Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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11
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1answer
934 views

If eating in vitro animal meat is morally acceptable to vegetarians, does it follow that eating in vitro Human flesh is morally acceptable?

Several research groups around the world are attempting to perfect techniques for growing animal flesh for human consumption, without requiring the killing of a complete intelligent organism. This is ...
0
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2answers
788 views

Is there a name for the philosophy of increasing happiness more than reducing it is the only moral good?

I recently answered this question on the ethical duty to help educate others, where I wrote: I feel like if a person increases "happiness" more in his life then he decreases the "...
3
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1answer
203 views

“Avoid irreversible acts!” - where does this statement about morals come from?

In the novel (I think, could be another in the trilogy) "Beetle in the Anthill" one of the protagonists states that it is wrong to do acts that are irreversible, in the context of a grand decision ...
4
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2answers
460 views

Is there an utilitarian stance on top-down utility maximization?

Frequently, utilitarian ethics are presented from the point of view of individual decision-making, that is, the maximization of the "pleasure less suffering" function which underlyies rational choice ...
3
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2answers
546 views

How do metaphysical naturalists approach ethics?

I am wondering about traditions of ethics which might incorporate naturalism or skepticism. As far as I understand, the Academic Skeptics, in particular Carneades and Cicero, held that there was no ...
0
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1answer
435 views

Summary of Callicles and Thrasymachus's arguments regarding injustice

I find somewhat odd to find out that there does not seem to exist concise summary or review of Callicles and Thrasymachus's arguments for supporting injustice, so I ask this question: what would be ...
5
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4answers
213 views

Which authors and works might be most important for introducing the philosophy of education?

Which authors and works might be most important for introducing the philosophy of education? In other words, which (works, authors) expound the development of the most significant or critical ...
4
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2answers
149 views

References on beneficent obligations

I'm interested in sources discussing the obligations we have to be "beneficent", e.g. through charitable donations. Famine, Affluence and Morality is one of the more famous articles of this type. SEP ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Are there any advantages of racism? [closed]

We know that today society does not approve of racism (atleast in public it has a negative sound). But I asked myself - why did it even come to racism - why was it needed? Did it bring any benefit to ...
4
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5answers
7k views

Can a philosophical question be answered? [closed]

In many traditions (eg Stoicism) philosophy is not a field of knowledge but of endeavour and spiritual exercise, or in other terms a way of life and seeing life. In that light, what value has any ...
8
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3answers
774 views

If we assume The Turing Test to be the criterion for moral personhood, would simulated minds pose a problem for existing moral systems?

In an answer to this question I made the rather bold speculation that if the Turing Test is taken to be our defining criterion of a consciousness of human level, then all questions in the ethics of ...
1
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3answers
1k views

The intersection of philosophy and commerce [closed]

One of the things that seems the most bizarre about philosophy as discipline is its horrible record at producing an income. As people deeply knowledgable and interested in the big problems surrounding ...
2
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1answer
267 views

Autonomy in medical ethics without free will

In ethics, autonomy is the right of an individual to make an un-coerced decision. While studying this, I often find myself thinking of free will. If free will does not exist, how would this affect the ...
8
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4answers
380 views

A different approach to punishing criminals [closed]

I recently had a discussion with somebody who had read the book "Children of Mother Earth" by the Dutch author Thea Beckman. She claimed that in the book, the idea was proposed to no longer lock up ...
-3
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1answer
156 views

Make money and give it away [closed]

If a man makes a lot of money supporting a business that pollutes the environment, and then spends the money supporting environmentally focused charities, is he good or evil? What does philosophy say ...
8
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2answers
1k views

How does Darwin's Theory of Evolution complicate a reading of Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals?

Darwins Theory of Evolution states that the evolution of life underlies processes like selection, reproduction and variation. I think, essentially he says, that the occurences of any ability or ...
16
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3answers
6k views

How much ethics did Machiavelli convey in The Prince?

