Ethical Language Is Subjective. Discuss

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Ethical language is subjective. Discuss (35) If ethical language is subjective, this means that it is very personal to the person following the ethic or moral belief. This is contrary to ethical language being objective whereby the morals that one holds are not a result of or influenced by personal opinions or feelings, rather a result of a moral theory that lays out a set of morals to act as guidance that one must follow. G. E. Moore, David Hume, R. M Hare, A. J. Ayer and Ludwig Wittgenstein would argue that ethical language is subjective, whereas normative ethicists such as Kant, Bentham, Mill and Aristotle would argue that ethical language is objective. ‘Naturalism’ is the term used to describe the attempt to arrive at a moral system based on observations of human life. In other words, all things are knowable using empirical evidence, and thus, ethical language is objective. Naturalists argue that we can get an idea of what words such as ‘good’ mean by looking at the world and find moral laws (which do exist) through our experience and understanding of nature. For example, Utilitarianism is a form of naturalism which claims that moral laws exist. We promote goodness and happiness using nature and experience, we can work out thus, that murder, for example, is wrong because committing murder does not cause happiness. Ergo, Ethical Naturalism produces universal laws which can be used as a benchmark to measure our own and other people’s moral conduct. Meta-ethics on the other hand believes that no ethical language is universal and objective. Non-naturalists and non-cognitivists such as Cambridge philosopher G. E. Moore believe that ethical language is subjective, as by claiming that they are objective is committing the ‘naturalistic fallacy’. This states that it is a mistake to define ‘good’ in terms of things that exist (natural properties) that we already

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