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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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1answer
39 views

How can I maintain integrity when requested to use gender pronouns yet still be loving?

I have friends who request certain gender pronouns are used, which I do not believe to be correct. I have thought about this topic at some length and concluded that while using these pronouns would be ...
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2answers
45 views

Wittgenstein on ethics and the big book experiment

This is taken from the lecture Wittgenstein delivered on ethics. Wittgenstein proceeds to establish a controversial position in ethics. Although all judgments of relative value can be shown to be ...
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0answers
137 views

Is philosophy a tool or a means for some to portray pseudo-intellect or a self-affirming conception of brilliance or personal value? [closed]

Possibly not suitable here, but I've wondered if the very idea of "deeper thinking" like older world philosophy would have it is grounded in the very need of one to satisfy their own desire to feel ...
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3answers
113 views

What is the difference between letting someone die and not creating someone?

Imagine, for a moment, that you are emergency medical personnel. You are working on the victim of a car accident, who is unconcious, and has no pulse. At that moment - to the person you are working ...
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3answers
141 views

Is the death penalty a philosophical necessity if the murdered can come back to the living? [closed]

I mean, the death penalty is there because we want the murderer to pay. But if medicine can bring the killed back to life, what would be the point of it then? Not just philosophy, but also law ...
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3answers
78 views

Where is the limit between moral relativism and absence of morality?

I am able to understand that there is a irreconcilable difference between considering morality as an absolute and considering it being relative to individuals and groups. However, if I take the point ...
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1answer
397 views

What are some counter examples to Kant's moral philosophy about doing the right thing?

Kant believes that one way to find out what the right thing to do is to think what would happen if everyone followed the principle you’re following when you perform that action. What are some ...
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1answer
239 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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19answers
15k views

Why do atheist euthanasia proponents consider nothingness preferable to suffering? [closed]

I have heard some atheists support euthanasia, on the grounds that death is preferable to agony. But I don't understand this; if there is no afterlife, death isn't a relief. It's true nothingness, the ...
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4answers
121 views

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 ...
41
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11answers
12k views

What are the ethics of having children today?

Please receive this question as having come from a young person who wants to have children, but given the state of affairs (climate change, growing costs of living and wealth inequality, "technology", ...
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4answers
511 views

Why are euthanasia and suicide considered inhumane?

With animals, when they are in considerable pain or suffering from a terminal condition, it's typically considered humane to euthanize them as a way to minimize suffering. However, with humans, the ...
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1answer
5k views

Aristotle on Voluntary Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide

Aristotle greatly emphasizes the influence of the master, or he who possesses the greatest amount of practical wisdom. It is this master that we should turn to in order to determine the most virtuous ...
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1answer
455 views

Kant on Euthanasia

I know there are many permutations of questions pertaining to euthanasia, but in the interest of specificity, let's keep it to these two cases. How might Kant respond to: A) The claim that ...
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1answer
84 views

Spinoza's adequate knowledge: Can he avoid being called a dogmatist?

Within Spinoza's System (laid down in the Ethics), the difference of inadequate from adequate knowledge is crucial. Perhaps it is even the central cornerstone of his system, because adequate knowledge ...
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1answer
39 views

Which of Adorno's books explains best his ideas on moral autonomy?

Which of Adorno's books explains best his ideas on moral autonomy? Can anyone provide a quick outline of them?
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3answers
113 views

Why think that retributive justice has an intrinsic value?

Obviously, punishment itself can have an extrinsic value: it may encourage fewer people to offend. But how has anyone argued for the intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, value of retributive justice? I ...
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4answers
9k views

Are buddhist allowed to kill mosquitoes

I found this question very interesting because it shows some phenomenon: The Buddha said: Refrain from killing any sentient being. But the thing is, you can kill the "sentient being" just to ...
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3answers
291 views

Are there any alternatives to the theory that virtues are the means between two vices?

Aristotle theorizes that virtues like courage are the average or mean of two vices such as cowardice and foolhardiness. Are there any competing theories of virtue which explicitly reject virtues as ...
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1answer
80 views

Reference request: applied ethics and the finance industry

Have any philosophers written about ethics and the financial services industry? I'm less interested in the bits covered by law (insider trading, etc) than ethical issues around the role the industry ...
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2answers
329 views

moral relativism on science

Can you explain to me what Einstein meant in the following context? Some moral relativists try to say that science can be used to dictate ethics, but even secular scientists admit that science is a ...
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4answers
72 views

Is it ethical to force someone to evacuate from their home?

