Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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How can the mere observation of race (without an assertion of equivalence) logically be considered racism?

During a social situation in which one observes the race of a person, I have heard the argument that it is racist to refer to that person by his or her race. Let's say that I have "hypothetically" ...
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What's ethically appropriate here? [closed]

First let me preface that I have searched this network of Exchanges, and do not see an Ethics Exchange; this is the closest I could find. One evening this week after work, I was grocery shopping. As ...
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Why does Benatar say suffering outweighs joy?

I looked up Benatar's Asymmetry and he says that suffering outweighs joy because in his words: the existent feel suffering: bad the existent feel joy: good the nonexistent don't feel ...
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Is it immoral to take something from someone who stole it from you?

I had a discussion with a friend. It was based on this scenario: You had a bike that was very dear to you and your neighbor a few houses down stole it from you and you knew it. If this bike is ...
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If it's good enough for me it should be good enough for everyone [closed]

For example: A theorist that says that we should keep belongings of our loved ones to help heal but then throws out everything that belongs to a loved one when they die. What philosophical theory ...
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How can the line “He's making violent love to me, mother!” be in a 1940s USA family-friendly movie? [closed]

Note: This may seem like it should be in the "movies" StackSite, but it's not really a question about the movie itself. It's a philosophical ponder in regards to the contents inside of the movie. That'...
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How do you motivate morally that children should support themselves when they reach adulthood? [closed]

At least in a Western context people widely agree upon the idea that you have to do something voluntarily to be responsible for it. If you sign a contract voluntarily you are bound by it but if ...
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If C is evil, when's it unethical to fail to boycott C? [closed]

My son said that causation and remoteness are part of the answer. Which philosophers write on this topic? I don't know philosophy and just use examples. Presume I'm vegan. If C's one steakhouse, then ...
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Why do some deontological ethical frameworks seem to reduce to consequentialism?

I may have a defunct understanding of deontological ethics, but for some reason it seems to me that deontological ethics ultimately reduce to consequentialist theories. Take, for instance, Kant's ...
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Why do we personally identify with our future selves, but not mental copies? [closed]

I'm sure this question has been asked somewhere before, but I don't know the name of this type of question, and so I've been unable to find it. Any pointer to literature written on the topic would be ...
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Can any Christian action truly be morally good?

If someone does a morally good action because they fear God, which is a selfish motive, surely this means it is not a morally selfless action. In the same way, if any morally good action is not ...
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Is there consensus on the framework of truth one should use when talking about moral statements?

My understanding is that for a moral realist, moral statements are propositions that have a true/false property that can guide reasoning. However, most articles I have read do not talk about what ...
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Is civilization really a good thing? [closed]

According to Bertrand Russell Change is one thing, progress is another. Change is scientific, progress is ethical; change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy. Sigmund Freud ...
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Ethics of behaviour if gender identities are shown to be functionless [closed]

Here I'll use the word "functionality" to refer to the range of capabilites of an object. For example a table has, within its functionality, the capability to be eaten off of. I claim here that ...
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Is it ethical to research potentially harmful topics? [closed]

Some truths are very unpleasant. Some fields may even be unpleasant to research, because the researcher may wind up discovering something very disconcerting about the world. Should we investigate ...
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Should we pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge without considering the possible consequences? [closed]

For example, should Alfred Noble be blamed for suicide bombers as he created dynamite?
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What is the idea that a moral system is ethical if it can function when everyone in a community adheres to it?

What is the ethical paradigm from the title called? To restate the concept in the negative, a moral system would be considered unethical if, when universally adhered to by everyone in a community, ...
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How do we determine the line of life that is acceptable and not acceptable to kill?

My question might be worded funny, but I don't know where to start. I'm looking for help. I understand each of the following situations should be approached individually, but I am more concerned about ...
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Is it ethical to be a mock juror?

I enjoyed being a mock juror and got paid for my time. It was a couple weeks before the trial. The Plaintiff laid out their case and I explained in detail everything they should not say to the real ...
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What should you do in this situation?

You've been on a cruise for two days when there's an accident that forces everyone on board to abandon ship. During the evacuation, one of the boats is damaged, leaving it with a hole that fills it ...
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What prominent Nietzsche experts give 'empathy' a role to play in his transvaluation?

What prominent Nietzsche experts give 'empathy' a role to play in his trans-valuation? I found a paper that lists proponents of the opposite view, but it is not peer reviewed, and is just a Masters ...
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predicative and attributive adjectives?

I'm reading Peter Geach's Good and Evil, and am struggling to understand what predicative and attributive adjectives mean, the significance of the words and how they be applied to good and bad.
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How could I possibly apply rule-utilitarianism in real life?

If I believe in rule-utilitarianism as the best moral system we have to judge what actions are right and wrong, how would I go about applying this system pratically in real life decisions? For ...
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Problem with a practical application of rule-utilitarianism

I sort of accepted rule-utilitarianism as my system for evaluating morals as there are many problems with strict utilitarianism but at the same time utility still seems to be the most logical factor ...
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On an answer to Taurek's trolley problem

https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/51440/38075 As I see it, the decision is made unknowingly, but is that really making a decision? Because it's not meant to give a 50/50 chance. Plus, in reality,...
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Where does this utility equation come from, and what does the zero or uppercase “o” mean?

