Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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Is there any literary or entertainment merit in reading the Grand Ethics or Eudemian ethics?

I have already read Nichomachean Ethics 2 times and loved it. I especially like Arisotles prose style and especially his sense of humor. It is said that his other two works on ethics cover ...
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428 views

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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Are there contemporary adherents to this view about systemised ethics?

In some parts of the field of truth, no doubt, men who work by these divergent ways are apt as men to represent antithetical types. But over the whole field this need not be ...
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Do we have a right to know some things?

Do we have a right to know some things? Obviously you don't have a moral right to know what I had for breakfast today -- though you might be able to find out [it was pizza]. And we have a right to ...
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An addict's argument [closed]

An addict argues that he or she would rather die "happy" than struggle with quitting... is this a logical fallacy? And if they consider their existence to be meaningful, is it ethical to insist that ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
93 views

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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3answers
88 views

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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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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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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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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Notions of Right and Wrong in Perfectionist Ethics

Perfectionist ethics requires one strive for excellence or "develop [one's] nature." However, one particular passage in the linked text seems problematic when trying to assign values (right or wrong) ...
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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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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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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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Are people inherently good according to Plato?

Are people inherently good according to Plato? Are Gods subject to forms, in the sense that they are good because they are subject to the form of good, or are they independent of the forms? Because I ...
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1answer
58 views

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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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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2answers
140 views

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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1answer
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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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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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What do we mean by “impossible” when we say “morality does not require doing the impossible”?

"Morality does not require us to do the impossible" has long been an axiom in ethics, but the definition of "impossible" seems to be vague when we examine some extreme cases. For example, silly ...
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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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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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Is it fallacious to argue that power must be evil?

According to popular wisdom "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely". If one is considering ethics, and one argues that power must be evil because it can corrupt people, is this a fallacy ...
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132 views

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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95 views

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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91 views

What does “service” mean in Bubeck's feminist ethics of care

Bubeck thus distinguishes care from “service”, by stipulating that “care” involves meeting the needs for others who cannot meet their needs themselves, whereas “service” involves meeting the needs ...
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“I have lied but I am not a liar, and I have done bad things but I am not a bad man.”

What logical fallacy would this be? I am doing a project and I need to identify what kind of logical fallacy this would represent.
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What is to be understood by the phrase “Israel's right to exist”? [closed]

As someone who is interested in the Israeli-Palestinian question one phrase that comes up in the pro-Israeli position is the insistence that the Palestinians recognise '"Israel's right to exist". (In ...
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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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1answer
125 views

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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5answers
301 views

Does morality requires a grounding (especially a being)?

The Moral argument for God's existence as used by William Lane Craig is: If God doesn't exist, objective moral values do not exist. Objective moral values do exist. Therefore, God exists. Now, I ...
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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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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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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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1answer
76 views

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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What role can guilt play in Bentham's utilitarianism?

If Bentham posited a sense of guilt as pain that most would feel when doing wrong by others, then surely Utilitarianism would be unnecessary due to Bentham's own work on the motivation of human beings....
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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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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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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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Utilitarian Argument Against Necrophillia

Under Utilitarianism, as defined by John Stuart Mill, would there be a coherent argument against necrophilia? It seems that, because no one is being harmed, and if no relevant consequences ensue on ...
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Is Ayn Rand's Objectivism practical at all?

I just read Atlas Shrugged and was wondering if the kind of moral objectivism suggested in there is even practical in real life. For example, I have an IT assignment to do for high school, and we ...
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How can I justify to myself this common situation? [closed]

Suppose I am walking to school. A boy named Johnny who is my friend, walks up to me, smiles and asks me: Hey, Sam! Do you know when class starts? I reply to him: No, sorry Johnny. I left my ...
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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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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 ...