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Good and Evil

Posted Feb 18, '14 at 6:12pm

FishPreferred

FishPreferred

1,915 posts

Strong Holism: There are universal moral principles (e.g. lying is immoral, killing is immoral, etc.) that determine which acts are permissible and impermissible.


I would have to side with the particularist, then. This looks vastly oversimplified and overgeneralized.
 

Posted Feb 18, '14 at 6:18pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

9,919 posts

So to sum up - particularism doesn't imply subjectivism. It still could be an objective matter of fact that killing under such-and-such circumstances is wrong. In the same way, it could be an objective matter of fact that such-and-such is evil under circumstances C.


But wouldn't the road we went down in order to figure out if said event was evil under such circumstance be a subjective road?
 

Posted Feb 18, '14 at 6:56pm

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,270 posts

Moderator

I would have to side with the particularist, then. This looks vastly oversimplified and overgeneralized.

Yeah, I don't know of any contemporary moral holists. With Kant, you can't ever lie to someone - even if they're a murderer at the door looking for someone you're trying to protect.
So I'm wondering if we could take the same approach in trying to analyse evil or evil acts. I'm not sure the difference between an immoral act and an evil act. Is it a matter of degree or of kind?

But wouldn't the road we went down in order to figure out if said event was evil under such circumstance be a subjective road?


It might be a subjectivst road, but it doesn't have to be. Subjectivism in this sense would make the following claim:

Subjectivism: Statement P is only true with respect to person S.

So, instead of 'It's a moral truth that eating babies is wrong' we would say something like 'It's true that according to pang, eating babies is wrong'.
The thing to notice is that subjectivism is a theory about truth. So long as you accept it, it's true. Many philosophers find this sort of position completely untenable.

You're right that an individual would have to be making the assessment. But s/he could nonetheless use some sort of objective criteria in determining whether an action is evil.
 
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