29 January 2014
1. The author of the textbook, Barbra Mackinnon, cannot come to a specific definition of what exactly ethics is, due to the subject being defined by each individuals personal opinion. However, a general conclusion can be drawn, and that is that we tend to think of ethics as the set of values or principles held by individuals or groups. Another way of accessing the subject is to think of ethics as being the study of various sets of values people may have. This can be studied historically and comparatively. Mackinnon states that ethics asks basic questions about the good life, about what is better or worse, about whether there is any objective right and wrong, and how we know if there is. Metaethics are questions about the nature of ethics. Metaethics seek to understand the meaning of ethical terms and judgments. 2. Philosophers do not believe that ethics require religious grounding, rather than relying on hold books or religious revelations, philosophical ethics uses reason and experience to determine what is good and bad, right and wrong, better and worse. In the philosophical tale Euthyphro by Socrates, he examines the religious view, and asks whether things are good because they are approved by the gods, or whether the gods approve of them because they are good. Socrates states that god could decree anything to be good or bad. One implication of this view is that mortality has a certain independence, and if that is the truth, we should be able to determine whether certain actions are right or wrong in themselves and for some reason. Mackinnon though, concludes with three hypothesis’s of her own, why we should separate religion and ethics. She believes that we should be able to develop our own natural moral reasoning skills, we should be able to evaluate critically our own or other views of what is taught to be good or bad or just and unjust, including religious views in some cases. Second, Mackinnon believes that believers...
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