Is Lying Ethical?
Lying, deception and when they are justified
Lying is generally perceived as unethical behaviour. Depending on the moral theory used, lying in special circumstances (for example, “white” lies or lies that benefit others or avert harm) might be morally justifiable. (more...)
One Year, Six Ways: A Philosophical Experiment
Daily Philosophy has the idea for this year’s resolution: live your life like a philosopher. Six classic philosophies of life, each lived for two months, with multiple weekly emails to keep you informed, entertained and engaged on your journey. Come along to the One Year, Six Ways project! (more...)
Is Stealing Always Immoral?
Utilitarianism, Kant and Aristotle
Whether stealing is immoral or not depends both on the context of the action and the moral theory used. In utilitarianism, stealing would only be immoral if it leads to bad consequences for the stakeholders. For Kant, it would always be immoral, because it does not respect the autonomy of the victim. (more...)
When Is It Right to Break the Law?
Ethics and law are not the same
Ethics and the law are not the same and it can indeed be morally right, and even indicated, to break the law in certain situations. (more...)
Which Social Media Site Is the Most Ethical?
A case for applied utilitarianism
Social media affect our society in many ways. We consider issues of addiction, democracy, the decline of journalism, privacy, surveillance, and effects on friendships and user happiness. Taking the most obvious problems of social media into account, it seems that LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Pinterest are more ethical, on the whole, while Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are least ethical. (more...)
Is Whistleblowing Ethical?
...and why Confucius might disagree
The ethics of whistleblowing exposes a deep difference between Western and Confucian ethics. While both utilitarianism and Kant would probably say that whistleblowing is morally right, in Eastern (Confucian) ethics (and perhaps in virtue ethics), whistleblowing might be wrong because it violates one’s obligations to one’s friends, relatives, co-workers or superiors. (more...)
The Ethics of Eating Meat
Four moral theories and their views
Eating small quantities of meat that was grown organically in a sustainable way might be morally justifiable. Utilitarianism would consider both animal suffering in the process of meat production and the environmental impact of animal farming. Most ethics theories would agree that large-scale animal farming as it is practiced today is morally wrong. (more...)
Freedom is always the freedom to think otherwise
Rosa Luxemburg today
Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919), socialist revolutionary, once said: “Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.” (more...)