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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 “promoting the survival of humanity” a simple formula for assessing whether a decision is ethical?

I was wondering whether it is possible to boil down ethics to a simple formula. I ended up with the formula A decision is ethical if and only if it promotes ultimately the survival of humanity. I ...
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What principle of morality can be applied in the case on Hiroshima and Nagasaki World War Bombing?

I am confused as to which principle of morality is applicable to World War II bombings. I am choosing between the lesser of two evils principles and the double effect. I think it can be justified ...
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Are human moralities morally objective or subjective or morally skeptic (always ask critical questions)?

Moral objectivism means that something that is not moral ought to change to something morally absolute or constant. Moral subjectivism means that moral ideas are relative. They can change over time. ...
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When does something immoral become morally justifiable?

There are actions in human societies which are considered immoral/unethical. Most of them have to do with causing harm to other members of the community and violating their rights as they are defined ...
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Can morality be defined as something that leads to a basic human 'purpose'?

For example, religious people define morality based on what God wants them to do. Because that's their fundamental purpose: to obey God. Other people select their purpose for life and define right ...
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75 views

Does the value of truth have an approximation threshold?

In other words, a truth value in a mathematical sense is binary, but human communication is fallible and runs the risk of fallacy, error, and distortion. The idea of being "close enough" to the truth ...
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Is (almost) every store unethical due to its pricing strategy?

Almost every store sells a majority of their products using cheap, manipulative tricks such as setting the sales price at a number ending in 9. So instead of 50, they'll ask for 49. Instead of 250, ...
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Where did the conventional notion of human nature become popularized?

Oftentimes in popular media today, we see many themes that boil down to "human nature is to be greedy" or that "human nature is to abuse power that is given". This is not always posed as a negative ...
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Do future selves have duties to the current self?

I think there are clear cases in which my future selves have rights against me (or I have duties to my future selves). For example, my future selves have the right to enjoy a healthy life and thus I ...
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141 views

Is it wrong to keep a friendship with a person who is racist?

I have grown an enjoyable friendship with a person I have known for a few years. I have become aware over time that this person is a racist in particular towards Australian Aboriginals. This person ...
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96 views

An intriguing definition of Morality

The definition of morality is a topic that is heavily debated in philosophy. In this post, I will provide a possible definition of morality and will try to argue why the definition is generalized and ...
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715 views

Morality of watching porn

Of late, I have been thinking about certain things and I am not sure if I am thinking the right way about them. I am a 23 year old Indian student. During my undergrad, like everyone else around, I ...
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142 views

Does engineering have an intrinsic moral dimension?

If you think engineering has an intrinsic moral dimension, please share your point of view. I think it does, but I would love to hear other points of view.
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How do the Officer's Oath and the Enlisted Oath interact

I've come across a military question which is so subtle that I think it has to be answered from a philosophical perspective, dealing with the meaning of "duty" and nuanced things like that. In many ...
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109 views

What's wrong with the following argument regarding temporal limits?

Let us suppose there is a limit: you cannot buy something after 10:00PM. From the position of law, of course "cannot" must be taken directly. But from the position of common thinking, people are less ...
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69 views

How would psychological anti-egoist respond to the following argument?

At first, my theory of psychological egoism consists of perfect desires and imperfect desires. They are based on the notions of hypothetical and practical choices. Hypothetical choice - a choice ...
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Is there any normative theory within pragmatic ethics?

I've read wikipedia's article on pragmatic ethics and it does not produce any norms. Rather, it is only a template for normative ethical theories, like how deontology is a template and CI is a real ...
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177 views

It is oppressive for youths to have laws that prohibit something exclusive to them? [closed]

I don't belong to the group of youths, but one does not need to belong to the particular group in order to defend their interests, like in the case of animal rights movements. Also, I belonged to it, ...
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445 views

Nietzsche’s despising of the herd

A question that I haven’t been able to answer: Nietzsche despised the herd and mentioned in many essays that we must reevaluate our ethics and the set of moralities Christianity has provided us (not ...
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697 views

Is there a distinction between Subjective and Objective Ethics, or not?

So, from what I understand, subjective ethics refers to when one's personal taste, emotional state, and contextual situation can cause one person to reach a different moral conclusion in a situation ...
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Eating meat and the intelligence or perception of the creature create ethical morality

It struck me when we eat meat and some call this immoral, why? Is the value placed on meat based on necessity, choice, intelligence of the animal involved, means of death, life of the animal, ...
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The Moral Law and the Categorical Imperative in Kant

In the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant begins his task by developing, through analysis of ordinary moral concepts, a theory of the 'supreme principle of morals,' the criteria for a ...
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198 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 ...
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Should I ignore spam I find useful? [closed]

I received spam in the form of a physical letter. It just happens that it is an ad of a furniture store and I'm looking for a store to buy some furniture. I don't know any stores at a convenient ...
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Is it possible to be ethical subjectivist and realist at the same time?

I assert that people say something is right/wrong only basing on their desires. They do not want X to be done, either under particular circumstances or any. Desires, indeed, are real. Therefore, moral ...
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315 views

How to understand objective/subjective and relative/absolute in the context of morality?

I was reading this SEP article and in this article a model with orthogonal axes for objective/subjective and relative/absolute is given. An example analogy of a relative yet objective notion is also ...
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What makes moral realism so popular a standpoint?