(1/n)(B + g/n) + ([n–1]/n)(0 + g/n) What is zero or uppercase O mean? Page 16: http://www.stafforini.com/library/kagan-2011.pdf#page=16 My best guess is that it's found somewhere in Reasons and ...
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I'm being drafted to the military but I have the option to refuse (legally), would it be immoral for me to serve? [closed]

I’m set to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces but I have the option to exempt from the military if I wish to. So I’m in a big moral dilemma on whether I should serve or not, I’m currently leaning ...
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In the philosophy of Josiah Royce, is there a tension between the individual and society?

I'm reading through Josiah Royce's view on the self and this is what I think he believes the tension to be between the individual and society: "The tension between the individual and society is ...
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What is the link with nihilism and hypocrisy?

What is the link with nihilism and hypocrisy? I know that Nietzsche mentions hypocrisy. I think to the effect that the old values helped it flourish, that it is now debased, with at least the ...
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Love triangle: ethical state

An ethical problem: Daniel is in love with Rose, who is in a long-term romantic relationship with David. Rose enjoys Daniel's love. Daniel asks Rose that David should know that they text each other, ...
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Is Mercy for the Merciful, Justice for the Just and Injustice for the Unjust constitute a type of Justice? [closed]

Of course, there are types of Justice found in Philosophy, Social studies and Humanities like: - Distributive. - Retributive. - Compensatory. - Procedural. All of these types speak about a style of ...
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Morality, Animal Cruelty, and Non-Vegetarianism

This is a very common question, but I've always been torn about how I can give a rational moral justification for being a non-vegetarian. Is it not hypocritical for me to condemn other acts of animal ...
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Is Mercy Reverse Injustice or Reversed Injustice? [closed]

The problem, so easily, is that: To have Mercy is to abuse against myself,i.e: to loss, or to give up some rights of mine to the real abuser or the real oppressor or whoever does the act of Injustice. ...
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The Full Scope of Sloth [closed]

Disclaimer one: I am not a Christian, nor do I have any religious agendas with this post. Disclaimer two: This is a quite lengthy post, with a considerable amount of preliminary stuff, and also a few ...
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Can responsibility or the lack thereof justify self-defence?

Ryan Cheyney argues that when an innocent Victim defends himself against an Aggressor by killing the Aggressor, he can justify his killing the Aggressor by saying he was not responsible for killing ...
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Can we be morally responsible for our actions when luck is concerned?

I came across an argument against moral responsibility that follows like this: P1 A person P is morally responsible for the occurring of an event only if the event was not a matter of luck. ...
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If we are rationally obliged to be moral, and morality is not arbitrary, then are some decisions not freely made?

If we are rationally obliged to be moral, and morality is not arbitrary, then are some decisions not freely made? I mean 'not arbitrary' to mean that some values, e.g. courage, are more rational than ...
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Why is murder wrong?

Let's start with the idea that for something to be wrong it has to harm a conscious being, in this case a human. This could involve active harm (punching them), or harm which they remain ignorant of. ...
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What would you do? [closed]

To give some background, I'm trained in biology (UCSC) and seem to have a knack for it. My success with software probably gives credibility to my ability with simple logic. I've worked on a long term ...
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Why did Kant condemn masturbation?

That such an unnatural use (and so misuse) of one's sexual attributes is a violation of one's duty to himself and is certainly in the highest degree opposed to morality strikes everyone upon his ...
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In his book The Fall why does Camus say that it will always be too late to save?

'So tell me, please, what happened to you one evening on the banks of Seine and how you managed never to risk your life. Say the words that for years have not ceased to echo through my nights and that ...
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Evil for its own sake

My readings/beliefs about weakness of will have led me to think that "evil for its own sake" is impossible. Yet, some actions seem to be done as such. So I think this difference is important: (A) I ...
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Is this ad hominem or in general acceptable behavior during an argument?

Person A: What is considered socially acceptable should be common sense regardless of outside influences. Person B: What is considered common sense or obvious can be very different depending on ...
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What were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was interested in?

I have read most of the books by Albert Camus thoroughly. I know that Camus' theory is absurdity but I want to know his take on morality. I mean, what were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was ...
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Is it less immoral to lie to the less intelligent (moral deceptionism)?

According to Hugo Grotius, it is not immoral to lie to someone who does not possess "the right to exercise liberty of judgment". He then proceeded to give two examples: (i) you cannot lie to a madman (...
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Looking for existing discourse on the category of fallacies exemplified by “paradox of tolerance”

Popper coined the phrase "paradox of tolerance" when discussing how unlimited tolerance is self-contradictory (paradoxical) in that it precludes self-preservation (resisting intolerance). The seeming ...
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Taking help after feeling suicidal is ethical or not?

A true case : Suppose a student is feeling helpless, alone because he has just shifted to a new city in a foreign country and is unable to find a place to live because rents are too high. Also, he ...
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What is a good example where the Doctrine of Double Effect is inconsistent?

Our ethics class was just analyzing the DDE and the professor tried to draw a parallel between two cases to show how the DDE isn't perfect. The first case had the scenario where a trolley is rolling ...
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Is willful ignorance ethically acceptable? [closed]

Disclaimer: This is an open/opinion based question. Coming from StackOverflow something like this isn't looked fondly upon but I hope it's more commonly accepted practice over here. Also I am not a ...