Meta ethics tries to make sense of the terms and concepts used in ethical theories. Some people believe that ethical language is extremely meaningful as they argue it is essential to be able to define terms such as “good” and “bad” before we can even begin to discuss ethical theories. However others disagree with this and argue that moral statements are subjective so cannot be meaningful as they cannot be described as either true or false. Those who hold cognitive theories about ethical language would argue that ethical statements are meaningful as they are about facts and can therefore be proved true or false. Ethical Naturalism is a cognitive theory of Meta ethics which holds the belief that ethical statements are the same as non ethical ones, so can be verified or falsified in the same way.
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
Simpler questions would be “Is Dr. Smith’s intentional practise of omitting important information relevant to his client’s treatment ethical?” or “Is Dr. Smith’s failure to report his client’s actions to the authorities morally justifiable?” Both would be good questions, but I believe the question the study guide asks us to consider embrace both of these questions. The possible answers to the question are “yes” or “no”. I will be using rule-based utilitarianism and Kantian deontology to analyse this case study. There is not enough information to consider act-based utilitarianism: Act-based utilitarianism essentially says that one should perform that act which will bring about the greatest amount of good (“happiness”) over bad for everyone affected by the act. Each situation and each person must be assessed on their own merits (Thiroux, 2004, p. 42).
Mill believed it was extremely important that an indivduals free will should not be crushed by society. Mill believed indivduality is what it is to be human and anything that takes away your indivuduality is wrong. Mill state in his book On Liberty “Whatever crushes indivduality is despotism.” Despostism is the idea of dictatorship so Mill is saying that anything that stops our indivduality for example religion is controlling us and not allowing us to be free, which is wrong. Althought we are free we must consider others, this means that we can use our freedom however we must make sure we are not spoiling the freedom of others. This is supported by Paul Kurtz who states humans have the right “to satisfy their tastes” but however they shold not “impose their values on others.” For example you may want to murder someone with your free will however if you go ahead and commit the crime you are negatively effecting others in society and this is wrong.
This said the term “means” is in reference to things, “things” such as objects. It is important to point out that things do not refer to one’s desire. I will show in the end of the essay using Immanuel Kant’s quote to support this assertion. To go back to the question at hand Kant says to treat humanity as an end in itself. This would only help if I were to remove the word and utilize the definition rational person.
Meta ethics tries to make sense of the terms and concepts used in ethical theories such as Utilitarianism and Natural Law. Some people believe that ethical language is extremely meaningful as they argue it is essential to be able to define terms such as “good” and “bad” before we can even begin to discuss ethical theories. However others disagree with this and argue that moral statements are subjective so are meaningless, as they cannot be described as either true or false. Those who hold cognitive theories about ethical language would argue that ethical statements are not meaningless as they are about facts, and can therefore be proved true or false. Ethical Naturalism is a cognitive theory of meta ethics which holds the belief that
This raises problems for Boethius' argument, however he addresses this and creates a counter assertment. As argued above free will is needed for just rewards/punishments, some people say this because it would be unfair to punish people who could not choose to do otherwise. Others such as Augustine believe that free will is necessary because without free will there should be no evil in the world as there is no choice to create evil where as evil does exist, without free will this must have been created by God, contradicting God's omnibenevolence. Irenaeus' view is simelar to Augustine however he adds that human beings could not be perfect, God is all that is perfect so we were given an imperfect world and free will, so that we would be a reflection of God but not perfect. Hick's approach to the necessity of free will grows from the idea that God wants humans to genuinly love him and show faith, without free will we could not make a decision as to whether or not we had faith, belief or even love for God, we would merely be robots designed to love him.
In response to the option in which God creates a world with free agents and no evil, a world with no evil would mean a world with no good, so it would be impossible for God to create a free agents that only choose good, since evil does not exist. It would limit free will, and limited free will is not free will. The reason why it would be impossible for good to exist without evil existing is that we need evil to exist so that we can define it and understand what it is and how it works. After we find out that information, we could base what good is off of what evil is not, which is what we do now with
In the quote below Rand explains why she rejects religion outright, and she believes man himself deserves the attention: Just as religion has preempted the field of ethics, turning morality against man, so it has usurped the highest moral concepts of our language, placing them outside this earth and beyond man’s reach. “Exaltation” is usually taken to mean an emotional state evoked by contemplating the supernatural. “Worship” means the emotional experience of loyalty and dedication to something higher than man… But such concepts do name actual emotions, even though no supernatural dimension exists; and these emotions are experienced as uplifting or ennobling, without the self-abasement required by religious definitions.
“Compare and Contrast intuitionism and Emotivism” Both Intuitionism and Emotivism are meta-ethical concepts to explain the terms “good” and “bad” without being caught in the naturalistic fallacy described by GE Moore. Moore’s theory states that good cannot be categorised in any physical manner as theories – but instead “good” can not be defined in terms of anything but itself, and following this through to a moral theory we can conclude “that neither science nor religion can establish the basic principles of morality.” Intuitionism holds that there are objective moral truths, but rather than reasoning or deducing these truths, they are self evident to the “mature” mind. Moore contends that just as we know there is a world out there, we know objective moral truths – they are just common sense or intuition. These truths are universal and beyond human experience and reasoning, and from them we gain our sense of what is “good” and what is “bad”. Moore would say we can see these self evident truths when, in an argument, we are reduced to “it’s just wrong,” they require no further explanation, proof or justification.