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Ethics

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For those who lie on the extreme ends of the capitalist/socialist spectrum, the answer is black and white. For those who favor a balance between the two ideals, there is a threshold at which redistributing wealth from the rich to do the poor may be unfair (assuming the rich deserve their wealth), or may actually hurt poor people (assuming the rich skillfully manage the job-creating businesses and investments they own). Has that threshold been crossed?
Bradley Manning is the intelligent analyst in the US Army accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. The conditions of his detainment pending his trial have been controversial.
The controversial WikiLeaks cable leaks have been condemned, particularly by those in power, for sabotaging diplomatic efforts and empowering terrorists with sensitive information. Defenders of the leaks downplay such concerns, which they believe are outweighed by the benefits of bringing transparency to government.
Julian Assange, via his organization WikiLeaks, recently released classified communications between the US State Department and its embassies throughout the world. Should he be considered a criminal who compromised the noble goals of a righteous country, or a hero who fights corruption and champions freedom and transparency?
A significant number of fathers mistakenly believe they are the biological fathers of all their children. If paternity testing was mandatory, the fathers would know the truth. Critics of such a scheme suggest that the father and the child would be happier if they did not know the truth, and that it undermines the pejorative of the mother to nominate the child's legal father, whom she may view as a better provider than the biological father.
New York has countless mosques, but recently a plan to build a large mosque and Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero has sparked controversy. Some conservatives want to ban the construction of the mosque, claiming its an insult to the people who died on September 11th, while libertarians tend to argue that religious freedom is a constitutional right.
The more idealistic we are with our principles, the more vulnerable we are to hypocrisy. Should we be less idealistic to avoid being hypocrites, or should we hold onto our ideals, even if we can't always live up to them?
Pickup artist strategies are labeled misogynistic by critics who believe that many specific strategies prey on weakness in women, but more deeply, that the philosophy of a pickup artist entails a sexist conception of women.
Pickup artists are often criticized on moral grounds - for using manipulative and dishonest tactics, encouraging fake rather than genuine behavior, and for ultimately helping men and the expense of women. Many practitioners of the art claim that these are misconceptions.
Some philosophers claim that we can derive what we ought to do based on what is. Others claim that ought-statements and is-statements belong to separate realms, and that there is ultimately no justification for what we ought to do based on what is.
When we say an act is "good" or "bad" or "right" or "wrong", is that entirely relative to our personal preferences and societal conditioning? Or are such statements true or false in an absolute sense, in a way that can be applied universally across all people and cultures?
It's easy to label our enemies "evil", as if they must know what they're doing is wrong, but decide to do it anyway. However, the alternative view is that our enemies have moral justifications for their actions, and believe in their righteousness just as much as we do.
Michio Kaku
Is free will an illusion? Mostly Disagree
... Einstein was wrong. God does play dice. Every time we look at an electron it moves. There is uncertainty with regards to the position of the electron. So what does that mean for free will? It means in some sense we do have some kind of free will. No one can determine your future events given your past history. There is always the wildcard. There is always the possibility of uncertainty in whatever we do.
Conservapedia
Abortion always ends the life of the unborn child, typically by dismemberment. Abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, future premature birth, mental illness, and other long-term health problems for the mother, as detailed below. Sometimes women die from abortion.
Ann Coulter
Obama plans to pay for his $3.6 trillion-dollar spending bill by raising taxes on "the rich." I know, I know ... I was pretty shocked, too. The bad news is, by hiking taxes in a recession, Obama will turn a disaster into a catastrophe.
Bill Maher
Between the years 1980 and 2005, 80% of all new income generated in this country went to the richest 1%. Let me put that in terms that even you fat-ass teabaggers understand. Say 100 Americans get together and orders a 100-slice pizza. The pizza arrives, they open the box and the first guy takes 80 slices. And if someone suggests "why don't you just just take 79 slices?". "THAT'S SOCIALISM!".
Donald Trump
The plan I am proposing today does not involve smoke and mirrors, phony numbers, financial gimmicks, or the usual economic chicanery you usually find in DisneylandonthePotomac. [Trump, a prospective candidate for the Reform Party presidential nomination, is proposing a onetime net worth tax on individuals and trusts worth 10 million or more. By Trumps calculations, his proposed 14.25 percent levy on such net worth would raise 5.7 trillion and wipe out the debt in one full swoop.]
Robin Hanson
Me, I celebrate these new worthier elites. We aren’t obviously justified in taking their wealth, however convenient that might be, and they might manage to avoid such takings via international competition to attract them. The US seems a bit too arrogantly unaware that we compete on this and many other margins.
Sam Harris
I’ve written before about the crisis of inequality in the United States and about the quasi-religious abhorrence of “wealth redistribution” that causes many Americans to oppose tax increases, even on the ultra rich. The conviction that taxation is intrinsically evil has achieved a sadomasochistic fervor in conservative circles—producing the Tea Party, their Republican zombies, and increasingly terrifying failures of governance.
George W. Bush
I do believe it's very important to send the signal to our entrepreneurs and our families that the government trusts them to spend their own money. And I happen to believe lower taxes is what stimulates economic growth and what we need now in our country is economic growth.
Sarah Palin
Democrats have articulated their tired class warfare argument about “tax cuts for the rich,” but conservatives have still not articulated our proven time-tested argument that tax cuts spur economic growth, which in turn helps everyone from all income levels and increases tax revenue as the economy grows. ...the last thing we should do is hamper our economic innovators and entrepreneurs with excessive taxes, overly burdensome regulation, and more uncertainty. ... It’s common sense.

