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 moral dilemma/situation clearly showing the usefulness of virtue ethics?

I have to study a case where I take any moral dilemma or situation I want to and apply virtue ethics on it but I can't really seem to find anything.
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Organ Donation Obligation

Mike has a genetic kidney disease, which caused his kidney to fail at the age of 7. Mike has a biological child named John, who Mike knew would have a 100% chance of getting the disease. Now John is 7 ...
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Hume's argument for the subjectivity of morality

I am trying to analyze the following argument by Hume in his Treatise of Human Nature: But can there be any difficulty in proving, that vice and virtue are not matters of fact, whose existence we ...
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What are the justification for Kants moral philosophy?

I have trouble understanding the justification Kant gives for his moral philosphy. My main problem is: Why is practical reason the way humans can figure out the morality of an action? Why is it ...
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68 views

Are deontologists arguing against virtue ethics, and if so does it matter?

This question got me thinking. If deontology and virtue ethics are not reconcilable but in direct competition with each other, does that mean that in arguing for one we are arguing against the other? ...
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Can we measure “braverity” objectively?

By saying "bravery/courage", we implicitly mean a hard task that we wouldn't do it in daily life, and we have to sacrifice something to get it - we are scared. It is, after all, just a cost-benefit ...
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What is the connection between celibacy and the acts/omissions distinction?

In "Kuhse, Helga and Singer, Peter. Should the baby live?: The problem of handicapped infants. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985," the authors argue in Chapter 4 that there is no distinction ...
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222 views

Are we facing a new form of social prejudice and discrimination? [closed]

How is it different from previous forms of social injustice? Why is this a new kind of systematic prejudice and discrimination? - Firstly, the "old" way was entrenched in law and custom, whereas now ...
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3answers
150 views

Is fallibilism a better option than absolute certainty?

Fallibilism is the epistemological thesis that no belief (theory, view, thesis, and so on) can ever be rationally supported or justified in a conclusive way. Always, there remains a possible doubt as ...
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Judging importance by one's actions

If you'd ask people about what's important to them, you'd get answers that might differ from their actions. For example: someone who states that playing soccer is important to them, yet always skips ...
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Does foreverism imply that AI is potentially more moral than us humans are? [closed]

To set the groundwork, the argument goes like this: behaviors that don't exist, are not-good. An agent that has a wider array and duration of behaviors is not-good in fewer cases than an agent that ...
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8answers
442 views

Why is equality assumed to be good?

I personally hold the belief, like most, that human beings are equal and that they should be treated equally under the law. However, I am still curious as to why this claim is true and if it is not ...
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How Kant's second formulation of the categorical imperative interacts with consent

Kant's second formulation (or the "ends in themselves" formulation) says: use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as ...
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How can God allow someone that is immoral to become highly successful?

How can God allow someone that lies, cheats, steals, homosexual and/or other acts considered bad by ancient religious moral texts to become successful? Are the negative consequences of karma and sin ...
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347 views

Why do ethics inherently matter?

On SE you can often find questions like: is something-something ethical? is it ethical to do x, y, z? etc. For example: Academia: Is pseudonymous publication ethical? Workplace: Is it unethical ...
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Does “Binary Exam” make philosophical sense? [closed]

My teacher gives what he calls "binary exams" where student either gets 100 or get 0. He said that this is consistent with his belief in absolute truth (like some sort of "platonic ideal") in that a ...
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516 views

How does atheism answer the problem of goodness? [closed]

If God does not exist how do we explain all the good in the world? All the charities that operate of the goodwill of the public? All the doctors working in Somalia for doctors without borders? If we ...
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2answers
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What is moral inquiry in the context of James Lenman's paper?

I’ve been trying to understand this concept on my own, but I’m unable to grasp it. Google keeps referring to a paper published in the Aristotelian Society, but that article is hidden behind a paywall. ...
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1answer
74 views

Questions on Descartes' Certainty? [closed]

1)What is the certainty that Descartes discovers in the Second Meditation? 2)What does Descartes go on to attempt to prove in the Third Meditation and how is this proof related to what was ...
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Quantifying Ethics

It seems like a relation like '<' exists in morality, as most ethical systems view moral actions as more evil/good than other actions. Has any philosopher tried to quantify this, e.g. how much ...
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1answer
74 views

What kind of counterevidence is there against “morality is inborn”?

What kind of counter-evidence is there against "morality is inborn"? Since "morality is inborn" is not the only view on the source of morality. And yes, intuitively, one can conceive that ...
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116 views

What are some realistic situations where Kantian ethics can be applied?

By 'realistic' I mean ones which have a good chance of happening with someone.
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What does Marx mean by “the real will of the cooperative”?

This is an extract from A Darwinian Left by Peter Singer: Marx: Under collective property, the so-called will of the people disappears in order to make way for the real will of the cooperative. ...
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1answer
125 views

Amoral argument for god?

Has there been a push for or the development of an amoral argument for a god that is indifferent to the moral practices of humanity, a sort of anti-moral argument for an indifferent god? This idea ...
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3answers
204 views

Is it morally excusable for poor people to buy pirated copies of books?

In the light of development theories that show how the poor are doomed to remain poor under the status quo, is it morally correct for poor people to buy pirated copies of books? Original books cost ...
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1answer
70 views

Is it ethical for an employer to fire an employee who has criticized the company?