According to wikipedia page on moral realism: A survey from 2009 involving 3,226 respondents found that 56% of philosophers accept or lean towards moral realism (28%: anti-realism; 16%: other). ...
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Utilitarian Morality vs Kantian Morality

Does Utilitarian or Kantian Morality Approve : 1) Capital Punishment 2) Use of torture in interrogation of known terrorists
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103 views

Was Stephen Covey arguing for virtue ethics in “7 Habits…”?

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey repeatedly argues for what he refers to as the "character ethic" (as opposed to the "personality ethic"). He seems to use at least some ...
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'No better than they ought to be'?

What moral judgement is involved in the claim, less common than it once was but still heard, that 'S/he is no better than s/he ought to be' ? This is a conceptual question, not one about English usage....
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324 views

Is there any author that argues for radical moral pluralism?

Let me first clarify what I mean with "radical" here. While many modern authors, if not all, accept moral pluralism of sorts, all that I know of express either the hope, if not the conviction, that ...
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615 views

“Don't bite the hand that feeds you” is a pretty good moral stance? [closed]

"Don't bite the hand that feeds you" is a pretty good moral stance? Since it culminates very good principles for a short and easily followable phrase. To bite the hand that feeds you would be ...
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152 views

Can a Kantian bluff in poker?

Kantians aren't allowed to lie---if it were a universal law of nature that everyone lied all the time, no communication would be possible at all, no words would have meaning, and lying itself would ...
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Thoughts Regarding a Hypothetical Ethics Dilemma [closed]

I'm not a philosopher, so I apologize if this is a generally stupid question, but I was curious to hear what people thought. Scenario: Consider a "Star Trek" like future, with a technological ...
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201 views

Nietzsche challenging traditional morality

What exactly are the challenges to morality Nietzsche presents in the Genealogy of Morality? Is there a specific philosopher Nietzsche is responding to (like Kant, Aristotle, Plato, or Hobbes)? And is ...
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Morality is subjective?

I tend to believe that morality isn't all subjective. Society objectifies morality and keep a distinction between good and bad. So even if a person felt (subjective) what he was doing was right, ...
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How good, from an ethical, perspective is APA's “Critical Incidents Technique” to develop a code of ethics?

Here I am using good as acceptable or consistent from a philosophical ethics perspective. It strikes me that in order to confirm it they just made a survey of what scientists thought were ethical ...
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If purpose is just another side of cause, is everyone a consequentialist?

Purpose is just another side of cause. This is what I take as a premise. One might change "cause" by "reason" sometimes, both are related. Every non-randomistic process has some end after which this ...
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203 views

Operationalization / Falsifiability and ethics

I'm studying crowd behavior and I have some tricky questions: (1) Does operationalization guarantee testing falsifiability? (2) Is the study of crowd behavior falsifiable science? From a Freudian ...
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If everything that happens is “part of God's plan”, how can anything be immoral? [closed]

My question is addressed to people familiar with religious theology for any monotheistic religion (e.g., Christian doctrine, Islamic doctrine, etc.). For example, I have heard practicing Christians ...
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Defining Psychological Egoism vs Ethical Egoism

In The Elements of Moral Philosophy, James and Stuart Rachels gives the following definitions: Ethical Egoism claims that each person ought to pursue his or her own self-interest exclusively. ...
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What are Nietzsche's basic views on morality?

Can someone give me a cue for Nietzsche's views on morality? I'm sorry, I haven't read any of his works completely yet, but 'Beyond Good and Evil', and his Darwinian context make me curious.
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480 views

Can objective morality exist apart from the existence of a transcendent being?

I've heard explanations by Sam Harris and Michael Schermer, but I'm not super convinced on this one. People like Harris and Schermer seem to be trying to get an ought from an is.
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44 views

Deterrent effect of nuclear weapons in comparison with carrying Firearms?

Would it be feasible to to compare the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons between nuclear armed countries (if such exist), with the deterrent effect of a majority of citizen carrying firearms, inside ...
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Who are the representatives of Michigan and Rutgers ethical naturalism?

I am writing an excursus on contemporary naturalism for my thesis. In fact, after a brief introduction to the subject of moral philosophy and to ethical naturalism, I will analyze the Duke manifesto "...
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How one might analyze on the practice of excessive pursuit of perfectionism in morality? [closed]

Human has self-reflecting abilities. I know excessive pursuit for morality can turn out to be a bad thing. How might we analyze this excessive pursuit of perfectionism?
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Difference between weak Axiology, strong Axiology, weak Deontology, and strong Deontology

Axiology is the philosophical study of value. However, I don't see what strong Axiology and weak Axiology mean. The same thing with strong Deontology and weak Deontology. I can't seem to find the ...
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How to deal with self conflicting opinion with my potential religion on controversial issue?

I have conflicting opinion with my potential religion (Christian) on issues such as LGBT rights and euthanasia. Is it ethical and proper to continue to approach this religion? Could I interpret bible ...
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Were the Bavarian Illuminati actually Luciferians? [closed]

According to wikipedia the real illumianti were: ...the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on 1 May 1776. The society's goals were to oppose superstition, ...
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Is the notion of a meritocracy inherently unethical and/or paradoxical?

Wikipedia says, Meritocracy (merit, from Latin mereō, and -cracy, from Ancient Greek κράτος kratos "strength, power") is a political philosophy which holds that certain things, such as economic ...