New Comments

0 Points       dionisos       22 Aug 2016     Is "ought" derived from "is"? Disagree
The same than blacktrance.

0 Points       dionisos       22 Aug 2016     Should Julian Assange be considered a criminal for Wikileaks? Disagree
No, states should strive to almost complete transparency, they are way too much corruptible without it.

0 Points       dionisos       22 Aug 2016     Are pickup artist strategies misogynistic? Mostly Disagree
The same thing than Nutz. (it is not mean to be a useful comment, sorry, it is only that i am forced to comment if i want enough data to see who agree which me)

0 Points       dionisos       22 Aug 2016     Is free will an illusion? Mostly Agree
The problem of the concept of free-will come down to the problem of the concept of possibility.
We make choices : A choice is the act to select one possibility between many. (it could easily be extended, but it is the main idea)

The problem is that a possibility is relative to knowledge : That something is a "possibility" only mean that we don’t know if this thing is true or false. (it is not a physical problem, the universe could be deterministic or not, it doesn’t change that, it is purely conceptual)

Some will not see the relativity of some possibilities, for them it will feel like the possibility is intrinsic, independent of their own knowledge.
So when they make a choice, it feel like they have selected a intrinsic possibility, so it is like a pure act of creation, something with at least a part which is "absolutely free".
So they have to create the concept of free-will to designate this very thing.

The compatibilists are only redefining the concept of free-will by removing what is fundamental in this concept.

0 Points       Capricious       25 Mar 2015     Do Muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero? Disagree
9/11 was done in the name of Islam. They followed the Quran word to word. Why should we allow this?

0 Points       Capricious       25 Mar 2015     Is it acceptable to target (i.e. kill) civilians in war? Disagree
No effing way.

0 Points       tellvinay2003       14 May 2013     Do Muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero? Disagree
Why we want to memorise such disasteraus incident for ever?
Why don't we make a new World Trade Center on the same place and start with new Entusiasm to demolish the fear of terror for coming generation.

0 Points       TheLobsterMan       15 Apr 2013     Are pickup artist strategies morally acceptable? Disagree
Instead of building meaningful relationships with women, pick-up artists use questionable techniques to trick them into having sex with them.

1 Point       Joe       08 Apr 2013     Is it ethical to eat meat? Disagree
Eating meat IS wrong. It is not just an opinion as many people like to claim. If that's the case then anything goes. Was it wrong for the Nazis to kill Jewish people or was that just an opinion? Is sex slavery wrong or is that just an opinion? OBVIOUSLY some things are not "just an opinion." With trivial issues then yeah, they are just an opinion. Opinions stop being just opinions when they inflict harm on others; humans or animals. Like a game of chess. One can evaluate the moves in a chess game as good or bad. The rules to the game may be arbitrarily chosen, but the evaluation of moves, with respect to those rules, is in fact objective. It's the same with morals. My "rules" to morality are that inflicting unnecessary harm is wrong. Being hypocritical and selfish is also wrong. So when evaluating whether or not eating meat is wrong, with respect to those rules, you can see that eating meat IS wrong.

"But it's the food chain." Typical, but flawed argument. It's called the appeal to nature fallacy. The question is not whether eating meat is natural, but whether it's moral. Just because something is natural does not mean that it is moral. Rape and murder are natural, but surely they aren't moral. Some will say that only a small percentage of people commit rape or murder and therefore it isn't natural. Not true. Rape and murder happen all the time and not just with humans. And natural doesn't mean normal. Just because something is rare doesn't mean it is unnatural. Diamonds are rare, but they're very natural.