My philosophy teacher and I are having a little disagreement regarding The Prince: He argues that although the book's context is a letter to Lorenzo de' Medici advising him and recommending a course ...
1
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1answer
736 views

Does Western-Europe still espouse Slave Morality?

Nietschze criticised Christianity for espousing slave morality. How true is this? Given that Christianity became the religion of the ruling classes, isn't it more correct to say that slave morality is ...
3
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1answer
183 views

Can someone help me understand the intellectual property theft concept with this hypothetical question?

Let's say a student researcher at a university is given notebooks to lab take notes about the research during their time as a researcher. This student does so well that they are hired by a research ...
8
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1answer
2k views

What consequences has Locke's theory of knowledge had on modern political thought?

According to John Locke's notion of tabula rasa, there are no innate ideas in the mind. All human knowledge comes from sensible experience. Assuming this principle, it follows that there is no innate ...
1
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1answer
153 views

What other term does Singer use in regard to Continuous Moral Improvement?

I think I recall reading in Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" that humans, by nature, have a Continuous Moral Improvement. This was in reference to how sexism and racism are become less common, and ...
7
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1answer
2k views

What is the origin of love, in Hobbesian philosophy?

According to Hobbes, Passions are identified as those interior beginnings of motion, by which the imagination eventually motivates us to action. He then describes various emotions such as glory, ...
2
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2answers
238 views

Can partial suppression of freedom be justified for the sake of efficient and/or superior performance?

At first sight, this question may seem absurd, however I would like this question to be scaled down to less intensity. I do not in any way state that I support this, however, out of curiosity this ...
4
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1answer
690 views

What is the difference between patriarchial right and the paternal right?

I am reading a paper on Hobbes interpretation of patriarchy, which says hobbes patriarchy is non paternal, i.e. he proposes a patriarchal right that is different from paternal right? What is the exact ...
2
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2answers
366 views

Is this definition of morality from a known philosopher or philosophical school?

I've heard the following definition of morality: A particular action or choice is moral or right if it somehow promotes happiness, well being or health, or it somehow minimizes unnecessary harm or ...
5
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6answers
527 views

Is there any formal school of ethics that justify cruel treatment of people?

I'm not well versed in philosophy, which is why I'm asking, so feel free to tell me if I'm going at this in the wrong way. Is there any particular school of ethics that could justify cruel treatment (...
3
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1answer
298 views

What About Organ Selling is Inherently Wrong?

Context: I was reading http://www.mitmunc.org/committee/HRC. In it selling organs selling organs seems to be thought of as an a priori wrong. I was somewhat surprised at the assumption that organ ...
9
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1answer
320 views

Have any philosophers treated prevarication as morally equivalent to lying?

When I was a child, I had the tendency to prevaricate and make misleading statements, where what I had said was not false, but left out an important portion of the truth and deceived the listener into ...
3
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2answers
1k views

What are the standard responses to this criticism of utilitarianism?

Might not someone else's utility or preferences about what people do infringe upon what's ordinarily taken as right to liberty or privacy? For example, if there were someone who just found it ...
19
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10answers
6k views

When is violence appropriate?

In what situations would violence be appropriate? The way I see it, the only excuse is as a response to violence (self-defense). Am I missing anything?
9
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6answers
654 views

Which authors have discussed death in philosophy?

Could anyone point me to some authors who have discussed the ideas surrounding death in western Philosophy? (Not whether we know we exist but rather the concept of mortality and immortality).
8
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8answers
854 views

Which philosophy forces others to act altruistically?

I see and hear various media/articles and people's view which insist others to commit altruistic acts. Sometimes to the extent that it is no more persuasion but force. Why is that right or wrong and ...
2
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1answer
176 views

Does belief in the Law sytem even when counter to ones morals mean that one is immoral

Does ones support of legalized abortion or same sex marriage imply that this reflects the person's personal morality or can the personal sphere and public sphere be separated? For example a religious ...
7
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1answer
205 views

Should a philosopher's bigotry affect the interpretation of their work?

