Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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6answers
2k views

Is there a point to arguing about the meaning of words?

Firstly, I should mention that I am not sure, whether this the right place to ask such a question, but I am trying it anyway. Furthermore, one could say I come from a mathematics background and I am ...
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2answers
394 views

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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4answers
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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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0answers
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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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2answers
79 views

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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For a utilitarian, is a lie morally equivalent to a mistake?

As far as I know, utilitarians consider that only the consequences should be considered as the calculation of the morality of an action. Since a mistake and a lie differ only in their intent, are ...
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1answer
47 views

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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2answers
594 views

How could I possibly apply rule-utilitarianism in real life?

If I believe in rule-utilitarianism as the best moral system we have to judge what actions are right and wrong, how would I go about applying this system pratically in real life decisions? For ...
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1answer
110 views

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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0answers
61 views

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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4answers
284 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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35 views

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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2answers
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What does “service” mean in Bubeck's feminist ethics of care

Bubeck thus distinguishes care from “service”, by stipulating that “care” involves meeting the needs for others who cannot meet their needs themselves, whereas “service” involves meeting the needs ...
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Why would Aristotle argue that “a mechanic or a mercantile life” is “ignoble and inimical to virtue”?

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. (Aristotle) UPDATE: As Michael notes below, a better translation of the above is in Rackham (reproduced from Michael's citation): But at present we are ...
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0answers
676 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
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What impact has Douglas Hofstadter's superrationality had in terms of philosophy?

Superrational decision making is a type of rational decision making in which the players cooperate in a one-shot prisoner's dilemma without coordination, punishment, or magical thinking. The idea is ...
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0answers
215 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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5answers
436 views

Why should we care about anyone?

If we take the World as absurd - without any meaning or end result, and believe in no such thing as God or afterlife (taking Camus' stance in Myth of Sisyphus), why should anyone, fundamentally, care ...
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1answer
78 views

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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0answers
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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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39 views

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
361 views

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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1answer
198 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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2answers
213 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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1answer
79 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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2answers
65 views

Is it ethical to offer money for a contractor (such as a realtor) to reach an agreement in the your favor?

Say that a realtor suggests that you need a certain subjective requirement to be approved, but that the owner is somewhat flexible. Now, this is not a legal requirement, which would be illegal to ...
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0answers
106 views

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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1answer
88 views

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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3answers
74 views

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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2answers
146 views

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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2answers
107 views

Is there a journal or organization where one can submit (not necessarily professional) philosophical articles?

I am neither a professional philosopher nor an academic. But I do seem to like to engage in philosophical thought and sometimes have different ideas about different topics in life. I was wondering if ...
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9answers
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Is it possible to be truly selfless or altruistic?

Is it possible for people to actually be selfless? It seems that in many cases where someone is being kind, they are actually performing in a manner that will benefit them. Either the recipient of the ...
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4answers
182 views

When everyone has different moral values, how is it possible to decide wrong and right?

How are moral decisions made in such contexts? For example, if x believes old people are more important and y believes young people are, how would they make a decision where they would have to choose ...
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3answers
147 views

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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2answers
138 views

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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14answers
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Is religion necessary for the good life?

According to Aristotle, you will be deemed as living well if you experience worldly pleasures while still being morally upright and virtuous. How can you identify what is morally right without the ...
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0answers
74 views

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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2answers
114 views

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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3answers
127 views

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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2answers
610 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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1answer
65 views

What is ethically wrong in xenotransplantation?(transplanting animal's organ to a man)

The ethical before the technical Research in recent years has concentrated mainly on the effectiveness of xenotransplantation and other fundamental questions must be studied before moving on to ...
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1answer
101 views

Is the normative value of linguistic usage a counterexample to the impossibility of deriving “ ought” from “is”?

I really believe that one cannot derive " ought" from "is". But the case of linguistic usage causes me some intellectual trouble. (1) Linguistic usage is a simple fact. (2) Linguistic usage ...
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0answers
57 views

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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1answer
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How do you morally justify the requirement that children should support themselves when they reach adulthood?

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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3answers
119 views

Stupidity and morality, how do they relate? [closed]

I think most people concerned with philosophy would think that morality is at least a type of intelligence, one way of being intelligent. Some forms of "ethical realism" must surely rely on ethical ...
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3answers
126 views

Victim blaming in violent crimes

After a recent court case where two men were convicted of torturing, raping and eventually killing a young woman, a lot of victim blaming went on in the media and in many private conversations. I ...
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2answers
102 views

Is it ethical to live a frugal/simple life?

It is generally accepted that modern consumerism has caused significant environmental problems for humanity. But on the other hand, many people, especially the poor, often have their livelihood ...
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3answers
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Is Peter Singer an act or preference utilitarian?

Does Singer not fit a specific type of utilitarianism? Just the same as, "The lines of distinction between metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics are often blurry." (iep.utm.edu/ethics) ...
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2answers
86 views

Is this conditional donation morally permissible?

About a week ago, at the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic in Bulgaria, a Bulgarian entrepreneur (Ivaylo Penchev, founder of Walltopia), offered a conditional donation of medical ventilators to a state-...
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1answer
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Trolley problem: preference utilitarians vs. classical utilitarians vs. Kant

I wonder what exactly are the differences and if I am correct with my assumptions. The trolley problem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem Now: For the utilitarian, the only morally ...

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