Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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Can emotions be logical? And can logic and emotion co-exist?

Logic and emotion tend to be considered as polar opposites. When someone is empathetic or generally emotional, they are not claimed to be logical. The parts of the brain responsible for logic and ...
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Formal definition of "natural" and "naturalness" for the ethics and moral philosophy of "natural law"?

Every object is the combinatorial combination of atoms (or quarks/gluons/leptons if we dive deeper to the elements). Is there formal definition which combinations of atoms are "natural" and ...
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What should a person do?

Edit 1: As pointed out in the comments, the question implies the existence of a purpose and agency so I would like to re-phrase the question to match what I'm after: What should a person do? (What is ...
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1 vote
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When it may be said that a fetus is a living creature and thus has rights that may collide with his mother's rights?

I used to believe that every pregnant woman should have a right to undergo an abortion - but when contemplated over it I realized that I also think of situations where the fetus is no older than a few ...
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Moral thought scenario

Imagine an action is considered wrong. You do this action to somebody without them knowing and without them remembering or being hurt by it. Would the action committed still be considered morally ...
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Conduct of debate

Which philosophers concerned themselves with the conduct of philosophical debate? Addressing themes such as: Compete to show how fair and reasonable you are, not to ram through your point of view no ...
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If "good" = "reasonable", is it impossible to answer "Why ought I do bad?"

The problem: The problem is the difficulty in answering "Why ought I do good?" Presupposition for the argument: "Why ought I do good?" is equivalent to "Why ought I be ...
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Construct describing an inherent sense of right/wrong?

In Christian and especially Protestant philosophy there seems to be an implied notion that humans possess some ability to "sense" moral right and wrong. When one performs or contemplates an ...
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When a person deserves US$120,000 as a salary, is using some technique to pay him $100,000 ethical?

I wonder what "ethical" or "moral" definition or meaning can be used here. Sometimes, we know that for a new graduate or senior software engineer, the market rate should be about $...
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1 vote
5 answers
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Can hatred and retribution be justified and rationalized without free will?

Without free will, our behaviour would be no different from any other natural phenomenon, Sam Harris and other determinists claim: https://imgur.com/bIrWOJI “Compare the response to Hurricane Katrina,...
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4 answers
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"You never know until you try"?

Is it not possible to know our preferences for sure until we try? Do we have to try eating things to know whether or not we actually dislike the foods? Where does this saying stop? Do we have to try e....
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Quantifying the value of a life

Recently, I was presented with the problem of whether I would rather kill a 30 year old man in a third-world country, or a 30 year old man in a first world country. I said that the three factors ...
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2 votes
5 answers
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How do we judge if an action is moral or not if there are competing frameworks by which we judge them?

If the same action can be moral and immoral in different ethical frameworks (e.g. consequentialism, virtue ethics), how can we judge if the action is moral or not? Is morality ultimately subjective ...
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3 answers
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Ethical evaluation of outcomes vs actions

Consider two ethical questions: (1) Is action A more or less ethical than action B? (2) Is outcome A more or less ethical than outcome B? Question 1 is the focus of normative ethics. Question 2 seems ...
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Can consent be retroactive and withdrawable?

Can someone retroactively withdraw consent, converting what had previously been permissible into an impermissible action? Is there a philosophy in which consent can be withdrawn after the action?
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Isn't it is unethical that lawyers protect their client even after knowing the client is guilty, isn't its injustice to the true person?

Imagine a lawyer already knows the guilt of his client, has all the proofs then too why he protects the unethical side, isn't that injustice to the other side.
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1 answer
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Can someone be held responsible for an immoral action they have no memory of?

Suppose someone commits an immoral action. They permanently lose their memories afterwards. Can they still be held responsible for the action?
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Is this spreading a lie considered lying?

So if person A is fed false information by person B, and person A goes on to tell this information to person C in the best way possible in the exact way they heard it are they lying? Person A would be ...
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15 votes
11 answers
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Are protests in a democracy ethical?

Usually in common media, protests are seen in a good light and for causes we may agree with. However, if one really thinks about it, in reality what is happening is a small group of people showing ...
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1 answer
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Argument for a social conception of objective morality

What might some objections to this argument be? By definition a rational agent is, when exercising their agency, evaluating different courses of action before deciding among them. The actions they ...
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Is there a nation in the history who has valued hypocrisy?

The more I search about hypocrisy, the more I see that it's something that is detested by the masses. I wonder if there is anytime or anywhere in the world or during history that a nation valued ...
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Is there continental versions of teetotalism?

I recently saw a field hockey match Belgium competed in where the Belgian players had the names on there jerseys misspelled in an objection to alcohol abuse. I then wondered if the Laelanders had a ...
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Are categorical imperatives employed in non-Kantian ethical theories?

Are categorical imperatives employed in non-Kantian ethical theories? For example, consider utilitarianism's principle "act so that the overall happiness is maximised". Is this not a ...
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Kant's categorical imperative and casual sex. Why does casual sex necessarily involve using someone as a mere means?

I am writing a paper on Kant's principle and test of universalizability. It seems that the test can allow for morally permissible casual sex (i.e., sex outside the Kantian marriage), e.g., consider ...
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If everything is God's creation then why do we discriminate between animal and Humans? [closed]

Albeit Animals cannot speak for themselves but just like Humans their lives must be considered valuable implying eating meat should be as heinous as eating human flesh. How does Religious texts tackle ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is it morally correct to use inflation to motivate people to buy more and expand the economy?

