Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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17
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3answers
2k views

What impact has Douglas Hofstadter's superrationality had in terms of philosophy?

Superrational decision making is a type of rational decision making in which the players cooperate in a one-shot prisoner's dilemma without coordination, punishment, or magical thinking. The idea is ...
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0answers
40 views

What is worthy of great concern in our mortal life?

As Plato said: "nothing in mortal life is worthy of great concern" - Republic, X.604c. So what is worthy of our great (or just normal) concern in mortal life? In my understanding, the &...
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What was a just and virtuous man in the eyes of Aquinas, and what was one in the eyes of Plato?

I'm analyzing the differences and similarities, so basically comparing, these two philosophers, more specifically, Aquinas's Treatise on Law and Plato's Apology of Socrates. I know that for Socrates, ...
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0answers
171 views

What kind of sexual act is moral?

As far as I know if someone doesn't believe in a divine entity that is the source of morality he/she considers morality to be subjective. He/she believes morality exists to minimize the pain and ...
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5answers
375 views

Why should we care about anyone?

If we take the World as absurd - without any meaning or end result, and believe in no such thing as God or afterlife (taking Camus' stance in Myth of Sisyphus), why should anyone, fundamentally, care ...
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1answer
60 views

Philosophy and Mental Health [closed]

I have heard a story of a Peace Pilgrim, an American pilgrim and ascetic, who managed to heal one sick man through conversation. The man was suffering from general degeneration of health and doctors ...
3
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2answers
160 views

Just how seriously is virtue ethics under attack by moral psychology?

K.A. Appiah, in his "Experiments in Ethics" (2008), gives a rather drastic picture of the attack virtue ethics finds itself under by moral psychology. In a nutshell, (a vast amount of) ...
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3answers
103 views

Is there a name for the “somebody else will do it anyway” argument and has this argument been seriously analyzed?

Example. John the doctor prescribes large doses of opioids even though he knows this is probably harmful. He reasons, "If I don't do it, my patients will just go to some other doctor who'll do it ...
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3answers
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Do I have to do something rather than nothing?

Disclaimer: I'm a newbie in Philosophy, and this question is most probably answered somewhere (on this site or not), but I've been looking for a while now and it's a little difficult to steer myself ...
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Many philosophers have likely plagiarized Confucius, but do examples exist of Confucius possibly plagiarizing? Or is he truly the Master? [closed]

Confucius - Master Kong Confucius (/kənˈfjuːʃəs/ kən-FEW-shəs; (Chinese: 孔夫子; pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ, English: Master Kǒng) 551 BC–479 BC)1 was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and ...
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1answer
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The realisation of multiple possibilities in many worlds theory and implications on morality

According to the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, where multiple(a very high number) possibilities are realised, can there even be a basis for morality in some particular branches? If ...
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On capturing the concept of eudaimonia empirically

In recent years, the social sciences have gained traction at painting an empirical picture of ethical concepts that before (albeit not forever) had been treated a-priori. I think of competing theories ...
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46 views

This is not who we are, don't you see? [closed]

We are supposed to understand each other and love each other because that’s what love is — it’s understanding. It’s so simple. We share the same wold. We are not even that different! Can you think of ...
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2answers
64 views

How can one's belief in certain moral theories be justified if he can only verify its self-consistency instead of actually proving it?

I see that many people learning ethics (and many learned ethicists) hold strong belief in certain moral theories, however the arguments they give usually seems not strong enough to justify their ...
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25 views

According to Kant, which one is an autonomous being: me or my rationality?

If we consider a person's identity lies not in his rationality, but in, say, his body or his consciousness, then it seems not so obvious why we can regard a person as autonomous simply from the status ...
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4answers
93 views

Is cheating mandatory according to a utilitarian?

Let's consider a game with a large number of players for which I discovered an undetectable cheating technique that makes me win (i.e. top the leaderboard) every time I use it (while my real skill is ...
-1
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1answer
123 views

From “what-is” to “why-is” to “ought” — can “why-is” close the “is-ought” gap?

[UPDATE: Clarified that choosing what-ought-to-be from what-can-be is based on our knowledge of ourselves, not on our knowledge of good and evil] “I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of ...
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3answers
86 views

Is it ethical to pursue one's own interests even at the expense of someone else's interests?

Say you and someone else are competing for a spot on a professional sports team. You're equally good, and in the end it'll come down to minor preference by the scout or randomness as to who gets ...
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3answers
381 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 ...
1
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1answer
116 views

What separates a “normal” person from a morally excellent person? [closed]

Is it simply doing all the duties that Deontology (Kant) requires of you while doing them out of a sense of duty, or having all the virtues suggested by Aristotle while enjoying doing them or even ...
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2answers
203 views

Is it moral get free benefits from a country and then leave it for a better life?

There is an article about movies. It mentions an actress from the former Soviet Union who was denounced by some communist for playing a role in the wrong western movie. He says: The Soviet Union gave ...
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1answer
53 views

virtuousness of courage [closed]

Courage is regarded as virtue in societies. But I have this dilemma: I think courage is related to how you value your own life and whether you are willing to put it under risk for some reasons. For ...
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2answers
64 views

Is it ethical to offer money for a contractor (such as a realtor) to reach an agreement in the your favor?

