Ethics Review Test 1

Ethics Review Test 1 - 1. Imagine that you have witnessed a...

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1. Imagine that you have witnessed a lively debate between proponents of the view that objective values and moral knowledge exist (the representatives were Gensler and Bambrough) and those who deny that there can be objective values or moral knowledge (the representatives were Mackie and Ayer). (a) What is the strongest argument offered by either Mackie or Ayer (or both) against the claim that objective values and moral knowledge exist? (10 pts) Why is it the strongest argument presented by that side of the debate? (10 pts) (b) What is the strongest argument offered by either Gensler or Bambrough (or both) in favor of the view that objective values and moral knowledge exist? (10 pts) Why is it the strongest argument presented by that side of the debate? (10 pts) (c) Who wins the debate, and why? (10 pts) a) The strongest claim against objective values and moral knowledge is Ayer’s contention that unless something is verifiable by empirical aspects of the world or facts, then it cannot be “true” or “false”. Strongest because it makes the most logical sense. It is indeed true that morality is not based on any fundamental fact. For example, in Mackie’s argument from queerness, you cannot categorize morality in any subject unlike conventional topics such as science, mathematics, law, etc. If there is no evidence to either disprove or prove the concepts of morality, then it is impossible to acknowledge moral knowledge a real, objective, entity. b) In his work, Bambrough claims that we have moral knowledge. One of his strongest arguments for this universal morality is his contention that many things in life are universally known wrongs – even things that appear different on the surface such as how to deal with the dead. In the dealing with the dead example, Bambrough asserts that while methods may differ from culture to culture on how to deal with the dead, the overarching goal is still to respect the dead. c) In my opinion, Ayer and the contention that there are no objective values comes out. Firstly, Bambrough’s contention is refuted by Ayer, who claims that universal patterns in morals still does not prove that said morals are in any way objective – they are simply universal subjective values. Furthermore, Ayer’s claim that morality is not verifiable is accurate. What Mackie said seems quite accurate here – a crime scene is simply a group of disjoint facts. These empirical facts do not in themselves indicate whether something wrong or good happened – that is a product of our psychology. 2. Plato: (a) Drawing on what you have learned from Plato’s Laches , define the nature of courage. Justify the inclusion of each part of your definition. Then articulate two strong objections to your definition—one may be directed at the very project of defining courage—and respond to the objections with the best arguments you are able to generate. (25 pts) (b) How would you answer “the Euthyphro question” ( Euthyphro 10a, i.e., bottom of p. 68
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Ethics Review Test 1 - 1. Imagine that you have witnessed a...

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