Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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An attempt at reconstructing the reasoning behind Kant's universalization principle

Please let me know whether you detect objectionable points in my attempt at reconstructing Kant's universalization principle. Reference : Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. https://en....
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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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Is there an onus on the critic to provide an alternative solution?

In many situations, when someone criticises a procedure, or a policy, a common response is something like "yeah, we know it's crap, but you're not presenting an alternative solution, so shut up". ...
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Value of the exact same simulation

Imagine that you are able to run simulations of people, and decide to run twice the same simulation, who run in exactly the same way, and in this simulations something bad happens to the person being ...
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1answer
76 views

Recently became aware of the term philosophical psychotherapy in connection with Spinoza's “Ethics”

In his essay; 'Spinoza's Philosophical Psychotherapy' Donald Robertson claims that the entire "Ethics" can be viewed as a psychotherapeutic 'self-help' document. Just wanted to know if anyone has ...
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5answers
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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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58 views

What is the morality of a pregnant woman drinking alcohol? [closed]

How do we trade-off the rights of the individual woman to drink, against the right of a person to be born without foetal (fetal) alcohol syndrome?
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3answers
138 views

All evil is potential vitality in need of transformation

I just learned about Sheldon Kopp on this forum, and I love his list of "eternal truths." Of course, I don't yet understand all of them, including this one: All evil is potential vitality in need ...
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2answers
71 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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3answers
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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
87 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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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
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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 ...
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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
601 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
6k 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
476 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
105 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
54 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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170 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
10k 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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321 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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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 ...
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282 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
84 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
325 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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349 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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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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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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33 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
53 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
515 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 ...
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3answers
894 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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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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95 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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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
106 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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99 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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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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1answer
100 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 ...
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1answer
5k views

Are people inherently good according to Plato?

Are people inherently good according to Plato? Are Gods subject to forms, in the sense that they are good because they are subject to the form of good, or are they independent of the forms? Because I ...
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2answers
159 views

Is civilization really a good thing? [closed]

According to Bertrand Russell Change is one thing, progress is another. Change is scientific, progress is ethical; change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy. Sigmund Freud ...
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59 views

What is a good example where the Doctrine of Double Effect is inconsistent?

Our ethics class was just analyzing the DDE and the professor tried to draw a parallel between two cases to show how the DDE isn't perfect. The first case had the scenario where a trolley is rolling ...
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1answer
110 views

How do we determine the line of life that is acceptable and not acceptable to kill?

My question might be worded funny, but I don't know where to start. I'm looking for help. I understand each of the following situations should be approached individually, but I am more concerned about ...
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225 views

What should you do in this situation?

You've been on a cruise for two days when there's an accident that forces everyone on board to abandon ship. During the evacuation, one of the boats is damaged, leaving it with a hole that fills it ...
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4answers
176 views

Is it fallacious to argue that power must be evil?

According to popular wisdom "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely". If one is considering ethics, and one argues that power must be evil because it can corrupt people, is this a fallacy ...
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351 views

In his book The Fall why does Camus say that it will always be too late to save?

'So tell me, please, what happened to you one evening on the banks of Seine and how you managed never to risk your life. Say the words that for years have not ceased to echo through my nights and that ...
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2answers
237 views

What is the link with nihilism and hypocrisy?

What is the link with nihilism and hypocrisy? I know that Nietzsche mentions hypocrisy. I think to the effect that the old values helped it flourish, that it is now debased, with at least the ...
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901 views

“I have lied but I am not a liar, and I have done bad things but I am not a bad man.”

What logical fallacy would this be? I am doing a project and I need to identify what kind of logical fallacy this would represent.

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