Notes in Ethics: 7 Characteristics of a Good Moral Theory



1. A good ethical theory is able to satisfactorily explain why people experience a sense of moral obligation.

2. It is able to account for the moral obligations’ “binding force” and “overriding character.”

3. The worldview endorsed by a good moral theory is capable of accounting for the moral accountability in ethics. (For, otherwise, morality would just be like promulgating a strict state law but without real sanction or punishment for the offenders. In such a condition, there would be no essential difference between following and transgressing the law.)


Notes in Ethics: 6 Features of Morality

1. People experience a sense of moral obligation and accountability

·  One cannot doubt successfully a phenomenon of his own existence—namely, his moral experience.

·  Even secularists like Kai Nielsen recommend that one “ought”to act or follow some rules, policies, practices, or principles. [Kai Nielsen, Ethics Without God. London: Pemberton, 1973, p. 82.]

·  Even atheist Richard Dawkins declares that there are “moral instruction[s] on how we ought to behave.” [Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion. London: Bantam Press, 2006, p.347.]


The Theistic Ethics and the cut-flower thesis


“... The attempts to found a morality apart from religion are like the attempts of children who, wishing to transplant a flower that pleases them, pluck it from the roots that seem to them unpleasing and superfluous, and stick it rootless into the ground. Without religion there can be no real, sincere morality, just as without roots there can be no real flower... ”


Non-theists' moral foundations: An analysis

“... Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that the atoms inside my skull happen for physical or chemical reasons to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a bye-product, the sensation I call thought. But if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It is like upsetting a milk-jug and hoping that the way the splash arranges itself will give you a map of London... "


Subjectivism: Another challenge in Ethics



"...  Ethical Subjectivism is the idea that our moral opinions are based on our feelings, and nothing more. In this view, there is no such thing as “objective” right or wrong. It is a fact that some people are homosexual and some are heterosexual; but it is not a fact that one is good and the other bad. So when someone says that homosexuality is wrong, he is, according to the theory, not stating a fact about homosexuality but merely saying something about his feelings toward it ..."


Cultural Relativism: A challenge in Ethics

"... the ancient Persian King Darius was once intrigued by the diversity of customs and cultures he came across in his journeys. He had noticed, for example, that a tribe of Indians called Callatians customarily ate the corpse of their fathers. The Greeks, on the other hand, performed cremation as they considered the funeral pyre as the natural and appropriate means to dispose of the deceased ..."



Secularists' explanations on some ethical facts

AT LEAST THREE PHILOSOPHICAL CAMPS that reject “God-based morality” ([1] the non-theists, [2] those who say that there may be God but morality does not at all come from a Supernatural being, and [3] those who hold that “Godless morality” is better than “God-based morality” regardless of whether or not there is God) offer various explanations for some facts about morality. Let us check if their explanations that do away with the idea of God could really explain the ethical facts they wish to explicate.


Surrounded by those we don't perceive

NO, IT’S NOT ABOUT GHOSTS, ETs, or aliens.
          But to be direct, this article flies in the face of those who believe that what we perceive is all that exists. Or to say the least, it proves that that philosophy (empiricism) is problematic.
          If we were to tell you that, right now, there are hundreds of voices, pictures and songs filling the air around you, but you are unable to see or hear any of them, what would you think? ...


ETHICS 101: A primer

... The collapse of standards of morality observed in contemporary societies (which is the concern of today’s sociologists and social philosophers) prompts many to feel that there is a real need to rebuild the edifice of morality. That however would require that a superstructure of morality must be constructed, and in so doing, the very foundations of morality must be examined meticulously ...


'True vs. valid': An article on Logical terms

Editor’s note: Prescribing the correct technical usage of the terms ‘valid’ and ‘true’, this article by a Logic professor of a university in Manila, Philippines is helpful to anyone who wishes to be knowledgeable in reasoning. highly recommends it especially to those taking up Philosophy subjects.

Copyright 2011 by Jensen DG. Mañebog

IN ONE OF MY CLASSES IN LOGIC, the students asserted that the statement “All Hawaiians are Americans” is valid. Upon noticing the disagreement from my facial expression, some of them right away shifted to claiming that it is invalid. With slick smile, I pronounced that neither answer is correct ...




Subscribe to RSS - Philosophy

Sponsored Links