Then people will say that if that's true then we should consider all animals evil and force them all to stop eating meat. No, here's why. ANIMALS DON'T KNOW BETTER. An animal doesn't think about what it is doing. It doesn't question the morality of it; it can't. They don't have the ability to think abstractly. They just follow instinct. It's not fair to hold them morally responsible for their actions when they don't know any better. This is not the case with people. People can think abstractly. They understand everything they do. They know what they're doing, why they're doing it, the consequences of it, and the alternatives. You are absolutely responsible for any immoral actions you take and any harm you cause. The food chain is a sad system and it's unfortunate that it is the only thing animals know. But as humans, we know how bad it is and can actually take a better course of action. People can choose a better way of obtaining food and opt out of this system. So when an animal kills another animal, it is not immoral, but when a human does it, it is.

"But meat is healthy for people." So what? What if it was healthy to eat other humans? Would that make it ok to kill and eat people? No. Why not? Because you don't have the right to live at another's expense. Why should an animal or another person have to give up their life to make somebody else healthier? I don't care if eating meat can give you perfect health, you don't have the right to use another person or animal.

People will say that humans are superior to animals and therefore are more deserving of special treatment. This is just a selfish and shallow argument. So what if humans having more of a life to live and deeper and more complex emotions? Why should an animal lose its right to life or happiness just because it isn't as mentally capable as a human? Mentally handicapped people are inferior to normal people. So according to that logic it should be perfectly fine to capture, kill, or eat them. But that is absurd, extremely callous, unfair, and immoral. And yet people will turn around and do it to an animal without even thinking twice. It's so hypocritical it's ridiculous. Most people would agree that treating mentally handicapped people the way we treat animals would be very wrong. Obviously it is not about superiority. So when someone asks why it's ok to eat animals and your response is "We're superior" you're giving a dishonest answer.

continued

1 Point       Hortensia Mendez       14 Mar 2013     Is it ethical to eat meat? Disagree
I completely and strongly disagree... Eating meat is UNETHICAL, of course it is! It is heartbreaking that people are even questioning this. That people would put other sentient beings through all this pain and suffering just for pleasure (for a taste) is terrible!!!. We don't need meat to survive, in fact reasearch has shown it is detrimental to our health. As a concequene, it is solely for pleasure humans do it. This is simply cruel.But hey! a seven year old could tell you that...(and I'm not talking about life or death situations where the only option is to eat an animal to survive because in such situations even people have been known to eat human flesh to survive, and this is totally understandable and morally justified in my point of view) It is because it has been engraved in our heads that is normal, that humans see it as normal, same as other inmoral things such as slavery, had been considered morally acceptable in the past. We must work to see this for what it really is, the killing of innocent beings who like us wanted to live and like us experience the horror when seeing their friends massacred before their very eyes knowing they will follow the same fate, like us suffer loneliness, loss of loved ones, but unlike us have no malice to fight back and no voice. They are as helpless and naive as human babies with no one on their side to stand up for them legally. Humans should be ashamed of themselves. Humans have a way of exploiting and a desire to take as much advantage out as they possibly can. Such a thing has been proven throughout history given the many times in history we have literally exterminated whole civilizations such as the Spaniards did with the indians in my country of Dominican Republic (island of Santo Domingo) just to name an example,and they did it just because they could, just as humans continue doing nowadays to animals... It is really
sad...

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Is it ethical to eat meat? Agree
I have no problem with the killing and eating of an animal which is not sentient and will not become sentient.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Is hypocrisy acceptable? Disagree
Hypocrisy is inherently a bad thing.


Ethics Question Index

Is free will an illusion?
Were the atomic bombs dropped on Japan justified?
Is abortion morally acceptable?
Are America's rich taxed enough?
Is it ethical to eat meat?
Is torture ever justified?
Do Muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero?
Is "ought" derived from "is"?
Is morality objective?
Is Bradley Manning being treated fairly by the US Government?
Should Julian Assange be considered a criminal for Wikileaks?
Will the WikiLeaks cable leaks do more harm than good?
Should paternity testing be mandatory?
Is hypocrisy acceptable?
Are pickup artist strategies misogynistic?
Are pickup artist strategies morally acceptable?
Are our enemies innately evil?
Is censorship acceptable?
Should euthanasia be legal?
Is cryonics worthwhile?
Is masturbation morally acceptable?
Is it acceptable to target (i.e. kill) civilians in war?
Is abortion wrong because it destroys the potential for life?
Is marrying your cousin OK?
Is animal vivisection ever ethical?