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107 votes

Why do atheist euthanasia proponents consider nothingness preferable to suffering?

I think you have the logic of this backwards. In theism (and some other religious doctrines) life continues after the death of the physical body. They believe euthanasia is a negative act that can ...
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98 votes

What are the ethical problems with flipping a coin to decide in the trolley problem?

The ethical problem is that you pretend to avoid making a decision - but you actually already made a decision, namely that both of these outcomes are equal enough to justify a 50/50 choice.
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83 votes

Why do atheist euthanasia proponents consider nothingness preferable to suffering?

I think it's important to note that in cases where this is considered, death is already approaching. It isn't a choice between life and death. It's a choice between dying now or going through a few ...
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78 votes

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

Social contract One aspect (not the only valid aspect, but the one I'll be covering here) of looking at this is from the social contract angle. In essence, since we live in communities together with ...
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64 votes

What are the ethical problems with flipping a coin to decide in the trolley problem?

This is known as the trolley problem. There is a runaway trolley and people tied to the tracks: switch to kill 1 and save 5 or do nothing and let the 5 die. Perhaps the most effective reductio of ...
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52 votes
Accepted

Should I respect other people's religions?

But I barely heard: We don't need to respect other people's religion but just respect people There is a whole movement called the New Atheists, who have a similar view to this (Richard Dawkins is ...
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51 votes
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Is there a term for the belief that "if it's legal, it's moral"?

We are talking about "Appeal to law" fallacy. When following the law is assumed to be the morally correct thing to do, without justification, or when breaking the law is assumed to be the ...
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  • 561
49 votes

Are protests in a democracy ethical?

In a democracy, would this be ethical? I think not, because if then they'd have to change it by voting and through the process. Before any vote, campaigning happens where each small group or person ...
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42 votes

Why is a lion not evil?

Interesting and difficult question. I'm inclined to deny that a lion can act evilly (in killing) on the following grounds : An action is morally right (in the sense of deserving praise) only if the ...
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  • 34.7k
38 votes

Is religion necessary for the good life?

From a Deontological point of view, I think that ethics are naturally approximated by virtue of reason alone, that is : There is something in us humans that belongs to our nature, and that has this ...
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37 votes
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Why are legal and moral responsibilities said to be different?

In the most trivial sense, they are obviously distinct because morality does not disappear when I enter an area with no laws. Similarly, my personal morality does not change as I move between ...
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  • 465
37 votes

What are the ethics of having children today?

Just to offset some of the negative comments, here are some arguments in favor of having children (at least conditionally / depending on one's worldview): Besides overall population size, there are ...
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  • 2,397
34 votes

Is it ethical to convince someone to get vaccinated?

You approach the problem from the position that everyone knows & agrees on the safety & efficacy of the vaccine. But people don't refuse it because they wish to declare that they are selfish &...
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  • 10.8k
33 votes

How can one rebut the argument that atheism is inherently immoral?

I would argue that only an atheist can be moral. Imagine two men in a convenience store: one walks to the counter, makes a purchase, and leaves. Another has a knife in his pocket and intends to rob ...
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32 votes

Was Robin Hood's point of view ethically sound?

Leaving aside the accuracy of Robin Hood, I'll address your points directly. The first being that if we assume a free market exists... There was no free market in England in Robin Hood's time. The ...
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32 votes

Why do atheist euthanasia proponents consider nothingness preferable to suffering?

I have personally known two friends who, when faced with incurable cancer, elected to end their own lives at a time and in circumstances of their own choosing. Both made this choice when it was ...
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32 votes

If Socrates said he was ignorant but was in fact knowledgeable, was he simply a liar?

Not to dispute Dr. Palmer's account, but Socrates' main argument at his trial was that he was not trying to impose knowledge on the citizens of Athens. Instead — to use Socrates' analogy — he was like ...
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31 votes
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How can one rebut the argument that atheism is inherently immoral?

The argument you want to rebut seems to come in two parts, the second of which doesn't get much attention from your idealised religious person: morality requires a "fixed moral center" religious ...
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29 votes

Was Robin Hood's point of view ethically sound?

Disclaimer: I just skimmed a bunch of Wikipedia articles and old stories. I think I got the gist of the history about right, but can't claim this to be authoritative. tl;dr- Robin Hood was never ...
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29 votes

Is it ethical to convince someone to get vaccinated?

When something has a label on it, it will influence how we think about it, even if the thing isn't what the label says. So I think it's important to define the terms in depth. Suppose a pharmaceutical ...
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  • 489
28 votes

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

You have the situation entirely backwards. It's not that we give humans special privileges but that we don't try to engineer the interactions of animals the same way we try to engineer the ...
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28 votes

I work from home as a software engineer and my job is happy with my performance. But I'm putting in little effort. Am I a bad person or employee?

It seems to me that you get paid for the results you produce, not the work you do, so I don't see why this is any kind of moral issue. If your employer is satisfied with your work, and hasn't yet ...
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26 votes

On what grounds can a democratic state prohibit pornography?

Some of the answers to these set of questions you raised reside on Mill's principle of harm presented in his influential essay On Liberty (1859). According to this principle, the state can rightfully ...
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  • 1,655
26 votes
Accepted

Is immorality just irrationality?

What you are describing is the Platonic view of good and evil, that no one does wrong willingly, but only out of ignorance. An unusually clear and explicit statement of this concept is found in Plato'...
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26 votes

Does hiding a truth constitute lying?

No it's deception not lying. There are many methods of deception, lying being the most prominent. Lying is bad because it's a form of deception. You can of course deceive someone into thinking the ...
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25 votes

Should I respect other people's religions?

I want to add something to the answer of @AlexanderSKing: The question may be reformulated as "Should I be dogmatic?". Dogmatism can be understood as stating a "truth" and not only defending it (by ...
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25 votes

Why is a lion not evil?

The problem with questions like this is that there is no universally agreed upon definition of 'evil'. You could try to reduce it to 'harm', but then you again run into troubles defining that, but at ...
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25 votes

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

IMO your question addresses an important ethical problem. First one can ask: Does human life have indeed innate value over that of other animals? In my opinion, the answer is no. Human life does not ...
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25 votes

How can animals be objects of ethics without being subjects as well?

There's no paradox here. Let A be the characteristic of having moral value. Let B be the characteristic of having the ability to recognize moral value. You have imposed A -> B. Which implies ~B -> ~...
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