19

Your question is a revival of the classic debate between Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Should we obey even corrupt governments, or should we revolt and create a new government? From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: To have a political obligation is to have a moral duty to obey the laws of one's country or state. On that point there is almost ...


14

It turns out that if a rational agent has a complete and consistent preference relation among possible outcomes, and uses this relation to choose between probabilistic outcomes, then the agent must act as if they are assigning a single real-numbered utility to each different (probabilistic) outcome. See the Von Neumann-Morgenstern utility theorem. This is ...


8

Welcome, Mimikyu Your second and third paragraphs concern only a remote contingency, as you acknowledge. They are, I think it's safe to say, practically discountable. The position appears to be that you regard the IDF as necessary for the defence of Israel. However, your not serving will not put Israel at risk but it will very likely involve you in (what ...


6

In a nutshell, Anscombe considers utilitarianism to take account, in respect of consequences, solely of the actual consequences of actions. In contrast, consequentialism - a term which she introduced - determines what one should do solely by reference to the foreseen consequences of actions. The distinction is well brought out in the following extract of ...


5

Yes, there are several extant such theories and an infinity of possible ones. In fact, just about any ethical theory can be recast as a consequentialist theory. This is because consequentialism is a fairly schematic theory. It basically says: Act Consequentialism: an action X is right provided that X maximizes Y, where Y is the fundamental good. Rule ...


4

I don't see a path all the way out, but there's a lot more to do to define which bits of what we call ethics can be put on solid objective footing and which bits are matters of style (where anything may work, or where any of a number of different schemes may work). Studies of innate morality and evolution of morality are particularly interesting in this ...


4

This is an interesting question (or cluster of related questions), because it highlights the complexity of understanding both what ethics is and how different approaches to ethics "work." First off, there aren't really "three branches of ethics". There's three main ways that some people have categorized approaches to ethics -- but it's ...


3

This may superficially seem like a question of ethics --a moral commitment against racism as opposed to the practical value of profiling --but I think that both overstates the practicality of profiling, and understates the practical value of minimizing racial biases. If the suspects --or the guitars! --were arguments, what you are talking about would be the ...


3

There is an article by Marcia Baron in which she rejects the view that 'consequentialism, virtue ethics, and Kantian ethics form three distinct and competing ethical theories'. While this does not imply that they are mutually reducible, it goes a long way to reconciling them. I am naturally unable to say whether this is the article to which you refer but it ...


3

On a certain level, the argument that all ethical theories can be construed in consequentialist terms is true. This is exactly because the particular set of consequences we want to maximize is not stated in making this assessment, but this elasticity is also a weakness of this claim. For instance, if we want to represent the Kantian account in "...


3

Not all of my answers are sourced, some are based on my general reading of ethics courses, they are still accurate. I want to prove it is immoral. You can never prove that it is immoral. Immorality is only relative to the ethical system chosen. You can however argue, that even for a consequentialist, slavery can still be immoral. What more could I ...


3

I'd like to discuss a couple of points here: 1st, we've got to define with more clarity what moral relativism is, and 2nd, we've got to understand the cause of your dislike for it and earning for the ethical gurus able to shed the light on one and only true ethics. In order to understand what moral relativism is let's switch for a moment to poli sci and ...


3

There's actually a bit more to be said here and vN-M actually anticipated some of this; Dubra, Maccheroni and Ok (2003): Curiously, the basic idea has already been suggested, albeit elusively, by von Neumann and Morgenstern [1944, pp. 19–20]: We have conceded that one may doubt whether a person can always decide which of two alternatives he prefers. If the ...


2

Rand's moral philosophy is normative (obviously) and derived from consideration of consequences, but it is not consequentialist in its framing of moral principles and rights. Rand argued that moral philosophy requires principles that can be applied in the absence of the ability to foresee particular consequences, in the sense of the full outcomes of actions....


