20 votes
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Is there an advantage of a theistic account in terms of being able to define goodness?

This is a good question, and it's one people have known and thought about for a long time. The problem is so old that it has gone through several different formulations. What Einer writes above is ...
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13 votes
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What makes moral realism so popular a standpoint?

Moral Realism isn't a clear term. The way the survey is set up, some constructivists could label themselves under it. (I've also heard of terminology that puts Moral Relativism under Moral Realism, so ...
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9 votes

For Kant, are spider moms that eat their kids immoral?

For Kant, morality only applies to rational beings. At some points, he will use the word "humanity" as a synonym. Thus, if we look at the second group of formulations of the categorical imperative we ...
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8 votes

Is there an advantage of a theistic account in terms of being able to define goodness?

No, you are not missing anything. This is a rather old problem known as the Euthyphro-dilemma. It has two possible scenarios: Something is wrong because God says so, or God says so because it's wrong. ...
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7 votes
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Nietzsche’s despising of the herd

The problem Nietzsche has with herd mentality is that it is unexamined. If one has examined ones own morality alongside the moral virtues of the herd, concluding that those herd moralities best suit ...
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6 votes

Is there an advantage of a theistic account in terms of being able to define goodness?

I, contrary, think that you are actually missing something, and so are the other answers except CCarter's answer. (That's a pity one needs over 50 reputation to comment, as it would be more suitable I ...
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6 votes
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Is there an empirical system of ethics?

There's a few different things going on in your question. If we focus on, But I think that an ethical statement such as "murder is wrong" is actually a psychological statement about how (the vast ...
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6 votes

What makes moral realism so popular a standpoint?

Moral realism I take to be broadly the view that moral judgements can be true or false, that some are true and are known to be true. There has been an upsurge of interest in and sympathy with moral ...
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6 votes
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Neo-liberalism, language and freedom?

This is a very well thought-out question. You invoke Noam Chomsky's contributions to the philosophy of mind with his proposals regarding innate properties which he puts forward in his ideas regarding ...
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5 votes

How fatal is Rands error in tackling Humes is-ought distinction?

There are three key concepts involved in Objectivism when tackling the is-ought problem. They are "Man" (referring to mankind, but in terms of the individual person), "Value", and "Morality." ...
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5 votes
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What does *substantive* in the term 'substantive normative claim' mean?

I found a paragraph in Parfit's On What Matters that gives a definition of "substantive normative claim": There is another way in which some people have come to accept subjective theories about ...
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5 votes
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Does the existence of moral truth imply its objectivity?

I think you're doing something interesting here, but you need to be more careful to distinguish between moral epistemology and moral metaphysics. And the word "objective" is not always your friend in ...
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5 votes
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A taxonomy of Meta-Ethics (Reference Request)

I'd say that the general overview can be taxonomized relatively well. There's even reasonable flowcharts, like you'll find in Alex Miller's Contemporary Metaethics (see here). For general introduction,...
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4 votes

Is there an advantage of a theistic account in terms of being able to define goodness?

The theist position is that the source of morality is not arbitrary. In general, and to side-step Eythyphro's dilemma, theists consider God to not just be good, but to be the very essence of good. ...
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4 votes

Kant's need of God

Like Jo, I'm going to start with your third question, because it has the clearest answer. In Religion within the Bounds of Reason Alone, Kant makes the very point you suggest in your second ...
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4 votes
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What is the difference between emotivism and quasi-realism

One way to put the difference is that Emotivism and Quasi-Realism differ in how a reasonable person should interpret the moral claims of others, like "stealing is wrong." If Jill says "stealing is ...
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4 votes

Is cognitivism compatible with moral anti-realism?

I think you're winding up feeling this conundrum because you may be confusing moral anti-realism with a denial of the existence of moral claims in our discourse. I can't remember the last time I read ...
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4 votes
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Can one believe in Divine Command Theory without the Bible?

Background In recent scholarship, there's been a lot going on about what was called "Divine command theory" (DCT). Some of it interacts with an earlier literature about voluntarism with ...
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4 votes
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What did the Tractatus (really) say about Kant's absolute / in itself value?

The Tractatus actually says nothing about Kant except some comments on the distinction between left and right in space. This is easily verified by searching any on-line copy of the work. As to what ...
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4 votes

Democratic ethics - sources for system of ethics determined by democratic principles

Democratic ethics - Habermas' discourse ethics Rawls certainly offers one approach to a democratic ethics. I'd like to suggest another approach, that of Habermas. In the tradition of critical ...
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4 votes
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What are some examples of categorical imperatives/universalizable maxims relevant to modern ethics?

The terminology of hypothetical and categorical imperatives is rather specific to Kant. Roughly, hypothetical imperatives give commands conditioned on one’s purposes (if you wish to succeed in life ...
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3 votes

Is this ethical relativism?

I don't think it is necessarily relativism. The way I've heard this discussed before is that the virtue of Prudence mediates between two desirable things that are in conflict - this is something that ...
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3 votes

Is racism a moral judgement?

"Systematic racism" is not a belief, it is a practice --one (potentially) founded on several different beliefs. One such belief is that people can objectively and consistently be divided into racial ...
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3 votes

Is there an advantage of a theistic account in terms of being able to define goodness?

There are some truly superb answers to this question and I feel somewhat under read to contribute but I feel like there's been one point that has not been mentioned in the answers and that is the ...
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3 votes
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Is it possible to measure the "rightness" of moral thought?

The name of the field that compares moral systems and asks question about the nature of ethics in this way is metaethics (SEP entry). There's three related meta-ethical questions that affect the ...
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3 votes

How can moral realism be defended against the fact that morals and values change over history?

Moral realism is defended against the fact that morals and values change, by the fact that those are independent things that coexist complementarily. Those are better explained by the philosophical ...
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3 votes
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Why does rationality + free will necessitate an objective morality for Kant?

As Isaacson points out, Kant's moral system is very complex and, as such, focusing on a few aspects can lead us to lose sight of some other important aspects of his system. But your questions ...
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3 votes

Do any moral realists say that subjective judgments also have moral truth?

Moral realists believe (very roughly) that there is an independently existing moral reality; that some moral judgements are true by virtue of that reality; and that some moral judgements can be known ...
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3 votes
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Does normative ethics apply to moral anti-realism?

Yes, in general non-realist frameworks for understanding ethics include efforts to make sense of ethics. At minimum, they might try to account for what’s going on when we use moral language. Often ...
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3 votes

Proof of objective moral values

This is the fallacy of begging the question, as you assumed beforehand that "the objective moral value of telling what you perceive to be the truth rather than lying" exists.
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