Those who oppose cognitivists are called non cognitivists and they believe that when someone makes a moral statement they are not describing the world, but they are merely expressing their feelings and opinions, they believe that moral statements are not objective therefore they cannot be verified as true or false. In this essay I will be discussing the multiple branches of cognitive theories and non cognitive theories in order to answer the Janus-like question whether or not moral statements truly hold objective meaning. Ethical naturalism is just one branch of a cognitive theory in which naturalists believe that ethical statements are the same as non-ethical ones, meaning they are all factual and can
Moral Relativism cannot and does not accept the idea that an objective moral system exists. If it did, you could evaluate other ethical systems meaningfully. A moral relativist would ask such questions as ‘what do we mean by wrong?’ when making a decision on something deemed wrong. Relativism is in direct contrast with absolute morality that is deontological, referring to looking at the action in itself. A moral relativist would believe that there is no definite set of rules that apply universally.
Cultural relativism is the idea that the moral principles someone has are solely determined by the culture one lives in. These ideas seem to make sense because we as a culture understand that the judgments people make in a different culture will differ from ours whether we choose to support it or not. Our culture has different moral judgments as well and does not look at something like killing someone for stealing as morally right since our culture values human life above theft. Cultural relativism does not exist because some principles are universal and not relative only to culture. People also have the ability to think morally for themselves so morality is relative to someone’s point of view.
For me I think it starts with morality in a person. Morality, good manners, decency, and other virtues must be teachable (Feinberg, 585). Morality tries to identify and explain why some people do wrong things and do the right form of act that should be followed by everybody. However, Psychological Egoism is directly opposite with the need of good morals. It is like if I'm given a task to do, I work toward satisfying the standard in order to achieve my own self goals.
Personality and moral self explain how and why human beings make free choices. The libertarianism theory has been explained by CA Campbell, who said that human beings see themselves as free agents and therefore accept moral responsibility for their actions. Humans must accept responsibility for these actions and face any consequences that may come their way. John Stuart Mill - an influencal figure in Liberatarianism – believe we are free and morally responsible for all our actions. Mill believed it was extremely important that an indivduals free will should not be crushed by society.
Virtue ethics is agent-centred ethics rather than act-centred; it asks ‘What sort of person ought I to be?’ rather than ‘How ought I to act?’ The Aristotelian approach shows to give an account of the structure of morality and explained that the point of enrolling in ethics is to become good: ‘For we are enquiring not in order to know what virtue is but in order to become good since otherwise our enquiry would be of no use.’ (Nichomachean Ethics, Book 1, ch. 2) Quite importantly, Aristotle’s distinguishes between things which are good as means (for the sake of something else) and things which are good as ends (for their own sake only), Aristotle seeks for one final and overriding end of human action, one final good – eudaimonia (or final happiness). Philosophers of the 20th century brought about a revival of virtue ethics as many were concerned with the act-centered ethical theories. Virtue ethics is able to do something very different to other ethical theories – rather than focus on the act of a person, virtue ethics will focus on the person itself. The modern development of virtue ethics is often linked back to a paper by G. E. M. Anscombe entitled ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’.
One major strength of virtue ethics is that it allows the moral agent to make ethical decisions based on his or her moral well-being, not just based on what is legally right. Therefore this ethical system can be seen to have a greater weight over others as someone who follows it are doing so because they believe it’s right rather than following rules. This then also acknowledges that morality is complex and so rejects simplistic maxims as a basis for moral truths. However, this can also be seen to be one of the weaknesses of virtue ethics. Robert Louden stated that as virtue ethics is focused on the individual, it neither resolves nor attempts to resolve big moral dilemmas.
I Definition This section will provide definitions of ethical theories, such as Deontology, Egoism, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Theory. Deontology (Kantianism) theory stipulates that people must decide for themselves what is rational. Personal desires outside of one’s principles are thought of as outside forces with the potential to thwart rationality. One who acts as a Kantian must be completely unwavering of these principles. Egoism is the ethical theory that people are largely consumed with their own self-interests, and all acts are pursued primarily out of self-interest and personal desires.
In order to evaluate the claim that the possession of knowledge carries ethical responsibility, it is important to understand ethics and knowledge in the general sense To put it simply, ethics is moral philosophy, or rationalization of conduct as either right or wrong. Normative ethics is the study of determining a moral course of action. The two most prominent ethical guidelines are Kantianism and Utilitarianism. Immanuel Kant suggested that ethics revolve around duty, rather than emotions. All actions are related to an underlying principle.
Duty theory is a moral theory, especially connected with Kant, according to what actions are right or wrong because of their inherent content, and the motive from which they are done. Stealing is wrong principally because we can't make taking property a universal law. In general, philosophers usually call duty-based ethics deontology. It focuses on the act and not its consequence. The morally binding nature of a deontological norm derives from the person’s obligation to perform some act in some specified manner, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes it is not.