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
As a further definition, Mackie posits that an objective moral value has the quality of ‘ought-to-be-pursued-ness’, it is something one should or ought do because it contains an inherently normative aspect. If Mackie’s argument is to succeed, it must prove that this supposed normative aspect has no existence within any act in itself, but has its origin in the agent of said act, and as such, all moral claims are false. Mackie’s exposition of moral relativism comes in the form of two main arguments, the first being his ‘argument from relativity’, the second, his ‘argument from queerness’. It is with the argument from relativity that I shall be here concerned. The argument from relativity is based around the purely ‘descriptive’ idea that it is an empirically observable fact that there seems to be
While these theories hold much in common regarding how they see morality, they differ greatly in their reasoning for why they think that way. Aristotelian virtue ethics focus more on the person as a moral creature at heart and their desire for morality to be the driving force behind moral behavior. An excellent example of the difference in the three theories in this instance would be a situation involving lying. Dishonesty is considered morally wrong by most theories of ethics, but all of the moral theories approach it differently. Deontology, as espoused by Immanuel Kant, would argue against the morality of lying from a moral absolutism standpoint.
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.
There cannot be a wrong unless there is something that is right to compare it to. In the Law of Human Nature, C.S Lewis sets forth the foundational ideas regarding right and wrong. The most basic yet most important concept is that without the knowledge of what is right; humans cannot make the claim that something is wrong. By pointing out that one’s idea is not correct one is inadvertently admitting that he believes in a standard of right and wrong. C.S Lewis points out that all humans have a tendency to quarrel.
The arguments raised by the logical positivists, although on the face of it strong arguments against religious language, fail as they themselves, once subjected to their own criterion, become meaningless. Wittgenstein, at first glance, appears to bear the mark of a more ‘modernist’ approach by providing a puritanically logical reformulation of Hume’s two dogmas: apriori analytic statements are trivial but meaningful and that substantive aposteriori statements are substantive and meaningful. His underlying theory has been called Logical Atomism which is an ideal theory of language which suggests that reality is comprised of fixed ‘atomic facts’ or propositions drawn from sense data which when combined with others of the same variety produce ‘molecular’ facts. Furthermore, each proposition has a meaning independent of other propositions. His early philosophy of language and theory of meaning was based upon Logical Atomism.
Examine two critiques of the relationship between religion and morality. It has long been common thought that there is a distinct link between Religion and the fundamental moral laws upon which we base our lives upon. These heteronomous moral codes were used as the basic principles of everyday life. From this viewpoint then, it is hard to imagine a world without the concept of religion, as sure anarchy and suffering would ensure across the Globe. However, if this link between religion and morality is criticised, then there are sufficient grounds for secularist and atheistic ways of life.
Conservatives have a pessimistic view of human nature, some would even agree with Hobbes view that the desire for “power after power” is the primary human urge. Two we are intellectually imperfect conservatives traditionally believe that the world is simply too complicated for human reason to fully grasp this leads them to trust in tradition as it is “Tried and tested” and it also explains there argument for letting society grow organically as conservatives would prefer to trust in nature then our own rationality this contrasts with both socialism and liberalism. Finally they believe we are psychologically imperfect conservatives believe we are security seeking, we fear isolation and instability and desire the security and belonging of “knowing are place” this is used as the argument for conservatives supporting social order as they accept Hobbes theory of a “Social contract” that individuals are willing to sacrifice liberty for the cause of social order. It is clear that traditionally conservatives strongly believed in human imperfection but too what extent the different strands of conservatism support this core principle differs. Strands that believe in the Human imperfection completely are traditional conservatives, authoritarian conservatives and paternalistic
In the hard determinist’s judgement, this feeling of freedom is an illusion. (Pereboom, 2009:324). Another argument against hard determinism would be if it were true we could not be accounted for when it comes to our actions, therefore we could do a morally wrong act and if it was determined then we would could not to blame, we did not have the free will to do that act it was determined to be done anyway. Also if we do a morally good act should we be praised for this? Hard determinists would say that it was not our free will that chose us to do this good act we were determined to do it anyway.
However this is an unrealistic expectation for Kant to think. This is because we may all value moral faculty based on reason but not everyone uses this ability. This is unrealistic because Kant is assuming that all humans are the same. This also follows on to the fact that all humans are different but Kant says that humans are aware of our categorical ought. This is unrealistic because although we maybe aware of our categorical ought i.e we should not steal and lie however people still do this.