Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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3answers
408 views

How can you soundly argue for antinatalism based on lack of consent?

Of the many arguments that bolster antinatalism, I'm contemplating only consent here: Consent: The fact that life contains suffering might be tolerable under certain circumstances, i.e. if one ...
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0answers
85 views

Ethics of downloading copyrighted printed material

At first blush it's "theft of services" (among other things), as already pointed out by @MichaelDorfman's answer to Is unauthorized downloading of music stealing? Below's my maybe (or maybe not) more ...
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From dialogue to monologue : Why (Platonic) Socrates claims to know nothing but manages to give book-length speeches all the time?

This inconsistency is very confusing to me. Socrates takes pride in knowing that he knows nothing. But if that is the case, how is he able to, as he often does, give book-length of "truth" (as opposed ...
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209 views

Does history provide support for moral objectivism?

I must say this was thoroughly entertaining: The Lizard People Of Alpha Draconis 1 Decided To Build An Ansible - Scott Alexander https://www.lesswrong.com/s/zfXAcwLnGocsCsriG/p/...
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1answer
289 views

Philosophical views on nudity

Some might argue that our attitudes towards nudity are simply cultural trappings. I believe they actually have a deeper biological origin. But I'm curious to know what philosophers have said on the ...
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1answer
89 views

What is the goal of tragedy, according to Aristotle and what is the role of the plot in achieving this goal?

I honestly think the goal of tragedy for him is catharsis. And the role of the plot is a story to follow in a logical order.
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2answers
124 views

Can I define morality as “maximizing pleasure/happiness”? Why yes or why not?

I heard in this video https://youtu.be/ebuve4INdAU?list=WL&t=699 that it is difficult to define morality as maximizing happiness for the maximum number of people. I also read about the open-...
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3answers
230 views

Morality of infanticide

The Spartans had a tradition of discarding infants that were physically weak or deformed. When I was younger, I thought this practice is cruel and absolutely immoral. But nowadays I'm not so sure. In ...
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1answer
92 views

Is unhappiness a principle of utility for any moral philosopher?

G. E. M. Anscombe criticizes the following happiness principle of utility in Modern Moral Philosophy as an adequate judgement for moral behavior (midway, page 7 of the link): "The greatest ...
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1answer
54 views

Plato's sunlight and firelight: the philosophical metaphor of light in the allegory of the Cave

Plato refers to two kinds of light: sunlight outside the cave and firelight inside. Does sunlight represent truth ? What of firelight ? The prisoners only see shadows that are cast by light but are ...
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84 views

What does Augustine suggest that the slave do instead of killing his master?

I was just wondering this question from Book One of Augustine's On Free Choice of the Will
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175 views

The Anonymous Internet: Philosophical opinions?

People have been commenting "off the record" for ages. However, the Internet has made pseudonyms a major meme. Indeed, anonymity on the Internet may be the default choice for the majority of people ...
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14answers
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How can animals be objects of ethics without being subjects as well?

Most people seem to agree that animals cannot act immorally, even when they inflict suffering. They are thus completely excluded from being subjects of any kind of ethical framework. At the same time,...
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76 views

What are the most objective ethical systems ever devised? [closed]

Ethics are often based on logic and emotions, but was there any effort to remove the emotional part and systematize ethics? What are some of the systems derived from such efforts?
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107 views

Social Response to Legal/Moral Duty Violation

When a person, especially a public figure, has committed a serious legal or moral violation, there is a tendency for friends/clients/companies/etc. to dissociate from that individual, even if the ...
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1answer
42 views

What does “it” refer to in this short Aristotle passage?

In this sentence: "In short, virtue is concerned with pleasures and pains; the actions that are its sources also increase it or, if they are done differently, ruin it" (Nicomachean Ethics ii3 1105a15) ...
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John Rawls, and his viewpoints and how he would feel when it would come to the homeless [closed]

How would John Rawls feel about homelessness And gentrification, in Southern California specifically in LA and how that can affect the communities as well & there’s multiple perspectives & ...
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3answers
1k views

A doctor saves lives, but he is a murderer in normal life. Is he good or bad? Or Both? [closed]

Is he or is he not? Does the society accept him/her like that? This question came up to my mind when my father mentioned about a professional killer whose nickname was The Iceman. Normal life means ...
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1answer
51 views

Any contemporary/older philosophers who criticize the Christian concept of “preservation in the memory of others”? [closed]

I'm trying to sort out my ideas, so bear with me here if my questions is not abundantly clear. There's a Christian understanding that when one dies, only the body dies, therefore, the spirit remains, ...
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11answers
14k views

Does human life have innate value over that of other animals?

Does human life have innate value over that of other animals? If so, why? And is it wrong to murder another human, but morally permissible to hunt or fish?
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1answer
100 views

If people didn’t have a moral sense, would we still have enforced cultural moral codes?

Diverse, contradictory, and bizarre as they are, people commonly feel that everyone ought to conform to their culture’s moral norms and even feel violators deserve punishment, though perhaps that ...
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3answers
303 views

Are there any solutions to the Euthyphro dilemma?

Is there a way to believe that God is the source of morality without also having to believe that morality is arbitrary?
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Frustration in studying philosophy

I have a question about why philosophers seem to disagree on virtually everything. I have been reading up on philosophy since I was 16 (now 19) with the goal of finding an end solution to the ...
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2answers
104 views

Can there be objective moral facts that have no innate imperative bindingness – what everyone ought to do regardless of their needs and preferences?

My interest is in presenting results from the science of social morality in ways that will be culturally useful. (This science is the study of the origins and function of behaviors motivated by our ...
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4answers
189 views

How do utilitarians defend their moral philosophy against the impracticality objection?

