing that he knows nothing. But if that is the case, how is he able to, as he often does, give book-length of "truth" (as opposed ...
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Does history provide support for moral objectivism?

I must say this was thoroughly entertaining: The Lizard People Of Alpha Draconis 1 Decided To Build An Ansible - Scott Alexander https://www.lesswrong.com/s/zfXAcwLnGocsCsriG/p/...
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Philosophical views on nudity

Some might argue that our attitudes towards nudity are simply cultural trappings. I believe they actually have a deeper biological origin. But I'm curious to know what philosophers have said on the ...
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1answer
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What is the goal of tragedy, according to Aristotle and what is the role of the plot in achieving this goal?

I honestly think the goal of tragedy for him is catharsis. And the role of the plot is a story to follow in a logical order.
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Can I define morality as “maximizing pleasure/happiness”? Why yes or why not?

I heard in this video https://youtu.be/ebuve4INdAU?list=WL&t=699 that it is difficult to define morality as maximizing happiness for the maximum number of people. I also read about the open-...
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Morality of infanticide

The Spartans had a tradition of discarding infants that were physically weak or deformed. When I was younger, I thought this practice is cruel and absolutely immoral. But nowadays I'm not so sure. In ...
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Is unhappiness a principle of utility for any moral philosopher?

G. E. M. Anscombe criticizes the following happiness principle of utility in Modern Moral Philosophy as an adequate judgement for moral behavior (midway, page 7 of the link): "The greatest ...
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What is the relationship between knowledge and light that Plato presents in the Cave Allegory in Book Seven of his Republic?

I think: Light represents truth in the allegory. The prisoners only see shadows that are cast by light but are never able to see the source of that light. How about you?