Notes - What are we to make of ethical disagreement?...

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What are we to make of ethical disagreement? Examples: Punishment for adulterers. Sexual morality in ancient Greece. Today’s world Abortion, sexual slavery, punishment for thieves, honor killing The argument from disagreement 1. When a question is subject ot persistent disagreement among open-minded, intelligent people, there is no objective truth about the matter 2. This is the case with regard to many moral questions Therefore, S-L’s refutation 1. Disagreement exaggerated 2. First premise is false. a. Consider disagreements among physicists i. Just because you have persistent disagreement about something, doesn’t mean there is no truth 3. Amendment to the Argument a. Absence of objective truth not necessitated but made more probable b. And the extent, duration, and intensity of the disagreement is relevant i. Contrast the Natural Sciences 1. Extent 2. Eventual consensus 3. Why no comparable consensus? S-L Replies 1. Information, logic, imagination, awareness of bias a. Examples
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Still, disagreement would remain, for these issues can’t be settled empirically Ethics is a branch of philosophy Intractable disputes in philosophy are inevitable Does ethical objectivity require God? (ch. 15) S-L’s arguments up to this point (ch. 16) 1. Moral nihilism, subjectivism, and relativism entail serious problems 2. Ethical objectivism does not have these problems 3. The leading argument against objective moral truth are hopelessly flawed
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PHIL 1305 taught by Professor Gordon during the Spring '08 term at Texas State.

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Notes - What are we to make of ethical disagreement?...

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