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On a surface level, the end result seems to be the same and if one would assign a value to a situation only depending on the existence of lives it would be the same. However, once a person exists, it is no longer the same for that person. The prospect of having one's existence terminated and never existing to begin with are not the same and the former is ...


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One such truth, if the question is to be considered valid: reason and logic are essential.


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Although you can't legislate morality, it's an interesting insight to look at the legal history. Bestiality is legal in a number of US states, largely legal in Canada, and legal in three European countries. The earliest sodomy laws were focused on the perceived loss of status and authority by someone recieving penetration, in a highly patriarchal world ...


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Ethics is a system of principles that binds the interests and values of the individual and community together. Someone behaves ethically when their actions account for the welfare of others in society, or reflect well on the quality and standards of the society as a whole. Ethics and morality are cognates: ideas deriving from the same basic concept. The main ...


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The aim of study that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior must necessarily be something that works without any hindrance to the good and smooth functioning of another community. However, we cannot say that one type of ethics promotes another type. Also, if one type is a threat to another, that ethics/...


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Definition: ethics is a formal system of rules targeting some ethical theory. Rules: Imperative statements that determine behavior: "do not lie". Formal: That uses a formal language, a language with concepts defined with precision and rules that are logical. System of rules: a coherent group of statements, so you don't waste your time undoing acts ...


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Ill-formed question: ethics does not define any truth. To start, ethics is a system of rules, that is, a coherent set of statements that rule behavior. For example, do not kill, help the suffering, etc. System means a set of interrelated parts; ethics is a system because it defines rules at multiple levels: ideals, behavior, social interaction, interaction ...


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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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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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You should respect other religions for one particular reason: The longevity and success of The Establishment Clause: I have often said that The 1st Amendment of the U.S. Bill Rights, is an Amendment within an Amendment, in that there are 3 things that define the Constitutional identity of the American citizenry: Religious freedom, the Freedom of Speech, as ...


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If somebody decides to do something then it is because they are motivated to do so, and the motivation, which could be anything - hunger, curiosity, greed, boredom - outweighs the motivation for not carrying out that action. Whether the subject would consider that to equate to ‘good’ is another matter; I suggest that ‘less bad’ might in many cases be a ...


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We should take a view as if we were in the position of a dictator, able to give rules to all of society. What rules would we wish to impose, in order to produce a society that we judge best? Naturally, this judgment of "best" is subjective, but there are similarities between what different people want society to be like. Most people would like ...


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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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One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?” “From roaming through the earth,” Satan answered him, “and walking around on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, ...


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These vexed questions of theodicy have a long history dating back to Job at least and have troubled many great minds, producing many answers, including extravagant rationalizations like those of Leibniz or rejection of the idea of God, in the manner of Voltaire writing on the Lisbon earthquake. Obviously, we would not thank anyone, let alone God, for evils ...


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There's a question of how to interpret the question. I interpret this question as being about the linguistic distinction between moral norms (thou shalt not kill) and norms that have little to do with morality (mow your lawn biweekly). I interpret it as not being about the distinction between moral norms, and norms that are called moral but really aren't. ...


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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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How can we tell what is moral? By Conscience, which literally means "the knowledge with you". Conscience cannot be substituted by any algorithm and it cannot be explained away. All people have a Conscience. What is moral is defined as what is consistent with Conscience. The Conscience can be searched, examined and applied to any circumstance. Often ...


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It is the nature of a normative rule to be a moral rule: both create a value structure that differentiates between 'right' action and 'wrong' action. And no rule is ever purely arbitrary. Rules are imposed for reasons. We might disagree with the reasons — think they are silly, dated, selfish, etc. — but our disagreement doesn't imply they are not factually ...


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The problem with this dilemma is the set of conceptual definitions assumed to set the problem. If definitions are precise, the problem tends to get a solution per se. Given there is no strict and clear definition of good and God previous to a formal problem statement, therefore, every member in the discussion can enter into subtle details of the problem, ...


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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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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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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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A good historical introduction is Alasdair MacIntyre's A Short History of Ethics. He covers Plato and Aristotle, Hobbes and Spinoza, Hume and Kant, Hegel and Nietsche, and some of the 20th century ethicists. It was written in 1967, so it doesn't cover very recent work.


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One of the classical books on metaethics is William K. Frankena: Ethics. Prentice-Hall 1963


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To start, there are several definitions of ethics. From personal experience, the most useful approach is to target ethics as one of multiple systems of rules [1]. For that case, in simple terms, a system of rules is a set of rules intended to increase the probabilities of survival of the group. For example, law provides a formal (because it is enforced by ...


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