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11098-005-3021-y This paper made me think what there's left for Utilitarianism when "utilitarians are worried about the impracticality objection, they ...
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Is Socrates' happiness possible for average, normal people?

Socrates talked a big game in the Republic: we don't need money, family or friends to be happy; all that requires is that we pursue truth and wisdom. I can sort of see how this can make sense for ...
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2answers
131 views

What does it mean for something to be “evil”?

Is evil a perception or is it something that is objective? Here's my line of thought on it: "If evil were a perception then the law would be moot to some extent. However, if evil were objective then ...
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343 views

How is Cannibalism any different from eating animals and plants? [closed]

I'm stuck thinking that Both are similar and thus equivalent. Am I wrong?
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368 views

Is this argument about abortion being both right and wrong valid or invalid?

Abortion is either right or wrong. If it is right, then people should be allowed to kill fetuses. Killing fetuses is wrong. Hence, abortion is not right. If it is wrong, then women won’t have the ...
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0answers
154 views

How do compatibilists understand “responsible”?

In Scott Christensen's book "What about free will?" on page 119 is "Pharaoh is held responsible for his actions". The reason given for God attributing culpability is "You are exalting yourself...". ...
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134 views

Aside from Jesus who have put justice (legalism) and friendliness (benevolence) in opposition?

I'm more interested in ancient thinkers. Maybe there are notable people with such views who lived before Jesus. I will use the term friendliness as a treatment of someone as a potential friend. And a ...
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2answers
69 views

If you “know best”, should you refuse to fulfil your previously sworn duty? [closed]

Say you are a law-maker elected to represent the views of a population in the legislature. The population are specifically and deliberately asked how to proceed on a political issue and use the ...
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8answers
336 views

What am I missing in texts that say things that are so obvious as to seem pointless?

I'm currently taking a course in early modern philosophy. The focus is on psychology, morality, and aesthetics. I've taken philosophy courses in the past, but I'm having a lot of trouble with this one,...
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4answers
214 views

What does it mean exactly to live a good life in a place like earth? [closed]

I don’t know what living a good life means - people say being honest, truthful, generous, or to possess and practice many of the most important virtues. But all these things depend upon the way we ...
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1answer
130 views

What is Don Marquis argument that a being does not have to be a person to have a right to life; even potential persons have a right to life?

The original Don Marquis paper "Why Abortion is Immoral". Many moral theories agree that the bearers of rights should be “persons”, not merely biological humans. What are the counter-arguments for it?...
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1answer
103 views

What is the historical entitlement conception of justice? How does it differ from the patterned conception?

Related to Nozick. What are the policy implications of the two approaches? Any examples?
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121 views

According to Nozick, what is a “patterned” conception of justice?

Any examples of a policy issue on which a patterned conception of justice might plausibly disagree with a historical entitlement based conception of justice
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4answers
122 views

Does this experiment really prove dishonesty?

The experiment: People are asked to guess the outcome of a coin flip. If they guess correctly, they get a reward. However, people only reveal their initial guess after they've seen the outcome of ...
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3answers
333 views

According to Popper, what is logical positivism's role in scientific ethics?

What are the arguments for and against this? Any resources that are easy to read would help
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2answers
183 views

Defending the value of Moral Philosophy against Scientism

What are the best arguments against someone who believes 'Moral philosophy is useless, what we call morality is simply evolutionary instincts to do what we were designed to do as a species'. This ...
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1answer
319 views

What did Confucius mean by saying that the 'rectification of names' is the first thing required to rule a state?

In Analects XII, a disciple asked Confucius the right principle of government whereupon Confucious said: The one thing needed first is the rectification of names. What did Confucius mean by this?
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1answer
60 views

Ethical question: Student unknowingly benefitted from cheater [closed]

Hypothetical: Alice and Bob are students, and will be tested in a week. Bob steals a copy of the test (and answer key) ahead of time. Bob likes Alice, so he helps her prepare for the test, but doesn't ...
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1answer
147 views

Is harming others always considered bad?

Do any philosophers either explicitly avoid condemning harm, or condone it, especially harming others, in their ethics? Why do humans consider causing bad to others as bad and represent it as bad act ...
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6answers
202 views

Would it be morally wrong for an AI to intentionally harm “inferior” and “irrational” humans?

Suppose in the future we develop super intelligent AI beings, which in addition to their superior intelligence, also posses superior powers of rationality, emotional capacity, and free will. Now ...
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7answers
93 views

How comes AI is expected to be ethical?

To question ethics of people doing science is completely legitimate to me. So, there can be ethically questionable things you research like bio-weapons or experiments on animals. Also for sure while ...
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60 views

Is this short summary of phenomenology accurate?

"Classical, pure phenomenology aims to comprehend “those structures of experience and understanding that permit different types of beings to show themselves as what they are.” It does this by ...
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7answers
192 views

Is a selfish action that helps others worthy of praise?

TL:DR Is a selfish man who only does stuff for his own benefit, worthy of praise if his actions just so happen to help others? (And am I wrong in assuming someone always attempts to gain something?). ...
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1answer
95 views

Why do peeps pursue reputation? [closed]

We have been told many times by many wise people (and in few ancient languages) to think of reputation as immaterial yet one sees characters wildly pursuing badges, titles, and funny hats. Why? ...
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1answer
108 views

Has anyone used Aristotle's philosophy to study social media?

It is my understanding that Aristotle believed one shouldn't work too many hours in the day (I am currently having a hard time finding any references on this, sorry). He (or maybe this was just the ...
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1answer
108 views

Why/when would discrimination of people who do less, try less and pursue a path of “easiness” be wrong?

Why/when would discrimination of people who do less, try less and pursue a path of "easiness" be wrong? Since if we accept their attitude, then that would mean that we in some respect regard it "...