What is metaethics? How does it relate to ethical psychology? Where do our ethical ideas come from? Include reference to the role of religion and science as ideological justifications of immorality.
What is metaethics?
• Metaethics looks at the nature, logic and justification of moral considerations.
• Metaethics contemplates the questions
- how we should live our lives?
- what ethical considerations should we take into account?
Can logical Reasoning help us decide which is the ‘right’ way to live our lives?
• live our lives following what is socially approved by others? (ethical relativism)
• decide what is right by following our feelings or intuitions? (subjectivism or intuitionism)
• follow the principles of religion
• be consistent in our conduct and follow the ‘golden rule’ that states:
“Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12)
Standard Arguments of Metaethics
• Ethical Relativism
- Ethical relativism = individuals who develop their own values based on their own personal circumstances, that will be respected by other people
- BUT, just because a social group believes something is ‘right,’ does not mean that it is right. People will always disagree and not all beliefs can really be true.
- Though, Liberalists believe there are ‘objective’ values that different social groups will accept in their own way
- Similar to relativism but believes that moral values are subjective not objective. Eg. Some individuals feel good about hurting others, but this does not make it right. But what is right? Just because something ‘ought’ to be right, does not mean that it ‘is’ right.
- There are logical problems with subjectivism Eg. I believe killing is wrong (This really means) I don’t approve of killing (Therefore) I think you should disapprove of killing
- Ideally this theory would be true if we...