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The controversial issue isn't whether there are some objective truths in ethics, but whether statements about ethics are the kinds of statements that can be objectively true at all. This is an old and well-travelled problem in ethics. A moral realist would say that moral truths are just what they seem to be. If I promise to pay you $20 then I have an ...


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It's certainly consistent with virtue ethics to save one's mother. Verdicts may differ among various virtue ethicists; the point is that there's not a unanimous consensus that virtue demands sacrificing one's mother. In fact, it's not even true that utilitarianism demands saving the two strangers. It depends on your axiology. Circumstances in which people ...


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You don't make clear what distinction you are making between a 'moral law' and an 'arbitrary normative statement'. This could be taken several ways. What distinguishes arbitrary normative statements that are moral rules from arbitrary random normative statements that aren't? (Like 'Don't murder' versus 'Don't eat lemons on Tuesday'.) What distinguishes 'true'...


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Given a same action, some may say it's fair and others that it's unfair. Likewise, for ethical and unethical. What can be better ascertained is whether an action is ethical given an ethical system. Consider for example the murderer problem, where the murderer asks you where his innocent prey is. Kant's categorical imperative would mandate one to tell the ...


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There’s much disagreement over what is ethical, and even more disagreement over what it fair, but I’ll give it a shot for some common notions of “fair” and “ethical”. A father loses his 1 year-old baby while traveling. Another person finds the baby, tries to find the original father but cannot, and then raises the baby well, lovingly, and respectably for 8 ...


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I feel designating ethics the study of 'right and wrong' elides practical judgements and moral ones by using superficially similar terms in totally different domains. And if you say ethics is the study of what is ethically right and wrong, that's close to tautological, rather than explanatory. I find it useful to look to a word's origins. From Etymonline: ...


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As you note, the "consent" objection to bestiality is unconvincing, and not only because animals presumably do not consent to being eaten, but also because "consent" is a legal term that has no objective relevance. In legalese, "consent" is not the same as "willingness". In many jurisdictions, there is an age of ...


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I would say, don't be afraid to read the major texts by the principal philosophers themselves. One of the reasons the great philosophers are considered great is that they are worth reading. That said, some are hard to understand. Some of the greats of the 'modern' era are Spinoza's Ethics, David Hume's A Treatise on Human Nature, and Kant's Critique of Pure ...


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If we assume determinism to be true, whatever answers you arrive at to this question were the ones you were always going to arrive at. My current view is that if you are capable of concerning yourself about the impacts of a belief in determinism on ethics, you are very likely to be the kind of agent who will at various times continue to feel like there are ...


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This is a version of the "problem of evil" which is one of the oldest and most difficult problems facing any believer in a God who is both benevolent and powerful. One of the oldest defenses comes from the Platonic/Neoplatonic tradition, to the effect that God is the source of all-and-only good things, and that those things are the only things that ...


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