Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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1answer
113 views

Is having a “type” ethical?

Some people have a particular “type”, a person with particular physical aspects that they look for in a partner. What ethical frameworks can be used to evaluate this phenomena? Do those frameworks ...
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1answer
122 views

Do necessary ought nots follow from impossible oughts?

I'm reading about Hume's is-ought gap and how oughts can't follow from is's. My question is if there are impossible oughts and if these impossible oughts create necessary ought nots. Example: "you ...
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2answers
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Privacy in the modern context [closed]

In Roman times, 'privacy' had more to do with one’s “private” domain where one is the master of one’s own house rather than the sense we have today where the emphasis is more on one’s private thoughts,...
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4answers
3k views

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
69 views

Is Kantian deontological ethics just consequentialism?

Kant's second formulation of the Categorical Imperative states that "Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to ...
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4answers
90 views

How is it possible to encourage morality in others when everyone is morally imperfect?

No human begin is morally perfect. My question is then, how can any one human being encourage another to improve their ways when that other person can always just reverse the question and ask "Why don'...
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2answers
110 views

Is ethics the primary purpose of Kant's philosophy?

My professor said that he believes the primary purpose behind Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is to respond to the empiricist view that morals are ultimately subjective. He believes that the primary ...
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1answer
98 views

Moral nihilism & teleology

Can one be a moral nihilist and hold teleological beliefs at the same time? More specifically, can I be a moral nihilist, whilst also being a utilitarian? And further, is teleology a branch of moral ...
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1answer
69 views

If you alone discover that all forms of full anesthetic are ineffective, should you keep it a secret? [closed]

Suppose that you alone discover that full anesthetic only makes the user look unconscious and not form memories, but does not prevent him from feeling pain; if someone needs to undergo surgery, there ...
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1answer
36 views

Which philosopher first claimed that social impatience is ethically indefensible

Partha Dasgupta's book Economics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2007) contains a chapter on sustainable economic development. Dasgupta here writes that, Philosophers have ...
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3answers
88 views

Anything that is wrong involves some kind of imbalance (true or false?)

I had a friend who claimed this to be true: Anything that is wrong involves some kind of imbalance Examples where it works: Overweight. Imbalance in the amount of calories eaten and calories ...
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1answer
102 views

How does the phenomenon of moral luck pose a problem for Kantian ethical theories?

I was reading the paper "Moral luck" by Thomas Nagel which left me rather confused. In the paper, he describes four different kinds of moral luck:: constitutive luck, resultant luck, circumstantial ...
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2answers
138 views

Does an informal logical fallacy require deception?

Bo Bennett's criteria distinguishing a logical fallacy from a pseudo-logical fallacy has three parts. The third part is: It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult. ...
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3answers
648 views

10 : 1 - Blackstone's Principle

So, Blackstone's law states that 1 innocent man going to jail is worse than 10 guilty men being set free. This principle seems to be a fundamental principle for all Western governments. I'm ...
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1answer
376 views

How similar are Kantian Ethics to Virtue Ethics?

I am writing an essay for the question 'Critically evaluate the view that ethics should be more concerned with who you are than what you do'. I have done some of Kant's ethics and some virtue ethics,...
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0answers
55 views

Which current moral philosophers take similar positions to those taken by Anscombe on moral obligation?

I would like to read current moral philosophers who take similar positions on moral obligation as those taken by G. E. M. Anscombe in Modern Moral Philosophy. Her view, as I understand it, is that ...
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1answer
80 views

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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2answers
88 views

Ethical dilemma about withholding/disclosing information

As a master student, our class is getting assigned homework weekly as part of a statistics related module. These assignments are graded and will contribute to the final mark with a weight of 70%. ...
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1answer
107 views

Does expressing an emotion change it?

Does expressing an emotion change it? A feeling is a sensation that has been checked against previous experiences and labelled. It is personal and biographical because every person has a ...
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1answer
343 views

Aristotle on assisted suicide

If someone cannot positively contribute to society, can they then rationalize going through physician assisted suicide? I have to write a paper the prompt is about picking an ethical dilemma and then ...
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2answers
65 views

Does a behavior/ideology need to be before it can be moral? [closed]

It seems that there are some characteristics that are dependent on other characteristics. For example: for a machine to be productive, it must first be functioning, so it must first be turned on, so ...
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Request for references: Moral values as the result of minimizing friction

Is there a name for a position on the origins of morality that is compatible with the following: "Good" and "bad" are not intrinsic properties of actions. The purpose making a moral judgment is to ...
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2answers
812 views

Is there a difference between utilitarianism and consequentialism?

In the Wikipedia entry about Anscombe, there is a quote where she juxtaposes traditional utilitarianism to 'consequentialism'. In what sense are they different and what are some points of divergence (...
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1answer
126 views

Has the philosophy of technology's impact on human life so far been studied?

There is no doubt that technology has influenced human life، Has the impact of technology on human life been examined from a philosophical point of view? (Particularly the impact of technological ...
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1answer
108 views

What is the difficulty with the concept of pleasure that Anscombe claims Ryle addressed?

In Modern Moral Philosophy G. E. M. Anscombe writes (page 2) Bentham and Mill do not notice the difficulty of the concept of "pleasure". She claimed the ancients found the concept of pleasure "...
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4answers
655 views

Is there a term for the belief that what is popular in society defines what is moral?

