Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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80 views

Is corruption always morally wrong?

The question is whether corruption is always morally/ethically wrong. To set up the premise, let me start with some examples. In third world countries (I'm from one myself, so I can speak from ...
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The debate around moral veganism

There is an ongoing debate around morality of food habit. Of this debate I have only heard one side, the side of the moral vegans. Bentham, Singer and others propose veganism based on utilitarian ...
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Is this guy's thinking more inclined towards Kant's philosophy or utilitarianism

Suppose there is a young adult guy who is suffering from chronic illness. He recently lost his job because of his illness and feels things are only going to get worst for him in the future with his ...
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1answer
62 views

Does culture define morality or does morality have a singularly defined reality across all cultures? [closed]

There can be, in my opinion, only one moral reality. Morality can't be for one and not another. Once knowledge of a virtue is known one acts either with or against their own knowledge. Morality has no ...
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137 views

Are Borat-style pranks ethical?

In Borat and related works, pranks tend to follow the following course. An impersonator will pretend to be a bigoted (e.g. racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic) character. The impersonator will then ...
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Is there a moral to the deontic-logic story?

In alethic modal logic, it is arguably conventional (or metaphysically thematic) to start with a possibility or a necessity operator. For example, you can start with possibility and get not-possibly (...
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62 views

Does the so-called “Copenhagen interpretation of ethics” have a formal name in moral philosophy?

I was recently introduced to the term Copenhagen interpretation of ethics in an interesting blog post that defined it thusly: The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics says that when you observe or ...
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35 views

Where does ethics place the line between self interest and altruism?

Assuming I were to decide between getting Benefit A myself or somebody else getting A. All things being equal (need, desire, etc), is it correct to say most ethical theories (other than egoism) would ...
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How does Consequentialism handle uncertainty?

E.g. Suppose you are a Consequentialist faced with a variation of the trolley car problem. Your options are to save five people with a 20% likelihood or one person with a 100% likelihood. Which option,...
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“Ought implies can” or “Can implies ought”?

As far as I understand, the well known Kant's principle "Ought implies can" means: if you are morally obliged to do X, then you ought to do X. And (as explained here: http://web.mnstate.edu/...
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Who was the first to posit that “culture determines the moral status of things within that culture”? [closed]

I am studying moral philosophy and I wish to learn who was the first to posit the above quote, preferably in similar wording as above.
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What are some arguments for judging historical figures by contemporary standards?

I've seen quite a lot of arguments against judging historical figures by modern standards, most representatively by the principle of moral relativism. Is there any argument for it though? The only ...
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How shall I understand Wittgenstein's comment on Russell's work?

Ludwig Wittgenstein said Russell’s books should be bound in two colours…those dealing with mathematical logic in red – and all students of philosophy should read them; those dealing with ethics and ...
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If a crime physically cannot be committed again, would applying “Reform instead of Punishment” be necessary?

I think there are 3 main arguments for the imprisonment of criminals: A) criminals can be locked away for a temporary or indefinite amount of time so they cannot commit another crime again B) ...
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What is the roadmap for learning applied ethics, if targeting academia?

I am a undergraduate student studying philosophy. Our university is good at history of philosophy, but very poor at problem-oriented philosophy. However, I wish to enter academia and study applied ...
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Alessio Moretti's graphs

Moretti and his colleagues are at the head of a school of logic focused on the tradition of the Square of Opposition and similar graphs/diagrams. Besides a strong thesis of logical form depending on/...
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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 ...
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What is a moral statement

Consider the following statements I feel lying is wrong. I prohibit lying. I dislike lying. I think lying is bad. Are these statements moral statements ? I think they only express a certain attitude ...
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Responsibility for animals as human and does it undermine true equality?

I have been thinking lately, coming to an interesting point of view, which may not necessarily be mine (not yet sure about that), but still worth to talk about. Unfortunately, I came into heated ...
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How is Socrates's daimon related to one of Aquinas's laws/views of virtue and justice

In Plato's Apology of Socrates, Socrates talks about having a daimon, a divine being/voice that tells him of things not to do. For Aquinas, what would this be?
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Identifying a principle that connects actions with responsibilities

Consider the following statement: If x has decided to make an action A that caused B and x was aware that A could (with sufficiently high probability) cause B (when (s)he did A), then x is morally ...
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Parfit's mountain

Let Parfit's mountain be a moral theory based on combining previous moral theories in a certain way. (Readers of the book referenced will be familiar with the form of this way. I read part of it, ...
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Is there a universally accepted definition of what constitutes 'science' from a philosophy of science perspective?

The term science gets bandied about so much that it is not always clear what is meant. This is fine in conversation, etc. But it becomes problematic when the question becomes, is there a proper domain ...
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“being blameworthy (which might not take alienation into account)” vs. and “being blamed (which would)”

How does being blameworthy differ from being blamed? My question is based on footnote 119 that I emboldened. I tried to read the primary source, but it's too complicated for me. I never studied ...
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Is there an ethical philosophy which equates innocence with being uninvolved?

If you consider the trolley problem, most people would pull the lever to kill one to save the five. If however, to save the five, you need to push a fat man onto the tracks to stop the trolley, this ...
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208 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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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 ...
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232 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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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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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
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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 ...
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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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61 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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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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207 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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134 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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437 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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Does Hume's Is-Ought Thesis imply moral nihilism?

Assuming you are an atheist, cognitivist, and a moral objectivist, does Hume's Is-Ought Thesis imply you must be a moral nihilist (or perhaps more weakly, at least a moral skepticist)? Put another ...

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