Aristotle is generally considered a genius of towering stature and the depth and breadth of his work are testament to this; however, by most accounts, and despite being progressive in many ways, he ...
2
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2answers
221 views

Is mankind God in an ethical sense?

In an ethical sense (i.e. not metaphysical), could God be equated with mankind? Many of the religious duties of people towards their god could as well be interpreted as duties towards their peers, e....
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1answer
268 views

Links between patriotism and racism [closed]

Is there any published research which attempts to establish a possible link between extreme patriotism and institutionalized racism? What do they conclude?
8
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8answers
3k views

If you kill someone who is committing suicide, are you culpable for his death? [closed]

One of our definition questions particularly intrigued me. If a man were committing suicide by jumping off a building and you shot him on the way down, killing him, are you culpable for his death? ...
2
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1answer
1k views

The death sentence, ethics and relativity [closed]

A very common question is, "should there be a death sentence?" I was brought up to defend the opinion that the government cannot do something that it itself considers illegal, unlawful and immoral. ...
2
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2answers
320 views

If a company trained an employee, would it be unethical for him/her to apply their knowledge elsewhere?

I hear a lot about employers not paying employees for training. They want employees to pay and earn the skills for themselves, during their own time. But, if companies do provide training, they tend ...
3
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2answers
312 views

Is it ethical to give a hitchiker a ride [closed]

You are driving in a car and see a woman standing in a bus stop trying to hitchhike. Is it ethical to give her a lift? I can think of two reasons against: 1) By giving her a ride, you are actually ...
6
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4answers
872 views

Does a reader have any responsibilities towards an author?

Are there any obligations a reader (of any form of text) has to fulfill towards the author? Which philosophers argue within this context? Example: Is there anyone arguing, a reader must / should (...
4
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2answers
199 views

Is it ethical to sell a product if I developed it with the help of responses to questions I posed to online communities?

Is it ethical to commercialize a product that was developed with the aid of the responses obtained from questions I posed to online Q&A communities? For instance, if I asked a question to a ...
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2answers
342 views

being free of desires [closed]

I'm not satisfied with the situation I'm in currently. I tend to watch senseless TV shows and do other senseless things such as gaming for hours (it's ok to me to game about an hour, but if it takes ...
4
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3answers
693 views

What are the minimum necessary and sufficient conditions for something to be considered sentient?

The answer to Could a sentient machine suffer? suggests that The ability to suffer would not seem to be a necessary condition for sentience This made me wonder what the minimum necessary and ...
0
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1answer
7k views

How does philosophy impact “real life”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How is philosophy useful? Examinging its practical and real-life impact and the benefits of getting a degree in philosophy Many people today are of the opinion that philosophy ...
6
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8answers
9k views

When is it right to break the rules? [closed]

Not really an history question but the ethics/philosophy question came about while thinking of history. Lincoln violated the constitution a few times and although he's universally recognized as a ...
12
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2answers
257 views

How has neuroscience characterized classic Benthamite utilitiarian reasoning in situations like the trolley problem?

With regards to the famous trolley problem, I know that neuroscientists have largely found people believe it is morally wrong to flip the switch to kill one man in order to save five strangers. I ...
12
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5answers
980 views

If the “right to life” is denied in abortion, isn't it also denied in the use of the death penalty?

Many people who support death penalty are also against abortion, and vice-versa. What is the moral difference between the two? In both cases, isn't the "right to life" of another being violated? ...
4
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1answer
219 views

What were Kant's thoughts on ethics and “Transcendental Deduction”?

What is Kant's thoughts on ethics? And what do his "Transcendental Deduction" ideas have to do with his ideas on ethics? Please keep in mind that I'm a a newb to philosophy, so the simper and more ...
7
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1answer
449 views

What are the current leading theories of intergenerational ethics?

Systems of ethics that address intergenerational issues should provide guidance on how to balance the interests of those people nearing the end of their lives, those just beginning, and those in ...