Suppose a bushfire (wildfire) is approaching someone's home. They have a strong connection to their home but are unable to defend it. They would be utterly devastated if it burnt down. Is it ethical ...
4
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2answers
186 views

Is Google Duplex unethical if it doesn’t specifically identify itself as a non-human?

The recent Google Duplex demo caused a firestorm of criticism online. One of the things that I kept hearing was that it was an unethical deception for an AI system to present itself as a human caller....
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3answers
698 views

Is there an answer to false positives/negatives of Kant's categorical imperative?

I recently read some papers on Kant's categorical imperative (McCarty, Kosgaard, Gressis mainly) on how to properly formulate a maxim according to him, and on the multiple problems linked to those ...
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3answers
85 views

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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3answers
258 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 ...
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1answer
78 views

What would a system that aims to maximize my own well-being be called?

I was wondering what a moral system that says things are good if they benefit me would be called. At first I was thinking of normative egoism, but it seems like normative egoism says that everyone ...
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1answer
233 views

How can Kantianism prove the existence of perfect duties?

I heard about Kant's reasoning that lying that you return money or about the leads to contradiction in conception. But how could he even prove that lying under any circumstances leads to ...
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4answers
522 views

Is this argument about abortion being both right and wrong valid or invalid?

Abortion is either right or wrong. If it is right, then people should be allowed to kill fetuses. Killing fetuses is wrong. Hence, abortion is not right. If it is wrong, then women won’t have the ...
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4answers
631 views

The relationship of women's right to abortion and men's duty of child support

There is a quote from Karen DeCrow, which you can find below. The courts have properly determined that a man should neither be able to force a woman to have an abortion nor to prevent her from ...
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2answers
583 views

If other versions of us existed in a multiverse, would we be morally responsible for the actions of these alternate versions of us? [closed]

Hypothetically, if we lived in a multiverse which contained an infinite number of identical versions of each of us containing our respective memories and experiences, with the exception of key ...
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1answer
279 views

What distinguishes a Hypocrite from Demagogue? [closed]

What distinguishes a Hypocrite (Hypocrisy) from Demagogue? Both are speaking out lies and are socially considered "evil" persons, correct. Thus, for me they sound similiar. Or are there precise ...
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1answer
272 views

Marsilio Ficino' commentary on the Symposium on Love guidance

Is Marsilio Ficino's commentary on the Symposium on Love a good book to read alongside the Symposium for someone who is reading the Platonic dialogue? Does it give a good understanding of the ...
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3answers
65 views

Is a good being, also just?

Question: Does a good being, also have to be just/fair? Side Question: What philosophers/resources would be recommended to research such an idea?
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27 views

Is voting on taxes ethical without being presented the “numbers”?

if I base my vote (on taxes) based on republican or democrat anecdote, as well as my own paycheck, is it the right thing for for me to do, to vote on taxes? I am trying to skeptically look at voting (...
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0answers
24 views

What's the status of applied ethics?

Meta-ethics, normative ethics and applied ethics are commonly listed as the three main branches of ethics. However, I can't find an article about applied ethics in the Stanford Encyclopedia of ...
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1answer
37 views

Is there any intellectual advantage in reading the Grand Ethics or the Eudemian ethics?

I have already read Nicomachean Ethics 2 times and loved it. I especially like Arisotle's prose style and especially his sense of humor. It is said that his other two works on ethics cover ...
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6answers
474 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 ...
4
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1answer
499 views

Moral 'ought' and the Principle of Generic Consistency?

Late philosopher Alan Gewirth introduced the Principle of Generic Consistency, or the PGC, which says that moral agents ought to respect the generic rights of freedom and well-being because they are ...
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3answers
484 views

can a dog give consent?

We know consciousness requires a specific level of awareness. Many people view other life forms who have a lower level of awareness as having a lower level of consciousness. Thus consciousness ...
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2answers
68 views

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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1answer
90 views

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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3answers
98 views

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
101 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
94 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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0answers
36 views

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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2answers
147 views

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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0answers
97 views

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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1answer
91 views

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 ...