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111 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 ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 19.3k
106 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.
Tom's user avatar
  • 2,082
84 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 ...
windblade's user avatar
  • 661
83 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 ...
Peteris's user avatar
  • 1,287
66 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 ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 42.8k
52 votes
Accepted

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 ...
jo1storm's user avatar
  • 571
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 ...
tkruse's user avatar
  • 3,545
46 votes
Accepted

When are semantically non-hostile expressions equivalent to pragmatically hostile ones?

This is related to what is called the illocutionary force of an assertion. So, for example, if you enter the room and I say "there's coffee on the table", I'm not just saying something true, ...
Quentin Ruyant's user avatar
45 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 ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.6k
45 votes

Why should an atheist care about what happens to the world after his/her death?

Consider someone who doesn't believe in any kind of reincarnation or perfect punishment after death, an atheist. That is, nothing in the world can impact him/her after his/her death, because, as he/...
David Schwartz's user avatar
40 votes

My CO2 emissions in the light of Russia burning thousands of tons of it a day

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Suppose it is immoral to steal a wallet. Now, suppose that you learn that someone else has robbed a bank of a lot of money. Does it now become ...
causative's user avatar
  • 11.8k
38 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Harabeck's user avatar
  • 475
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 ...
SmootQ's user avatar
  • 2,399
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 ...
present's user avatar
  • 2,500
35 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Steve Jessop's user avatar
34 votes

Is it ethical to convince someone to get vaccinated?

You approach the problem from the position that everyone knows and agrees on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. But people don't refuse it because they wish to declare that they are selfish and ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
  • 21.2k
34 votes

Should I put my dog down to help the homeless?

"But on a purely logical level, it's hard to argue that the life of a dog is more valuable than the life of a human". This intuition seems key to your problem. I say intuition, because ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
  • 4,318
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 ...
Lee Daniel Crocker's user avatar
33 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 ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 783
33 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 ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
33 votes

Why should an atheist care about what happens to the world after his/her death?

Aristotle (who wrote well before the rise of the Christian notions of a soul or eternal life) addressed this question in terms of virtue. As he saw it, a community of men were like sailors on a ship, ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 19.3k
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 ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 19.3k
31 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 ...
David Schwartz's user avatar
30 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 ...
bobflux's user avatar
  • 529
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 ...
Nat's user avatar
  • 1,995
29 votes

My CO2 emissions in the light of Russia burning thousands of tons of it a day

Important context: The idea of you personally being acountable for your personal CO2 footprint (and that reducing it is relevant and important to combatting climate change) is not a natural idea as ...
Hobbamok's user avatar
  • 415
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 ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 19.3k
27 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 ...
Joshua Kearns's user avatar
27 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 ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 28.4k

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