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View Poll Results: What do you think is the most truthful (normative) ethical theory?

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  • Ethical (Personal) Relativism

    2 18.18%
  • Ethical (Cultural) Relativism

    1 9.09%
  • Classical Act Utilitarianism

    0 0%
  • Rule Utilitarianism

    0 0%
  • Other Utilitarianism

    1 9.09%
  • Kantian Deontology

    0 0%
  • Pluralistic Deontology

    1 9.09%
  • Other Deontology

    0 0%
  • Hobbes' Social Contract Theory

    0 0%
  • Rawls' Social Contract Theory

    1 9.09%
  • Other Social Contract Theory

    0 0%
  • Virtue Theory

    1 9.09%
  • Ethics of Care

    3 27.27%
  • Religious Basis for Morality

    1 9.09%
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Thread: Moral Theories

  1. #1 Moral Theories 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Which moral theory do you hold to?


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  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    how about giving us a brief summary of what each of them stands for ?
    as things stand, all i can do is throw up my hands in despair and cry "i don't know !!!"


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Alright I'll try my best (some will be less brief unfortunately).

    Ethical Relativism - The belief that there is no objective truth in ethics

    Ethical (Personal) Relativism - The belief that although there is no objective truth in ethics, subjectively, the righness or wrongness of an action is determined by an individual's personal preferences, regardless of the person.

    Ethical (Cultural) Relativism - The belief that although there is no objective truth in ethics, subjectively, the righness or wrongness of an action is determined by an culture's personal preferences, regardless of the culture.

    Utilitarianism - The belief that the rightness or wrongness of an action is based on its consequences (consequentialism) considering eveyone's interests as equal (equal consideration).

    Classical Act Utilitarianism - The belief that the ultimate good is pleasure (hedonism) and that the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by how much pleasure or pain it creates, considering everyone equally. The rightness or wrongness of an action is decided on a case by case basis.

    Rule Utilitarianism - Similar to Classical Act Utilitarianism except actions are not considered at a case by case level. Instead a rule that maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain is chosen. This rule is to be followed regardless of circumstances.

    Other Utilitarianism - Any theory you think fits the definition of utilitarianism but does not fit into any of the theories I have described here.

    Deontology - The belief that the rightness or wrongness of an action is not based solely on consequences but also on other factors (such as right, motives, etc.)

    Kantian Deontology - Two tests decide the morality of an action. The universal law test states that if one cannot comprehend a world where everyone always took a certain action, then that action is always wrong. If you cannot will a world like the one you imagine, then that action is usually wrong. The other test is the humanity test, it states that if you treat a rational being as a means rather than as an ends, you have acted wrongly.

    Pluralistic Deontology - The belief that utilitarianism and Kantian ethics are too simple and one should look at both the consequences and other factors (like rights) to decide the moral rightness or wrongness of an act.

    Other Deontology - If you think your view fits the definition of deontology but none of the subtheories, choose this one.

    Social Contract Theory - The belief that morality is based on a contract with other rational beings.

    Hobbes' Social Contract Theory - Based on the idea of a state of nature, where all have relatively equal power, have the same needs (food, water, shelter), do not enough of those needs and are self-interested. For these reasons there would be constant war. Moral rules are based on their ability to prevent these wars.

    Rawls' Social Contract Theory - To decide the morality of an action one must imagine they are in the 'original position'. In the original postion is ignorant of who one is in the real world (but rational enough to be in a social contract), and of the sizes of groups in the real world. Other than that, one knows everything. Here you decide moral rules that would make your life the easiest. The best way to do this, says Rawls, is to maximize the worst off group's happiness. This way if you are in the worst off group, life won't be as bad.

    Other Social Contract Theory - If you think your view fits the definition of social contract theory but none of the subtheories, choose this one.

