Subjectivism in Ethics
Ethical Subjectivism is based on the concept that our moral beliefs are
based on our feelings and nothing more. People have different
opinions, but where morality is concerned, there are no “facts” and no
one is “right”. People just feel differently.
David Hume, morality is a matter of sentiment rather than fact
When a person says something is morally good or bad, this means that
he or she approves of that thing, or disapproves of it, and nothing
X is good, X is morally acceptable, X ought to be done = I (the
speaker) approve of X
Simple Subjectivism cannot account for disagreement
There is no disagreement between two “opposing views”; each person
acknowledges the truth of what the other is saying.
A approves in homosexuality while B disapproves of homosexuality.
Both A and B would acknowledge the other persons position while still
disagreeing about the underlying topic. Therefore simple subjectivism
cannot be correct
Simple Subjectivism implies that we are always right
So long as someone is honestly representing his own feelings, his
moral judgments will always be correct since they are reflections of
what the person feels.
This is incorrect since we all sometimes make mistakes and no one is
Moral language is about stating facts, ethical statements to report the
speaker’s attitudes. When Falwell says “homosexuality is immoral” he
is making a statement of his attitudes on homosexuality, that “I do not
approve of homosexuality” According to Emotivism, moral language is not a fact