PHIL 2120 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Moral Rights, Moral Authority
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ETHICS CHAPTER 3
Moral Judgments and Personal Preferences:
- It is possible for two different expressions of personal preference to be true
at the same time.
- There is a difference between types of personal preference and moral
judgments. i.e. Jack says he likes to go to beach compared to Jack saying
abortion is right. In the second case we want to know if Jack is correct rather
than what he likes so we need justification. Moral rights cannot be
determined by find out personal preferences.
Why Thinking It Does Not Make It So:
- The same is true about what people think. If one person thinks it is right to
help people are not off, while one person disagrees they are both stating
what they think and it is possible for both to be true.
- However, if one DENIES what the other person states then he believes he is
CORRECT and does not merely think that.
The Irrelevance of Statistics:
- Since there is strength in numbers the correct method for answering
problems is to find out what most people think or feel.
- All that polls can reveal is what most people feel or think though. For
instance, many people change their minds over time as things are subject to
change. I.e. everyone use to think world was flat. AKA in the end people CAN
- Therefore majority cannot be an answer to questions.
The Appeal to a Moral Authority:
- Suppose there is someone who is never mistaken. If the person judges
something wrong, it is wrong and vice versa. This person is called a moral
- Most people who think there is a mortal authority think this is God. Since
God is already a very controversial topic it is difficult to base right versus
wrong from it.
- However, problems with God go even further as if there is a God then do
people always understand what God says? For instance, some people who
think we were created to be vegetarians think they find evidence in bible that
God thinks so too, while other find evidence that God does not.
- Therefore, even if there is a moral authority it would not make it easy to find
out right and wrong as the problem of figuring out Gods opinion would still
- We rely on things once we actually see it done and have proof to, making this
especially difficult. Since there are no credentials to test for God’s actions
then it cannot be a method of answering moral questions.