Say that a realtor suggests that you need a certain subjective requirement to be approved, but that the owner is somewhat flexible. Now, this is not a legal requirement, which would be illegal to ...
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0answers
45 views

Understanding Aristotle's views on pleasure/fun

I feel like Aristotle gives us conflicting messages on whether we can do things for fun/pleasure. Would doing things done for pleasure such as going on holiday or playing video games be considered ...
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2answers
66 views

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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0answers
45 views

Is there any professional treatment of Chappelle's remarks on abortion and abandonment?

In his Sticks & Stones Netflix special, Dave Chappelle has an interest argument regarding abortion and child abandonment. You can find a link to he bit and a transcription below. Chappelle argues ...
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2answers
129 views

Is killing an evil creature an evil act?

Sorry to bother you guys. I wanted to ask you in my DnD game, we fought some goblins. They attacked us first. We killed most of them; my character gave the rest a chance to surrender and said he may ...
3
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1answer
138 views

Why did Nietzsche call Spinoza his 'precursor'?

In a letter Nietzsche made the following comment about Spinoza; "I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned ...
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1answer
59 views

Sartre on morality in “Existentialism is a Humanism”

After reading Existentialism is a Humanism, I am struggling to understand Sartre's stance on morality. If I understand correctly, he believes that no moral rule can be derived from reason, and that ...
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3answers
62 views

Can statements about the future be facts?

Let's set some context: Person A and Person B have a group project. They are both assigned a slide (Slide A for Person A and Slide B for Person B) Person A has finished his slide, yet Person B hasn't. ...
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2answers
97 views

Kant and infidelity or monogamy

It seems to me that if everyone refused to say when a monogamous relationship was over, refused to tell someone of their affairs, and so on, then no monogamous relationships could exist. If ...
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1answer
34 views

Am I morally obliged to report myself for a perceived mistake? [closed]

I am the original poster from this question on a new account. I tried registering the account, but for some reason it made me have a fresh account with no rep and did not acknowledge my original post, ...
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2answers
96 views

Is there a journal or organization where one can submit (not necessarily professional) philosophical articles?

I am neither a professional philosopher nor an academic. But I do seem to like to engage in philosophical thought and sometimes have different ideas about different topics in life. I was wondering if ...
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9answers
21k views

Is it possible to be truly selfless or altruistic?

Is it possible for people to actually be selfless? It seems that in many cases where someone is being kind, they are actually performing in a manner that will benefit them. Either the recipient of the ...
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4answers
173 views

When everyone has different moral values, how is it possible to decide wrong and right?

How are moral decisions made in such contexts? For example, if x believes old people are more important and y believes young people are, how would they make a decision where they would have to choose ...
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7answers
201 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
204 views

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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3answers
134 views

How can we question someone, for their ethical behavior, if it's the result of an evolutionary process

Supposedly, nature is evolving human minds and its behavior to find an optimal point. But if "bad" behaviour is nothing but an expression of nature's evolution towards an optimum, how does it make ...
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2answers
82 views

Why did Aristotle claim we can't wish our friends be gods?

Aristotle asks at the close of Book VIII, Chapter 7 of the Nicomachean Ethics: Can one wish their friend the highest good, namely, to be a god? He seems to provide several reasons to think not. ...
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14answers
9k views

Is religion necessary for the good life?

According to Aristotle, you will be deemed as living well if you experience worldly pleasures while still being morally upright and virtuous. How can you identify what is morally right without the ...
3
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1answer
306 views

Does Gandhi's paraphrase of Augustine's phrase distort its meaning?

His [St. Augustine's] Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase has become ...
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0answers
62 views

Is there a philosophical framework for deciding on exposing humanity changing technology?

Let us assume, there is an inventor who thinks he/she is possess a humanity altering technology. For example, an artificial intelligence. He/she is also concerned, with possible adverse effects, his/...
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3answers
105 views

Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things?

Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things? And is there a name for this concept? Is it some sort of fallacy to appeal to percentages? ...
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2answers
102 views

What is wrong in the reasoning that someone's accidental death is justified by his troubled past? [closed]

It seems to challenge the idea of the justice system, but in a very subtle way. Are there other flaws with this reasoning? Is the confusion between the idea of a greater power's justice (law of nature,...
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2answers
267 views

Is refusing to save someone's life murder? [closed]

I am asking this because of the doctor dilema. There are four patients that need four different organs. One healthy person walks in. Do you kill the healthy one to save the four? The thing about ...
2
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3answers
112 views

What are the most important responses to the claim that utilitarianism is compatible with extreme injustices?

Utilitarianism is often accused of being compatible with extreme injustices. If by tormenting a minority, a great amount of happiness is generated for a large majority, this situation would be ...
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2answers
106 views

Are all non-deductive arguments inductive?

I am having troubles with understanding this question. Can someone give me an example/insight about where to go from here?
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2answers
406 views

Why do we condemn pedophilia morally?

This may be a delicate question and maybe not really appropiate in a philosophy forum. I was thinking about what do we find disgusting and aberrant in pedophilia, mainly two questions: In what senses ...
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1answer
60 views

What is ethically wrong in xenotransplantation?(transplanting animal's organ to a man)

The ethical before the technical Research in recent years has concentrated mainly on the effectiveness of xenotransplantation and other fundamental questions must be studied before moving on to ...
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1answer
98 views

Is the normative value of linguistic usage a counterexample to the impossibility of deriving “ ought” from “is”?

I really believe that one cannot derive " ought" from "is". But the case of linguistic usage causes me some intellectual trouble. (1) Linguistic usage is a simple fact. (2) Linguistic usage ...

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