15 votes

Can cruelty and suffering be justified if it might lead to social transformation?

For what it's worth: there's actually some empirical research around the question of which sorts of aid and intervention actually provide long-term solutions versus prolonging indigence/poverty/etc. ...
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  • 9,037
13 votes
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Is it possible to act unethically against oneself?

I cannot answer for all ethical theories, but for Kant, the answer is most definitely yes. Specifically in the Metaphysical Principles of Virtue or Doctrine of Virtue (Both are names for the ...
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  • 24.3k
8 votes
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Evaluating between seemingly logical, yet contradicting, arguments

Welcome to philosophy! Learning to see both sides of every coin and to understand the arguments pro and con every position is a vital philosophical skill. There are few things as dangerous as people ...
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  • 15.5k
7 votes
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Can cruelty and suffering be justified if it might lead to social transformation?

ad 1) On the base of human rights there is no justification for the suffering of people. In addition, history has shown that the promise of a better future can be a dangerous delusion and invites to ...
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  • 20.5k
6 votes
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What is feminist care ethics?

Two key articles to read to understand care ethics: http://www.iep.utm.edu/care-eth/ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-ethics/ Basic answer: feminist care ethics is a project building on ...
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  • 24.3k
6 votes

Evaluating between seemingly logical, yet contradicting, arguments

Formal logic is much less of a factor in everyday decision making than people like to believe. Yes, as NotThatGuy aptly observes, logic can help you identify when people are making inherently ...
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  • 281
5 votes

Evaluating between seemingly logical, yet contradicting, arguments

There are formulas for solving certain kinds of problems: what load can that bridge carry? How high is that ball going to go? How far can I get on a tank of gas? But those questions make up a tiny ...
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4 votes

Is it unethical to cheat at solitaire?

This is a very amusing question, and I like the considerations you articulate. To place it in a less solitary context, you are asking about moral standards that are not "utilitarian" or "...
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4 votes
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Can we be ethical and still deny someone a health procedure or treatment, even if the procedure or treatment is necessary?

You mention justice as the reason to give someone a treatment that needs it, but one must also consider the virtue of prudence, as it is not always possible to make these decisions in a vacuum. Given ...
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4 votes
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How should journalists report about unpublished studies?

We shouldn't put peer reviewed studies on a pedestal. The replication crisis unfolding in biomedical research, neuroscience, psychology, and other fields is largely about researchers trying to game ...
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  • 2,407
3 votes

Does philosophy matter to personal life?

Several off-the-cuff answers come to mind. The first is a behavioral test. Is a "philosopher" today readily distinguished from other people by observation in public settings? Probably not. Certainly ...
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3 votes

Does philosophy matter to personal life?

How does higher mathematics or theoretical physics effect the personal lives of those who study those topics? Studying such fields contributes to the overall advancement of humanity. The students, as ...
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3 votes

Is there still a place in modern philosophy for qualitative or non-mathematical philosophy?

The current trends in mainstream academic philosophy in the English-language portion of the world are definitely in the direction of the more quantitative, mathematical, analytic, scientific and ...
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3 votes

Is it possible to act unethically against oneself?

You asked: However, is there ever a case where a person can act unethically towards themselves? I think the best existing moral theory, created by Ayn Rand, would say yes: http://aynrandlexicon....
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3 votes
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Is it unethical, according to Kant, to break copyright and pirate books online?

The Kantian criterion of ethical is whether one would wish such behavior to become generally practiced (there are delicate differences between "wish" and "will", which I leave out)....
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  • 40.7k
3 votes

Who else has explored the ‘cad problem’?

In general, what you're talking about probably falls best under Game Theory Ethics. This is the application of game theory to morality. (Game theory is the attempt to bring systematic analysis to ...
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3 votes

Is it moral to obey the law?

▻ THE COMPLEXITY OF MORALITY : MORAL OBLIGATION TO OBEY THE LAW DOES NOT ENTAIL A MORAL NECESSITY TO OBEY THE LAW One can have a moral obligation to obey the law yet more important countervailing ...
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  • 34.6k
3 votes
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When is it okay to criticize someone?

There are three answers, so normally I would refrain from writing my own. However, I note with some displeasure that none of those answers actually answer OP's question as asked: How would ...
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  • 1,308
3 votes
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Why did Kant condemn masturbation?

Tim Jankowiak writes the following about Kant's ethics: Kant also argued that his ethical theory requires belief in free will, God, and the immortality of the soul. Although we cannot have ...
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  • 18.9k
2 votes

"Value" of an individual in a complex situation

I'm not an expert, so I can't say if any professional philosophers have argued for or against this view, but granting every person even tangentially involved equal value seems to result in a tautology....
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  • 534
2 votes
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Can a dogmatic person engage in intellectually honest inquiry?

Example An example I am aware of is the Torah Codes, in which the birth and death dates of important Rabbis are supposedly encoded close to their names in the Bible. Some very intelligent researchers ...
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  • 304
2 votes
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Why is orangutan meat not good to eat?

First, I should warn that I'm not a vegetarian nor do I play one on TV. My wife is one however, and there are many different reasons people make this choice: ranging from not liking the taste of meat, ...
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  • 24.3k
2 votes

Is it ever right to act contrary to your moral principles?

So it all comes down to Tripitaka's intentions. Did he make friends with the intention to help the monkey tame his mind? The KALAMA Sutta is a good Sutta to begin a discussion in morals. In this ...
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2 votes

Is it ever right to act contrary to your moral principles?

The answer to both questions is yes. First there are no absolutes in this world. Moral principles are relative and can vary from time, place, and circumstances. Moral principles are there to guide you ...
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2 votes

Should I send the money back?

As I stated above in the comments, I do think the amount has bearing. Why? Simply put, because the description of what happens is at least as I take it as follows: Case in Question The asker ordered ...
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  • 24.3k

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