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Open discussion. ***Discuss Moral Relativism *** 250 words MIN
Reply to each post 100 words MIN
1. My forum post today will focus on evaluating ethical naturalism. Ethical naturalism is a doctrine that there are objective moral properties of which we have knowledge. These properties are basically needs, wants, or pleasures. This is opposed to relating the ethical terms in some way to the will of God. The context of religion is not needed to dictate moral behavior in ethical naturalism. Ethical naturalism states “that there are objective, natural facts, about what is conducive to human flourishing.” From my understanding it bases moral principles on what makes people happy or unhappy and what causes pleasure or pain. It suggests that inquiry into the natural world can increase our moral knowledge in just the same way it increases our scientific knowledge and that any “ethical value” is confirmable through the methods of science. Moral facts are therefore effective facts of nature just as what is good for any kind of organism comes from nature. An example of this is sleep, nutrition, and sunlight all come from nature. These are all good for organisms so, therefore, morality is a natural fact and is discoverable among natural properties. There has been criticism of Ethical naturalism. The British philosopher G.E. Moore posed the Open Question Argument in opposition to Ethical Naturalism. He stated that the question “What is good?” This is a very open-ended question and cannot be answered by natural terms. He termed this “naturalistic fallacy”, because the term “good”, in the sense of intrinsic value, is simply indefinable. In my evaluation I choose to side with G.E. Moore, as we really do not have a definable way of putting the statement “what is good?” into natural terms. G.E Moore went further and propounded Ethical Non-Naturalism. Below is an article that helped me to understand the difference between ethical naturalism and ethical non-naturalism.
2. The Euthyphro Dilemma is one of the most popular questions in philosophy when it comes to speaking of ethics and religion (God). Socrates asked Euthyphro the question “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?”, translated to, “Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?” This topic creates a lot of debate between Divine Command Theorists and philosophers.
Philosophers argue that if acts are morally good because they are willed by God, this means that anything God wills could be considered morally good, including torture and murder. If God wills you to murder someone for enjoyment, under this argument it becomes morally good because it was willed by God. Divine Command Theorists do not like to admit that this could ever be considered morally right, so most will claim God wills acts because they are morally good.
If God wills acts because they are morally good, this would mean that there is a set of moral foundations that God follows. If there is in fact a set of moral foundations that God follows, where did these foundations come from? Is there something even more powerful and supreme than God? Philosophers and Divine Command Theorists have argued this topic for centuries, never concluding or agreeing. Each side just comes up with more arguments to strengthen their case, which in turn are refuted from the other side.
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