I have observed a number of people who believe, either explicitly or implicitly, that what is popular in a person’s society is what is moral. For instance, someone might say: Polls say that 90% of ...
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1answer
243 views

Is accusing an opponent of committing any fallacy a red herring?

Suppose one person in an argument claims that the other has committed a fallacy. Whether or not the accusation is true, the accused is now distracted from the original argument and has to defend ...
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68 views

Nietzsche's departure from Schopenhauer

I'm attempting to understand the will to power by first presenting Nietzsche's first mentor, Schopenhauer, and his notion of the will to survival/life. In very simple terms, I believe S believed that ...
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1answer
122 views

What would Kant do in this situation of a drowning child in the pond? [closed]

Suppose you see a drowning child in a pond and there is no one else around except you. You want to save the child, but you know you cannot swim. And there is no other means other than swimming in the ...
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1answer
166 views

Philosophically, is it morally wrong for someone to masturbate to images or videos of children?

Let’s say there is someone who is attracted to children. They do not have to be exclusively attracted to children; it is possible they could be attracted to adults, as well as children. Maybe they ...
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19 views

If descriptions can be objective, then can prescriptions be objective too? [duplicate]

I don't get the whole "prescriptions can't be objective" argument from nihilists. If something as subjective as a human's description of a flower can be considered as objective according to those same ...
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5answers
189 views

Can good come from war? [closed]

Stimulus “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” ...
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3answers
137 views

Has anyone claimed that no decision is inherently better or more rational than any other decision?

The is-ought problem, for those who believe it is an actual problem, is the problem that you can not deduce an ought statement from any number of is statements. It seems natural for this to lead to a ...
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2answers
374 views

Proof of objective moral values [closed]

Definitions: Objective moral values= a particular moral action which you ought to do. 1)Someone makes the statement "There are objective moral values". 2)People respond and say 'there are no ...
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1answer
128 views

Modern Epicureanism

I heard people talking about Epicureanism on the radio this morning and it struck me that I am an Epicurean. Apparently it was a popular philosophy in the Ptolemaic era, as Greece and Rome coexisted ...
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1answer
138 views

Is globalization immoral? [closed]

My question pertains to when Morality becomes so defined and homogenous to the entire population if this isn’t immoral to the diversities that it umbrellas. In a world that now demands membership as ...
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1answer
77 views

Are forms of discrimination necessarily wrong? Why wouldn't discrimination serve a “developmental” purpose?

Are forms of discrimination necessarily wrong? Why wouldn't discrimination serve a "developmental" purpose? That is, in order to perceive "better" or "worse", there must be a way to discriminate ...
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2answers
716 views

What is the difference between 'immoral', 'amoral' and 'non-moral' ('unmoral')?

In different sources there are variating explanations. What are their standard definitions? Further more, I have here a definition in German. Does "Unmoral" in German mean "Immoral"? ''„Unmoralisch" ...
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2answers
52 views

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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3answers
229 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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2answers
130 views

Thick Concepts versus Normative Concepts

In G. E. Anscombe's article "Modern Moral Philosophy", she thinks that it is meaningless to make moral judgements such as something is right, wrong, permissible and impermissible. Secondly, she thinks ...
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4answers
239 views

If you know something has the potential to be sentient is it unethical to intentionally prevent it from gaining sentience?

In Star Trek TNG, TOS and Voyager they at some point debate what sentience is and what makes a person a person. Picard with Data/Moriarty, Janeway with The Doctor/holos, Kirk and Spock with the Horta ...
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2answers
91 views

Is selfishness the ultimate form of liberation? [closed]

Is selfishness free of guilt a form of liberation? Personally, I don't see where the selfish are going wrong, if the entire reward system is wired to fire on materialistic stimuli, how can, from a ...
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0answers
85 views

If descriptive statements can be objective, why can't prescriptive statements? [closed]

Morals are just behavioral prescriptions carried out by some entity, a moral carrier. For a behavioral prescription to be valid, it must have a moral carrier. No moral carrier means no behavioral ...
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1answer
101 views

Does it matter if we never achieve the results of our being good? [closed]

I mean "good" broadly speaking. That could mean anything. It seems like we are bombarded with people who live, at least overtly, moral lives but who are somehow fake. The word "result" reminds me of ...
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0answers
56 views

Making Moral Judgement: Thick Concepts versus Normative Concepts

In G. E. Anscombe's article "Modern Moral Philosophy", she thinks that it is meaningless to make moral judgements such as something is right, wrong, permissible and impermissible. Secondly, she thinks ...
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3answers
202 views

What are the key points Thomas Nagel makes in his article “Moral Conflict and Political Legitimacy”?

Particularly, what is his view on liberalism? And what is the significance of the example he gives regarding Catholics? The article can be found here:
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Does hiding a truth constitute lying?

I am expected to tell the truth if asked. But sometimes I hide the truth. For example once , although I have diabetes, I ate sweet in a shop and then I withdrew money from atm. My wife called me and ...
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1answer
122 views

John Dewey Interest and Discipline

In Chapter 10 of the book Democracy and Education by John Dewey, what does Dewey mean when he writes the following: The school cannot immediately escape from the ideals set by prior social ...
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7answers
774 views

Are all good deeds selfish? [duplicate]

If doing good deeds makes us feel good and forces us to do more good, are we now doing it for our own feelings or for the actual good? If the former, then are we being selfish?