In the economy a low inflation rate is always considered not only a good thing, but also necessary to the economic. Because in zero or negative inflation rates people may tend to hold their money and ...
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3 votes
3 answers
212 views

Veganism: seeking responses to the 'Name the Trait' argument

The most powerful argument I've encountered for ethical veganism is known as 'Name the Trait'. Its most rigorous and recent iteration - as described by PhilosophicalVegan.com - runs as follows: P1) If ...
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1 vote
6 answers
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Veganism and Cognitive dissonance

I had a recent discussion with a friend about the ethics and morality of veganism. I defined veganism as the following Minimising harm to animals to the maximal extent Some background information, ...
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2 votes
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Are people naturally cooperative or selfish?

Machiavelli's The Prince has a rather low view of humanity. He paints humans as fickle, and ready to turn in desperate moments. This may be attributed to the fact that he was in exile and lived in a ...
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1 answer
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Can immorality exist under duress and coercion?

When someone acts under duress, they are not acting of their own free will. "It's not like they want to do what they do so how can what they do be immoral?" people ask me. If I call the ...
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Honesty vs. Bluntness

In both professional and personal life, we tend to meet people who can be quite blunt in being honest. I do not have any historical example to support this claim but it probably happens, mostly in ...
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5 votes
7 answers
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Does ones interpretation of quantum mechanics alter one's moral philosophy?

Say one was given a trolley problem such that one outcome was certain to kill 10 people, and the other had a 1% chance of killing 100 people depending on the outcome of some quantum event, similar to ...
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On the consistency of logical arguments on ethics and morality in the light of Incompleteness theorem

My friend claimed that 'Any type of formal system is inconsistent' to support his another claim 'reason for each moral judgement will be different, situationally we can change ( for eg; consent will ...
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27 votes
6 answers
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I work from home as a software engineer and my job is happy with my performance. But I'm putting in little effort. Am I a bad person or employee? [closed]

I used to be a Senior Software Engineer at another company but recently I took a lower level 2 position at another company remotely. I am very good at what I do. I can usually take a well groomed ...
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The freewill (non-)problem?

Question What is the freewill problem? And why is the free will problem (as far as I've read) considered a problem. What would be a good source to read up on this (to understand viewpoints that ...
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1 vote
4 answers
289 views

Why do we prohibit consensual incestuous relationships?

When talking about sexual relationships between brothers and sisters, our initial intuition might be, “Well that’s just wrong. There’s something immoral about that”. Now, to examine the logic, I ...
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1 vote
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A couple of small questions on Ven.Ñanavira's note on Kamma

On his note on Kamma from his book Notes on Dhamma The question of kamma or action- what should I do? is the ethical question for all personal action done by me is either akusala or kusala, unskilful ...
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1 answer
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Is gravity a natural manifestation of universal egoism? [closed]

What bothers me is the possibility that egoism could be an intrinsic trait of existence in general. So we have gravity whereby masses pull each other towards themselves. An objection could be that ...
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What determines the immorality of something?

Is it harm? What about things that are not harmful? For example: lying to someone and taking measures to ensure they would never find out about the lie would intentionally reduce the risk of damage. ...
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A "combining logic" moment in Kant

In "Ethical Theories and Moral Guidance", Pekka Väyrynen goes over proposals and arguments concerning the knowability of moral claims. Kant's relevant proposal (in the second Critique) is: ...
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2 answers
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Paradoxes never exist in nature, so why does the grandfather's paradox make sense in physics?

Paradoxes don't exist in nature, so why does the grandfather paradox make sense in physics? This question has no mathematical or physical answer and can only have a philosophical answer. Seemingly ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Constructivism and the effects of constructing definitions on morality

My friend states that 'morality is subjective' since one can construct definitions based on arbitrary intensions and extensions of a well-defined set viz. 'My own morally not bad actions' from the ...
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How can you be the best of the best without being a psychopath? [closed]

I think the best of the best is not better than the others because he is better than them, but the best of the best is the one who makes others better than him and that is my philosophy and my goal in ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why is a child not a mere extension of their "parent(s)"?

If "reproduction" were an organism replicating and making a copy of itself, how is a child/offspring not a mere extension of the "parent(s)"? In humans, the human child/offspring ...
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7 votes
6 answers
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What are some philosophical works that explore constructing meaning in life from an agnostic or atheist view?

I've been deeply suicidal for years, but it's gotten worse recently. I grew up Mormon, and last year I realized I couldn't believe in it anymore. I just couldn't; it would take too long to explain. I ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Will implementing counter-intuitive features and working on legacy code affect your skill? [closed]

A problem I've had professionally a lot since I've started is that most of the feature/update recommendations I have when developing an application come from upper/middle management, people who have ...
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3 answers
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Does consent exist? [closed]

If we are our bodies and nothing else?
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Beauvoir on Hegel in her The Ethics of Ambiguity

So Beauvoir is writing in her Ethics of Ambiguity : Nature asserts itself in the face of Spirit which denies it while assuming it; the individual is again found in the collectivity within which he is ...
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4 votes
6 answers
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How can something be intrinsically moral or immoral?

If nature were amoral, we, who come from nature, and everything we do would be amoral. Unless nature can be moral or immoral. My question would then be: how can something be intrinsically moral or ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What is the precise meaning of this sentence in the context of Marxism?

In the following text, what is the highlighted sentence meant to say? Why does the author say that? Clearly put, I don’t understand the conditional here. If such limits doesn’t exist, then it would be ...
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