Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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Wisdom and John Vervaeke's awakening from the meaning crises?

I've been watching John Vervaeke's awakening from the meaning crises ( I haven't seen the whole lecture series). And while I am finding it intriguing I think to myself is this really wisdom? I mean in ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
925 views

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 ...
Emily Savage's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is the Categorical Imperative Simply Bad Math? :)

The title is clickbait, but the question is not. First, The Categorical Imperative: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law. ...
philoque's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
990 views

Is the tyrannicide perpetrated by William Tell morally legitimate?

I have recently been reading Friedrich Schiller's fantastic Drama William Tell, in which he not only relates the folkloric-mythological origin of Switzerland upon its liberation from the yoke of the ...
Dr. Mathva's user avatar
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3 answers
2k views

How do ethicists tackle the question "Is it immoral to have sex in public places?" Is it possible to use rational and empirical ideas to answer?

Is it immoral to have sex in public places? If so, what are the rational and empirical reasons? Most people believe it’s immoral to have sex in public places. Have ethicists come up with any good ...
Sazzad Hissain Khan's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
786 views

Is artificially generating images of minors in sexual positions unethical? [closed]

I am a machine learner, specialising in GANs and when a friend recently told me that he thinks a litle bit differently about the situation, this got me thinking (and not only about getting new friends)...
Totally no fake name's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
6k views

Is God either amoral or not omnipotent?

The usual (Christian) justification for suffering/evil in the world created by a benevolent God is freedom of the will. However, the more interesting question is not about the source of evil (which ...
Conifold's user avatar
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24 votes
15 answers
12k views

Are there any non-divine objective standards of good/evil?

This question is a step backwards because I've run into trouble with definitions on my original question: What would be the logical consequences of human will/nature being corrupt? Is there any way ...
Caleb's user avatar
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22 votes
12 answers
141k views

What did Nietzsche mean by monsters and the abyss?

What do you think Nietzsche meant by "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." (...
Michael Lee's user avatar
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7 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is it a logical flaw to blame someone for an event if they were simply its causal factor?

I would ask if this is a logical fallacy, but I don't think you can consider wrongful attribution of blame to be a logical fallacy, because attributing blame is a normative claim, not a descriptive ...
Bridgeburners's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
15k views

What are some examples of categorical imperatives/universalizable maxims relevant to modern ethics?

I know this question has been widely asked, and that the answer may not be as straightforward as the question, which is partly why I'm asking. It's been a long time since I sat in a philosophy class, ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
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35 votes
8 answers
41k views

What would Kant do when two categorical imperatives conflict? Could he ever justify lying?

Suppose a German SS officer knocked on my door, asking me whether I had any Jews. And suppose further that I had two Jews in a secret compartment in the attic that he'd never be able to find. ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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13 votes
8 answers
5k views

Do human rights exist?

What is the basis for believing that there is such a thing as human rights? I am all for human rights but it could be argued that the notion of human rights is imaginary and reducible to absurdity (...
musingsofacigarettesmokingman's user avatar
28 votes
12 answers
11k views

Evil thoughts without actions?

Can a thought without a corresponding action be morally wrong? More fully, under which approaches to morality do thoughts, in and of themselves, carry moral significance? In particular I'm looking ...
Dave's user avatar
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15 votes
13 answers
26k 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 ...
E1Suave's user avatar
  • 293
11 votes
9 answers
71k views

What exactly do 'objective' and 'subjective' mean in contemporary philosophy?

I'm pretty new to philosophy and I just have a quick question in regards to about how people use the terms 'objective' and 'subjective'. Does objective value mean anything that is independent of one'...
James's user avatar
  • 111
5 votes
6 answers
2k views

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 ...
ActualCry's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
421 views

Are there philosophically serious moral arguments against eugenics?

First, I'm sure there are, but I have yet to read much in this area. It seems that most moral arguments are or quickly become historical arguments about violent or judicial racism, which may then ...
Nelson Alexander's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
250 views

Nietzsche on balancing service to the creation of (or becoming) the Overman and living a life of ones own choosing?

So, I have been looking into Nietzsche. To be honest, I have thought a lot about Nietzsche for the past 2 years, and I am unsure of what to make of the nature of this need to become the Overman. My ...
Keaton's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
436 views

How would you apply John Rawls "Theory of justice" to everyday decisions?

How can I apply John Rawls theory of justice to everyday decision making?
mikayla's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
822 views

Is Sam Harris's view of morality innovating? What philosophers innovated specifics on morality?

Sam Harris in his book, The moral landscape (2010), has certainly ignited discussions on morality, but did Sam Harris create his view or popularize someone else's? side== I am also curious if anyone ...
Noah's user avatar
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13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is 'veganism' a settled issue in Philosophy and Ethics?

I have been having discussions with some rather enthusiastic vegans who have a degree in philosophy, and they have been trying to convince me that it is a settled issue in ethics and philosophy that ...
Rip Sirandleo's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the difference between ethics and morals?

I am currently writing an essay on artificial moral agents, and I need to explain the difference between ethics and morals. However, I am finding it really hard to find a good book or research paper ...
Chris Headleand's user avatar
12 votes
9 answers
2k views

Is altruism a contradiction?

A discussion at work recently involved our CEO (who has a psychology degree and is generally very knowledgable.. I have a lot of respect for his opinion) stating with great confidence that altruism is ...
user2808054's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
14k views

Is virtue necessary to achieve eudaimonia?

Stoics believe that virtue (ἀρετή) is necessary and sufficient to achieve happiness (εὐδαιμονία). It was the "sufficient" portion that marked Stoics out from other ancient philosophy, but I suspect ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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9 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Chris Rogers's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
883 views

Are analogies between ethics and mathematics philosophically coherent?

