Bonghits + Philosophy 101 = Giant Leap Forward in Ethics!

May 29th, 2007  |  Published in etc

The modern-day salon that is Slashdot considers altruism:

Relativism basically states that good and evil are relative … Relative to you personally, relative to your culture, relative to your psychological state. It fits with people’s differing views on what is right and wrong; I think it’s right, you think it’s wrong, we’re both correct. Basically it’s worthless. If you’re a relativist, morals are meaningless, because you can only apply moral judgements [sic] to yourself, and what the hell point is there in that?

Objectivism states that good and evil are objective … That there are things that everyone should agree are right and everyone should agree are wrong. Logically, objectivism must be correct, because the alternative is relativism, and relativism is worthless. But no one agrees about right and wrong, so how can it be right?

Utilitarianism gets the treatment, too:

Mill came up with the theory of Utilitarianism to attempt to explain this sort of thing: in a nutshell, whatever makes the majority happy is right, and whatever makes the majority unhappy is wrong

[…]

So utilitarianism clearly needs some work … Reduce “good” into “happy” and you end up with nothing but bread and circuses, because that would make people happy, and happy == good. This, in a nutshell, is the problem with democracy.

+4 … “interesting!”

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