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Discuss some of the issues raised in Meta-Ethics. How convincing is the view that, when talking of morality, we are talking about facts?

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AS Religious Studies Paper 2760 Foundation for the Study of Religion Part 2: Meta-Ethics Model Answer a). Discuss some of the issues raised in Meta-Ethics. (17 marks) b). How convincing is the view that, when talking of morality, we are talking about facts? (33 marks) (Total 50 marks) Notes: --> Remember, in an exam, you have 30 minutes to choose, plan, and write any essay. --> At AS Level, exam questions are twofold [i.e., there will be an (a) section and a (b) section]. --> Do not forget to answer both sections of a question! --> Usually, the marks appear beside each section of a question. --> In each question, section (a) holds 17 marks, and section (b) holds 33 marks. A total of 50 marks per question. --> Write your responses to questions appropriately - its no good having a detailed (a) section and a brief (b)! --> This model essay is structured so that it is realistic in its time expectations. --> If you have revised thoroughly, and know your stuff, you should be writing this sort of exam essay. --> Remember, do not waffle. ...read more.


b. How convincing is the view that, when talking of morality, we are talking about facts? But, when attempting to define 'good', and certainly when considering ethics as a whole, is it actually possible to say that moral systems deal with 'facts'? Some ethicists would claim not. GE Moore, for example, in his book Principia Ethica (1902) claimed that 'good' is impossible to define because it entirely depends on the moral codes a person brings to a particular situation. This would suggest that, owing to the wide range and variety of personal preference in ethical systems, it is impossible to talk of facts when dealing with morality. Moore, though, did suggest that 'good' was an entity in itself and that it was something which human beings intuitively sought. Indeed, human beings do a thing that is 'good' in order to achieve some long-term goal. However, he stated that in doing so, people commit what he coined the 'Naturalistic Fallacy'. Namely, that in finding oneself in a particular moral dilemma people assume it is natural and logical to shift immediately from dilemma to solution, treating moral conclusions as if they were absolute. ...read more.


agree because his 'value propositions' in moral dilemmas can easily be altered to produce a different outcome and, therefore, a different moral force; Hare claimed one cannot say moral rules are true or false, therefore failing to deliver morality to the territory of 'fact'; and, finally, Stevenson claims that individual moral codes are influenced by individual 'feelings' about the rightness or wrongness of an action, thus rendering factually-based morality a nonsense owing to the rich diversity of individual emotion. Indeed, the highly influential philosopher, AJ Ayer would agree with such an avowal because he suggested all moral statements are 'meaningless' statements. For example, how could one prove that it is wrong to cheat? He insisted that such statements as 'Is it wrong to cheat' are totally without meaning or provable sense because, logically and empirically, they cannot be shown to be true. All one can do is show that lots of people believe it is wrong to cheat. All they can do is express a personal dislike of cheats, cheating, and its consequences; they can express how they consider it to be unfair. That is, they can express how it does not coincide with what they believe to be fair and right - but that is all. ...read more.

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