Analogies between ethics and mathematics are pretty common – probably because of their shared a priori nature. Philosophical laymen use them, like “Scott Alexander” (no, you don't need to know him), ...
viuser's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why did Kant think that you should be responsible for the consequences of lying but not for the consequences of telling the truth?

Can someone here clarify what Kant meant with the following statement: if you have by a lie prevented someone just now bent on murder from committing the deed, then you are legally accountable for ...
Qwerty3927's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
859 views

Does antinatalism carry the seeds of its own destruction?

Antinatalists claim that it is immoral to procreate. For instance: David Benatar argues there is an asymmetry between pleasure and pain, which means it would be better for humans not to have ...
christo183's user avatar
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4 votes
8 answers
2k views

Refuting Solipsism

Here is yet another opportunity for philosophy to shine: Let it refute solipsism. If the question is going to turn on what solipsism is, there are probably more interesting words to look up in the ...
Baby Boy's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
517 views

Does it even make sense to say pleasure has an innate value

I know that Nietzsche claims that some moral systems place too much value on pleasure, and that it isn't innately valuable like they claim. I keep being struck by the idea that it having innate value ...
user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
501 views

Is the foundation of morality subjectively survival and happiness, and why or why not?

Many rational minds have come to attribute the foundation of morality to humankind's survival and happiness. I have been discussing with friends about why that 'humankind survival and happiness' must ...
Sazzad Hissain Khan's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
335 views

Can my attitude kill you?

Indeed, it might be a basic characteristic of existence that those who would know it completely would perish... -Nietzsche Would it be morally reprehensible to tell a truth to someone if I know or ...
christo183's user avatar
  • 2,407
-2 votes
2 answers
297 views

Can "why-is" close the "is-ought" gap? [closed]

[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 ...
Yuri Zavorotny's user avatar
80 votes
16 answers
21k views

Is it immoral to download music illegally?

I should first point out that the title is more to capture a common occurrence of the broader idea I want to address in this question. It is also somewhat incorrect in that—at least in the US—I'm not ...
stoicfury's user avatar
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60 votes
17 answers
25k views

Why is a lion not evil?

One often hears the claim that animals who kill and such, are not in fact evil. The typical example is that of a lion or a tiger that kills a prey. The argument is more or less that the animal acts ...
Deoro's user avatar
  • 625
22 votes
4 answers
23k views

What, if anything, is the difference between ethics and moral philosophy?

Are the terms 'Ethics' and 'Moral Philosophy' different in extension as terms in philosophy? Some Departments of Philosophy have courses with titles like "Introduction to Ethics" and others with ...
vanden's user avatar
  • 1,644
21 votes
7 answers
2k views

Could a sentient machine suffer?

I was considering this closed question very intently, and I found that I'm not at all fluent in the idea of modern slavery. Many philosophers have spoken on slavery. On this forum, someone has already ...
davidlowryduda's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is there a point to arguing about the meaning of words?

Firstly, I should mention that I am not sure, whether this the right place to ask such a question, but I am trying it anyway. Furthermore, one could say I come from a mathematics background and I am ...
Stefan Perko's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
27k views

What is the Difference Between Human Rights and Natural Rights?

When people discuss the human rights and natural rights, there seems to be a distinction between the two, where standard interpretations of human rights (such as the Universal Declaration of Human ...
Kupyn's user avatar
  • 243
13 votes
6 answers
253k views

What is the difference between Rule Utilitarianism and Act Utilitarianism?

Based on the definitions given by Wikipedia , Rule Utilitarianism and Act Utilitarianism both seems to imply the same meaning Rule Utilitarianism Action is right as it conforms to a rule that ...
Computernerd's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
4k views

Is it possible that evolution brought human kind morality?

I've heard this (rather odd imho) statement that evolution, by the need of survival, dictated humans to uphold moral codes in order to survive, thus gaining a moral system. Now, to my understanding, ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
9k views

Moral responsibility without free will

Are there any theories of moral responsibility that don't require free will? Sam Harris rejects the notion of free will and attempts to construct some form of moral calculus, but "The Moral Landscape"...
artm's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
5k views

Does Sartre imitate Kant in moral philosophy?

This is not originally my question but someone deleted their question while I was typing an answer to it. Consequently, I'm reposting the question and then my answer -- n.b., I've changed the title ...
virmaior's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why shouldn't you lie to the future murderer of your children?

I've heard two versions of this anecdote about Kant's ethics: You are at home and a man with an axe rings the bell. He asks where your children are so that he can kill them. It is, according to ...
user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is unauthorized downloading of music stealing?

On the one hand, when you download music you are merely making a copy of something. You aren't depriving someone of a physical object. You aren't really taking anything. On the other hand, when you ...
john's user avatar
  • 534
7 votes
3 answers
517 views

Morality of Interfering in Foreign Elections

What kinds of moral theories, or even just considerations, come into play for state-level action in trying to influence another nation's political election process, in terms of information/propaganda? ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 5,275
5 votes
2 answers
625 views

Why is Nietzsche an important philosopher?

Can someone explain to me why Nietzsche is an important philosopher? To be honest, I am interested in analytic philosophy and I want to to how much valuable the Nietzsche's ideas are from analytical ...
Arian's user avatar
  • 313
4 votes
4 answers
371 views

Why do compatibilists believe that whether we act freely is independent of whether or not determinism is true?

I am mainly looking for information based on Dennett's work, I Could Not Have Done Otherwise- So What? because that is the only thing I am familiar with other than D'Holbach, but other works will do ...
Felix's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
6 answers
573 views

Are "universal human rights" demonstrable? How?

Are "universal human rights" (as per definitions by United Nations or others who try to argue for them) demonstrateable? How? I personally question this concept due to several reasons: Universality ...
mavavilj's user avatar
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