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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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127 views

Morality, Animal Cruelty, and Non-Vegetarianism

This is a very common question, but I've always been torn about how I can give a rational moral justification for being a non-vegetarian. Is it not hypocritical for me to condemn other acts of animal ...
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1answer
380 views

Is Mercy Reverse Injustice or Reversed Injustice? [closed]

The problem, so easily, is that: To have Mercy is to abuse against myself,i.e: to loss, or to give up some rights of mine to the real abuser or the real oppressor or whoever does the act of Injustice. ...
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1answer
94 views

The Full Scope of Sloth [closed]

Disclaimer one: I am not a Christian, nor do I have any religious agendas with this post. Disclaimer two: This is a quite lengthy post, with a considerable amount of preliminary stuff, and also a few ...
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80 views

Can responsibility or the lack thereof justify self-defence?

Ryan Cheyney argues that when an innocent Victim defends himself against an Aggressor by killing the Aggressor, he can justify his killing the Aggressor by saying he was not responsible for killing ...
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Can we be morally responsible for our actions when luck is concerned?

I came across an argument against moral responsibility that follows like this: P1 A person P is morally responsible for the occurring of an event only if the event was not a matter of luck. ...
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80 views

If we are rationally obliged to be moral, and morality is not arbitrary, then are some decisions not freely made?

If we are rationally obliged to be moral, and morality is not arbitrary, then are some decisions not freely made? I mean 'not arbitrary' to mean that some values, e.g. courage, are more rational than ...
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5answers
755 views

Why is murder wrong?

Let's start with the idea that for something to be wrong it has to harm a conscious being, in this case a human. This could involve active harm (punching them), or harm which they remain ignorant of. ...
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1answer
63 views

What would you do? [closed]

To give some background, I'm trained in biology (UCSC) and seem to have a knack for it. My success with software probably gives credibility to my ability with simple logic. I've worked on a long term ...
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1answer
345 views

Why did Kant condemn masturbation?

That such an unnatural use (and so misuse) of one's sexual attributes is a violation of one's duty to himself and is certainly in the highest degree opposed to morality strikes everyone upon his ...
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2answers
159 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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4answers
127 views

Evil for its own sake

My readings/beliefs about weakness of will have led me to think that "evil for its own sake" is impossible. Yet, some actions seem to be done as such. So I think this difference is important: (A) I ...
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5answers
151 views

Is this ad hominem or in general acceptable behavior during an argument?

Person A: What is considered socially acceptable should be common sense regardless of outside influences. Person B: What is considered common sense or obvious can be very different depending on ...
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86 views

What were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was interested in?

I have read most of the books by Albert Camus thoroughly. I know that Camus' theory is absurdity but I want to know his take on morality. I mean, what were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was ...
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101 views

Is it less immoral to lie to the less intelligent (moral deceptionism)?

According to Hugo Grotius, it is not immoral to lie to someone who does not possess "the right to exercise liberty of judgment". He then proceeded to give two examples: (i) you cannot lie to a madman (...
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1answer
57 views

Looking for existing discourse on the category of fallacies exemplified by “paradox of tolerance”

Popper coined the phrase "paradox of tolerance" when discussing how unlimited tolerance is self-contradictory (paradoxical) in that it precludes self-preservation (resisting intolerance). The seeming ...
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Taking help after feeling suicidal is ethical or not?

A true case : Suppose a student is feeling helpless, alone because he has just shifted to a new city in a foreign country and is unable to find a place to live because rents are too high. Also, he ...
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1answer
48 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
92 views

Is willful ignorance ethically acceptable? [closed]

Disclaimer: This is an open/opinion based question. Coming from StackOverflow something like this isn't looked fondly upon but I hope it's more commonly accepted practice over here. Also I am not a ...
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6answers
413 views

Are “universal human rights” demonstrable? How?

Are "universal human rights" (as per definitions by United Nations or others who try to argue for them) demonstrateable? How? I personally question this concept due to several reasons: Universality ...
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Was Robin Hood's point of view ethically sound?

The story of Robin Hood was a favourite of mine as a child. But as an adult, I am beginning to change my mind for a couple of reasons. The first being that if we assume a free market exists, ...
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3answers
123 views

How does Spinoza derive his ethics while keeping with his definition of an “unfree” Will

In the Ethics, Spinoza does refute any definition of Will as being free, as Will for men is an illusion which proceeds from inadequate ideas and Will for God is that of the necessity of his Being. ...
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114 views

The concept of eudaimonia

The usual definitions of eudaimonia as "happiness" or "flourishing" or the like, don't seem to fit the actual translation of the word. The word means "a good spirit," where "spirit" has semi-mystical ...
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56 views

Is there any ethical system wherein all obligations are prohibitions against an action?

Is there any ethical system wherein all obligations are prohibitions against an action? So, thou shalt not kill. But never, help those in need of it, or be kind to those you have been unreasonable to,...
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78 views

How much censorship is justified for a free society's survival? [closed]

JFK discusses self-censorship in the interests of "the common good" in the linked speech "that killed him", and it is key to the reasons I have asked this question. What are the positions in ethics ...
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1answer
151 views

The Sartre Paradox

"According to Sartre, humans are the only beings that dont have an essence." Do't look a little "weird" J.P Sartre, tells that the "Man is comdemned to be free", in case conjuring that, the freedom ...
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How to argue that some inequality is justifiable in order to maximize the well-being of the worst off in Rawls's theory of justice?

