DDp wrote:I agree that there are certainly differing views on what is right and what is wrong. This is also known on a global scale as Cultural Relativism. Right and Wrong are relative to culture, time, geographic location, etc. This viewpoint belongs more to Anthropology than Philosophy. Cultural Relativism describes how things are. It is based on observation. From a philosophical perspective, describing what is morally right is about what "ought" to be, and not necessarily about what "is." If you want to discuss Ethics from a Philosophical perspective, there really is no need to look at what humans do, but rather at what they are capable of doing by relying purely on reason. So yes, there are ethics. Theoretical, like the Categorical Imperative, Utilitarianism, etc. (Of course, proponents of such theories would claim that they are perfectly applicable in the "real world"). You also have "Applied" Ethics. These are what people do. This is what most of us think of when we begin a discussion on ethics. And why not? It's the most practical. In this category, I would put Cultural Relativism, and Situational Ethics. In the middle of these two are where most of us are. We have several influences and experiences that form our own individual code of ethics, and we bend and shape them as we go along. But there is a stark difference between what "is" and what "ought" to be.
I like this analysis. You do a good job of putting things into perspective with reasonable terms. But my question is do you believe that ethics are moral guidelines that people should follow, or personal inhibitions?
Finarfin Palantir wrote:I like this analysis. You do a good job of putting things into perspective with reasonable terms. But my question is do you believe that ethics are moral guidelines that people should follow, or personal inhibitions?
I've never really considered this, as strange as that might sound. I mean I've always tried to uphold a certain lifestyle of what is, at least in my mind, a good set of moral values. But I have not the faintest idea whether this is actually because that set exists within me as a person or whether it exists in me simply because I was raised from a young age with those values and since I won't be raised again without them, I guess I'll never know? I mean personally I do think that they are moral guidelines set within each person, the same way I believe not every person's set of values are the same or neccesarily what others consider "good", as I'm sure in Hitler's mind he was performing a "good" act.
I don't think I have any logical or reasonable way of answering that question?
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