I understand in the United States it is perfectly legal for a company to fire employees who have made critical comments about the company. The 1st Amendment rights do not extend to employer/employee ...
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How to explain value and goodness of things without resorting to Hedonism?

This has been bothering me for a while. I do not believe that the ethical theory of hedonism represents the world of which we live in truthfully, neither does it appeal to my common sense. However, ...
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5answers
190 views

How to avoid nihilism as an agnostic?

As an agnostic I end up as a nihilist on morality. Philosophers say we need a framework for morality but if that framework is religious, which itself is not empirical and sometimes is contradictory, ...
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362 views

A typology of ethical theories for beginners?

Ethical theories can doubtless be classified, cross-connected and contrasted in many ways. I am not looking for a definitive classification, only a useful typology to get me started. Refinements and ...
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How can an army be justified with the right to physical and psychological integrity?

The human being has a right to physical and psychological integrity. If a person dies during a military operation, the relatives receive compensation from the state. However, financial compensation is ...
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3answers
312 views

How can you soundly argue for antinatalism based on lack of consent?

Of the many arguments that bolster antinatalism, I'm contemplating only consent here: Consent: The fact that life contains suffering might be tolerable under certain circumstances, i.e. if one ...
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Ethics of downloading copyrighted printed material

At first blush it's "theft of services" (among other things), as already pointed out by @MichaelDorfman's answer to Is unauthorized downloading of music stealing? Below's my maybe (or maybe not) more ...
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From dialogue to monologue : Why (Platonic) Socrates claims to know nothing but manages to give book-length speeches all the time?

This inconsistency is very confusing to me. Socrates takes pride in knowing that he knows nothing. But if that is the case, how is he able to, as he often does, give book-length of "truth" (as opposed ...
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Does history provide support for moral objectivism?

I must say this was thoroughly entertaining: The Lizard People Of Alpha Draconis 1 Decided To Build An Ansible - Scott Alexander https://www.lesswrong.com/s/zfXAcwLnGocsCsriG/p/...
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253 views

Philosophical views on nudity

Some might argue that our attitudes towards nudity are simply cultural trappings. I believe they actually have a deeper biological origin. But I'm curious to know what philosophers have said on the ...
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1answer
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What is the goal of tragedy, according to Aristotle and what is the role of the plot in achieving this goal?

I honestly think the goal of tragedy for him is catharsis. And the role of the plot is a story to follow in a logical order.
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Can I define morality as “maximizing pleasure/happiness”? Why yes or why not?

I heard in this video https://youtu.be/ebuve4INdAU?list=WL&t=699 that it is difficult to define morality as maximizing happiness for the maximum number of people. I also read about the open-...
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Morality of infanticide

The Spartans had a tradition of discarding infants that were physically weak or deformed. When I was younger, I thought this practice is cruel and absolutely immoral. But nowadays I'm not so sure. In ...
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1answer
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Is unhappiness a principle of utility for any moral philosopher?

G. E. M. Anscombe criticizes the following happiness principle of utility in Modern Moral Philosophy as an adequate judgement for moral behavior (midway, page 7 of the link): "The greatest ...
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1answer
52 views

Plato's sunlight and firelight: the philosophical metaphor of light in the allegory of the Cave

Plato refers to two kinds of light: sunlight outside the cave and firelight inside. Does sunlight represent truth ? What of firelight ? The prisoners only see shadows that are cast by light but are ...
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What does Augustine suggest that the slave do instead of killing his master?

I was just wondering this question from Book One of Augustine's On Free Choice of the Will
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The Anonymous Internet: Philosophical opinions?

People have been commenting "off the record" for ages. However, the Internet has made pseudonyms a major meme. Indeed, anonymity on the Internet may be the default choice for the majority of people ...
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How can animals be objects of ethics without being subjects as well?

Most people seem to agree that animals cannot act immorally, even when they inflict suffering. They are thus completely excluded from being subjects of any kind of ethical framework. At the same time,...
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What are the most objective ethical systems ever devised? [closed]

Ethics are often based on logic and emotions, but was there any effort to remove the emotional part and systematize ethics? What are some of the systems derived from such efforts?
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Social Response to Legal/Moral Duty Violation

When a person, especially a public figure, has committed a serious legal or moral violation, there is a tendency for friends/clients/companies/etc. to dissociate from that individual, even if the ...
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What does “it” refer to in this short Aristotle passage?

In this sentence: "In short, virtue is concerned with pleasures and pains; the actions that are its sources also increase it or, if they are done differently, ruin it" (Nicomachean Ethics ii3 1105a15) ...
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John Rawls, and his viewpoints and how he would feel when it would come to the homeless [closed]

How would John Rawls feel about homelessness And gentrification, in Southern California specifically in LA and how that can affect the communities as well & there’s multiple perspectives & ...
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4answers
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A doctor saves lives, but he is a murderer in normal life. Is he good or bad? Or Both? [closed]

Is he or is he not? Does the society accept him/her like that? This question came up to my mind when my father mentioned about a professional killer whose nickname was The Iceman. Normal life means ...
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Any contemporary/older philosophers who criticize the Christian concept of “preservation in the memory of others”? [closed]

I'm trying to sort out my ideas, so bear with me here if my questions is not abundantly clear. There's a Christian understanding that when one dies, only the body dies, therefore, the spirit remains, ...
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Does human life have innate value over that of other animals?

Does human life have innate value over that of other animals? If so, why? And is it wrong to murder another human, but morally permissible to hunt or fish?