2

Rand's view of morality is something like the following. Human beings have the capacity to create knowledge about the world, and to make choices in the light of that knowledge. The world is not set up in such a way that you and other people are bound to be victims dependent on alms. It is possible, and good, for you to gain from trading with other people. ...


2

First thing I want to point out is that you seem to be pre-assuming your position, and then trying to come up with arguments that support it, so that you can "win". This is, I believe, something we all often do, being more interested in finding arguments that make others think we're right than actually in being right. What I suggest is to first think by ...


2

Just because no-one missed the bus because of Ken jumping the queue doesn't mean it couldn't happen. The bus could've been unexpectedly near-full by the time it arrived, which perhaps could've lead to Ken making it in, while others could be forced to wait for the next bus, despite arriving early at the bus station (at least earlier than Ken). In fact, when ...


2

I think you're basically right about how the discussion goes on this point, but it's not necessarily a "fallacy." First off, a minor correction in structure: since the action is obviously good, it makes you happy, and that is the consequence that matters. I think the consequentialist position is that the reason an action is "obviously good&...


2

I'm not a big fan of defining definitions. However to draw line to present a captured concept, maybe I should. a) Morality could only be applied when there are more than oneself present. b) In gross morality defines an act that preserve others interest, or increase others interest. In such case Ken's jumping the queue can never be morally permissible. If ...


2

From what I read in the license, such actions are explicitly intended to be taken. The contributors accept that when they license their software under MPL. Of course, the product must include the license in Exhibit A to even be legal (presumably you are not interested in the ethics of illegally renaming the product). That exhibit is: "The contents of ...


2

▻ THE TROLLEY PROBLEM STATED For the benefit of anyone not familiar with the problem : THE TROLLEY CASE: Edward is the driver of a trolley, whose brakes have just failed. On the track ahead of him are five people; the banks are so steep that they will not be able to get off the track in time. The track has a spur leading off to the right, and Edward can ...


2

Morality is a subjective thing that changes by culture, political allignment, religion and many other parameters. By the standards of the right-wing patriotic voting block of Israel, yes you are highly immoral if you refuse to serve. By the standards of left-wing pacifist Israelis, no, in fact they would regard it as immoral to serve! So the real question ...


2

Welcome bigflick The ethical position you outline is a logical possibility but I am not sure that it has been held - or at least held widely enough to attract a label. That's not a point against you since you ask what such a position would be called or (in effect) appropriately could be called. If there isn't a label, can a suitable label be invented? A ...


2

The act- and rule-utiitarian distinction It does not follow, because Richard Brandt first formulated the distinction, that therefore utilitarian philosophers had not recognised a distinction long before. Their recognition can be shown by their general discussion of ethical matters. Such is precisely the case with John Stuart Mill. He very evidently possessed ...


2

Other responses claim that moral rightness depends on foreseen, foreseeable, intended, or likely consequences, rather than actual ones. -Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's Entry on Consequentialism, Section 4: Which Consequences? Actual vs. Expected Consequentialisms Your philosophy has traditionally been categorized as Consequentialist. If you want, you ...


2

When deontologists apply the categorical imperative, "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.", in layman terms "What would happen if everybody did the same ?", it might look like a consequentialist approach, but it is not. Note how it does not focus on the real ...


1

In place of my own interests, I now have to take into account the interests of all those affected by my decision. This requires me to weigh up all these interests and adopt the course of action most likely to maximize the interests of those affected. Thus at least at some level [in very unusual circumstances] in my moral reasoning I must choose the ...


1

There are a number of epistemological issues with Situation A. First, which specific group is "notorious for violent behavior and extremists beliefs"? In the US, profiling typically focuses on Muslim, Arab, or African-American men. But (again in the US) terrorist attacks by conservative white men were much more common than terrorist attacks by Muslims. ...


1

You are way too narrow in your focus. "How can we decide if this is moral?" It completely depends on your moral beliefs. How can I answer this for you? Only you know exactly what you believe. What does your moral framework say? If it says to pursue self-interest, then Ken was morally correct. If it says to maximize the well-being of as many people as ...


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