The answer to this question will vary. Some people are moral realists and hold that moral facts are objective facts that are out there in the world, these people believe that things are good or bad independently of us. Moral values such as goodness and badness are real properties of people in the same way that rough and smooth are properties of physical objects. This view is often referred to as cognitive language. 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.
The action of duty must exclude the influence of inclination so it may only be influenced by the objectivity of the law and therefore subjectively respected by us as good. Kant then goes on to confront the claim that moral worth is linked to agreeable condition and the promotion of happiness by stating that the moral worth of an action lies in the principle and not the effect of the action. Kant claimed that agreeable conditions and happiness can be brought about by too many other causes that do not require human rationality, and that human rationality is the only place where the “supreme and unconditional good” (P.2) can
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
Is Mackie’s argument from relativity compelling? Mackie’s ‘Ethics: Inventing right and wrong’ critically assesses the idea that there are, or even can be, objective moral truths, and exposits Mackie’s ‘moral relativist’ stance. I intend also in this essay to criticise the idea of moral objectivity, and to deal with the objections that could be potentially raised to a relativist stance. The most obvious task, it would seem, to begin with when assessing the idea of moral objectivity, is to come to an understanding about what is literally meant by ‘an objective moral truth’. The word objective immediately brings to mind a state of actual existence, as opposed to simply ideal existence.
In exploring the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Immanuel Kant, there is a distinct parallelism running through their philosophical theories, the need to break free from immaturity or self-doubt in order to achieve enlightenment or self-reliance. The will to break free is an important function in developing self-trust. Self-consciousness is not simply a special kind of awareness each person possesses. Rather, the authority over the mind must be described as a kind of responsibility taken by the individual. To remain receptive to the intuitive process, an individual must trust in himself.
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’.
Deontology, as espoused by Immanuel Kant, would argue against the morality of lying from a moral absolutism standpoint. Lying is wrong no matter what, and any good that comes from it is discounted by the evil of lying. Utilitarianism, as espoused by John Stuart Mill, would consider lying to be acceptable as long as a greater good for society at large to come from it. A virtue ethicist such as Aristotle would look less at the act of lying but more at the decision to tell a lie and what that says about the person in question as a moral being. A person that lies to protect someone’s feelings or pride isn’t
Immanuel Kant puts forward an argument from deontological ethics and therefore is an ethical theory considered solely on duty and obligations, where one has an unchanging moral obligation to abide by a set of defined principles. Thus the ends of any action do not justify the means, i.e. if someone were to do their moral duties, then it would not matter if it had negative consequences. Thus, rules come above all else according to Kant. Kant argues that only one fact is undisputable, and that simply is that there is a moral law in existence, which then leads to the existence of God.
Consequential is a type of ethical theory; it’s built upon moral views of acts, rules, etc. purely due to the consideration of their consequences, where the norm of consideration is worked as the norm of non-moral goodness. Happiness is a part of acquiring what could be an unsatisfying truth that we do not have a solid handle of our control or impact in our world; giving into the greatest good, as well as, ignoring what can bring negativity. It is important to make the best out of life as possible that represent positive and negative, and take the rest as life wants to give it. The theory of “good” and bad is really not a matter of concern; we have our own particular views, so what can be bad may actually be good.
In searching for what nonconsequentialist believe, I found that it is the opposition of consequentalism. One view that is in opposition to consequentialism is deontology. Alexander describes dentology: In contemporary moral philosophy, deontology is one of those kinds of normative theories regarding which choices are morally required, forbidden, or permitted. In other words, deontology falls within the domain of moral theories that guide and assess our choices of what we ought to do (deontic theories), in contrast to (aretaic [virtue] theories) that—fundamentally, at least—guide and assess what kind of person (in terms of character traits) we are and should be. And within that domain, deontologists—those who subscribe to deontological theories of morality—stand in opposition to