In context, I have to describe what we think is a just society by Rawls theory of justice. I want to try and use Scandinavia, for example, the Nordic Model as a representation as a just society. ...
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534 views

What is the difference between praxis and poiesis?

I have found online this distinction, but I cannot wrap my mind around it: poiesis - means 'to make'; it is an action that transforms; it refers to 'bringing-forth'; a threshold occasion: a ...
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91 views

Why did Kant think that you should be responsible for the consequences of lying but not for the consequences of telling the truth?

Can someone here clarify what Kant meant with the following statement: if you have by a lie prevented someone just now bent on murder from committing the deed, then you are legally accountable for ...
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72 views

Do Nietzscheans think not lying to yourself has intrinsic value?

Do Nietzscheans think not lying to yourself has intrinsic value? It's just a guess, that they might, even though Nitezsche claimed "everything is permitted". I don't think it works completely in the ...
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3answers
153 views

What do we mean by “impossible” when we say “morality does not require doing the impossible”?

"Morality does not require us to do the impossible" has long been an axiom in ethics, but the definition of "impossible" seems to be vague when we examine some extreme cases. For example, silly ...
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1answer
46 views

Are there any notable works that touch on pursuing a moral good that is likely futile?

I'm slightly at a loss for the correct terminology and context here.. Apologies if the question isn't all that precise. It is relatively uncontroversial to state that if someone identifies a morally ...
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666 views

What are the basis of all or a majority of moral systems?

What are the basis of all or a majority of moral systems? By basis, I intend to say "core principles" of all or a majority of moral systems. After analyzing moral systems, I found that most of them ...
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1answer
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Why does the ethical doctrine of double effect presume “the bad consequence is not a means to the good consequence”?

I trust it's obvious why this presumption looks as it is supposed to - "the bad consequence IS a means to the good consequence"? Consider Herring's example on p. 169 with the surgeon. If the bad ...
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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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How does particularism fare with descriptive relativisim and its relation to moral skepticism?

As I understand it, descriptive relativism, acknowledging that there are very many disagreements about morality, ones which are often practically intractable, feeds into moral skepticism. As I'd ...
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95 views

Is brain reward hacking immoral?

Consider the following scenarios, each of which at their core refer to a form of 'reward hacking'. Based on personal observation, each scenario below generally elicits an immediate, visceral feeling ...
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3answers
86 views

Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things?

Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things? And is there a name for this concept? Is it some sort of fallacy to appeal to percentages? ...
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1k views

Authors on the Credibility and Corruption of Modern Science

During the Renaissance and Industrial eras science was a way to remove superstition, religious misconception, and irrational fears. The scientific method was proved to be valid and available to ...
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What is to be understood by the phrase “Israel's right to exist”? [closed]

As someone who is interested in the Israeli-Palestinian question one phrase that comes up in the pro-Israeli position is the insistence that the Palestinians recognise '"Israel's right to exist". (In ...
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49 views

Death in utilitaranism

Define utilitarian: Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories that promotes actions that maximize happiness and well-being for the majority of a population. (Wikipedia) Is ...
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3answers
103 views

Reconciling Utilitarianism and Rawls's Theory of Justice as Fairness

I will argue that John Stuart Mill's greatest happiness principle (GHP) should be revised to avoid problematic implications and to better fit humans' intuitive sense of morality. Furthermore, the ...
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1answer
158 views

Does anyone claim freedom toward death is not for me, but for others?

My "freedom toward death" (Being and Time, p255, SUNY Press, 1 Jan 1996) is key for authenticity, according to Heidegger. It seems obvious that he means that this freedom is me, and that claim for be ...
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185 views

Why do we punish crime?

I have no formal training whatsoever in philosophy but have a question nonetheless. I am sorry if this is way off topic for this site. Crime begets punishment: let us say that punishment is prison. ...
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Is the moral compass of an individual inherent or is this aspect of their nature acquired due to experience?

My question in its simplest form: is the moral compass of an individual inherent or is this aspect of their nature acquired due to experience? Now one needs not look far for the countless cases of ...
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1answer
141 views

What if Euthyphro gave the opposite answer?

As part of a course I am taking, I was asked to continue the dialogue Euthyphro as if Euthyphro had given the opposite response to Plato's famous question: Is the pious loved by the gods because it ...
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5answers
198 views

If each of our thoughts is entirely determined by the brain, can there be free will or a soul?

Supposing that every single thing that exists in our mind is due to the brain, and supposing that each and every decision we have is determined by our neurons, can there be free will? How? If ...
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1answer
62 views

Why is Plato's visible world said to be Heraclitean and Plato's intelligible world said to be Parmenidean?

I have been learning about Plato's Theory of Forms, and I have read that Plato's visible world is Heraclitean, and Plato's intelligible world is Parmenidean. I think I understand the parallel between ...
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4answers
183 views

When is it okay to criticize someone?

Both in my family life and in politics, I see people running into the following dilemma. Some entity (a person, or an organization, or a country) is doing something that someone sees as wrong. So, ...
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1answer
64 views

Philosophy of Law, Ethics and Visualization

Slides https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1wO4BUZGp09UGPVoSyrHZKt3KDyJFUwg12KXZiyRW76s/edit?usp=sharing Can anyone provide authors or references to material on Ethics, Philosophy of Law or Logic ...
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How can a theist justify not having children?

Most theists (perhaps, most people in general) would say that having a happy person is better than having no person at all. Indeed, most theists admit to this by saying that God "wanted to" or "...