    Virtue Theory - The belief, first proposed by Aristotle, that one achieves happiness through certain mean traits. For example one will be happy if they display courage, as opposed to rashness or cowardice. The theory was later, after Aristotle, employed to answer ethical questions by deciding which virtues (courage, compassion, etc.) or vices (cowardice, maliciousness) they expressed.

    Ethics of Care - A theory that states that moral descisions are made by attending to relationships and caring for others.

    Religious Basis for Morality - If you use a religious text or tradition to decide moral questions, choose this one.
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  5. #4  
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    Personal Relativism- This theory is the most relevant to me because I am more inclined to chose a decision based on what my preference, than how it will effect others.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    still don't see an option that really suits - i'd be inclined to go for something like materialistic defeatism
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    still don't see an option that really suits - i'd be inclined to go for something like materialistic defeatism
    Definitely should have put down 'other' .
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  8. #7  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    you do realise i made that one up, don't you ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  9. #8  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    I chose Rawls, as I've done pretty consistently since reading A Theory of Justice, but I just thought I'd point out that it is actually very close to all the deontological positions available. Utilitarianism and relativism, of course, are quite different, and the Rawlsian Social Contract notion can be quite distinct from the other ones.

    Nice poll, though.

    Would suggest that it is pointless to consider ethical positions in a 'truth value' sense, though of course there can be personal preferences natheless.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    In many ways I can be considered a creative Aristotelian (as opposed to a dogmatic Aristotelian) in that I take the ideas of Aristotle and adapt them according to modern discoveries and ideas that were unavailable to Aristotle.

    Thus I have voted Virtue Theory, and the reason is that I believe that the MOST important consequence of ethical choices is the effect that it has on our own personal character and identity. However I am highly pluralistic and very much do recognize that some of these other points of view have considerable merit and even indispensible functional roles in ethics as well. There is no denying for example the role of social contract in ethics on another level. There is also no denying that a great deal of that which we consider to be ethical is highly relative to culture, but I deny that it is completely relative. I do think that there there is hard core of absolutes derived from matters logical consistency in regards to the considerations of the requirements of human well being. Also Kant's two ethical tests are poignant and timeless, but there is more to his deontological ethics which seems to make the impact on the integrity of the rules the most important consequence of ethical choices, and that where I disagree with him.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Junior Artemis's Avatar
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    Pff, I find this one rather difficult since I partially hold a bit of all. But I think I'm most inclined towards Ethical (Personal) Relativism.
    Student Neurobiology
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  12. #11  
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    I think the Ethics of Care is the best one
    Imagination is a key to the foundation of thought that will forever stand.

    Miguel Reyes
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    so do you think that the best one is the right one?
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    so do you think that the best one is the right one?
    the description it self speaks for itself : to judge by morally caring for others, I think it is absolutely right no matter how complicated terminologies might get and all the twists with philosophy, yes I think itis right
    Imagination is a key to the foundation of thought that will forever stand.

    Miguel Reyes
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  15. #14  
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    Ethical (Cultural) Relativism which I know sounds potentially fascist. But the overriding inertia of it is broadly human or even "mammal", not "Italian" or "African" or whatever. Salty snacks are good because human nature likes salty snacks. Also, any of the ethical theories listed above are good, simply because they sprout from our nature. Likewise religion is good. But cutely gurgling babies are most universal and essential, so they rule.

    This ethic poorly suits the concrete jungle. It gets lost.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  16. #15  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Ethics:
    Imo ethics and/or morals should include these themes ;

    Treat others like you would want to be treated
    Avoid actions that would cause problems or are unsustainable on a larger scale for people, society or the environment
    Consider cumulative, collaborative and emergent nature of knowledge/methods/technology
    Strive for individual privacy and organizational transparency
    Strive for local autonomy, variety, democracy and sovereignty(local decisions), with global advice/support/cooperation
    Strive for preservation of sentience and civilization (new generations are very important, space colonization of autonomous colonies able to expand on their own should also be a goal since all our eggs are presently in one basket)



    I dont think it translates to one of the categories in the poll
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