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Moral statements are simply covert descriptions of emotions or recommendations for action. Discuss this view, with reference to Logical positivism and its implications for ethics.

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Introduction

Moral statements are simply covert descriptions of emotions or recommendations for action. Discuss this view, with reference to Logical positivism and its implications for ethics. In the world we live in today we are constantly being surrounded by moral choices and decisions about what would be the right thing to do. But Meta-ethics attempts to understand what the meaning of these words we use to describe moral situations such as right and wrong. When first trying to understand Meta ethics a person will try to divide situations into fact and opinions. But there can be no certain facts in Meta ethics is it applies to people own responses to a situation. But there is a way we respond to situations can be separated in empirical evidence (using five senses. These are questions that philosophers of meta- ethics try to answer, and they have taken a variety off different approach, which can be categorised in a variety of ways. In most cases the approaches are cognitisvism and non-cognitisvism. The first argument disagrees with this statement is cognitisvism People who hold cognitivist views about moral language believe that moral statements are about simply about facts, which are true or false. ...read more.

Middle

However there are also many approaches to ethics that agree with this statement. Non-cognitivists believe that moral statements are not propositions at all, but perform some other, different function in language. This is the complete opposite of cognitisvism, as they believe ethical statements cannot be derived from empirical sense experience. They believe that there can be no such thing as simply true and false. A non-cognitivist believes that moral statements are not propositions at all and perform some other different use in language. For example non-propsitional language includes statements that cannot be proved e.g. have a nice day. As there is no right or wrong a statement such as the war in Iraq was wrong cannot be known, as it is not a statement of fact. They also argue that moral language is not objective. It only expresses opinions, which refers to the above statement. Another group that will agree with the above statements is relativists. Relativists believe that there are no absolute moral norms. This view holds that each situation needs to be examined individually. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another approach is prescriptivism, which is related to Emotivism. They agree that moral statements are basically expressions of opinion rather than fact. He claimed that when we make moral decisions we are simply using our opinions instead of emotion. We are "prescribing". For example when a policeman tells a 12 year old to stop smoking he is not telling him why he should not do that, but instead giving him guidance or prescribing his opinions onto him. This agrees with the second part of the statement as it shows how people would rather recommend actions rather actually thinking why someone should not do something. To conclude Meta-ethics consists of many different views on how people come up with their own moral judgments. The views are complex and are constantly contradicting each other. For every theory there is, there will always be another that criticises it or is its complete opposite. But all people are different with their own perspective on a situation and cannot simply be placed in a group. Moral statements are there to give philosophers a certain sense of control to make them feel that they can categorise people's opinions into their own recommendations. Therefore I agree with the statement. Mark Strachan 12.6 ...read more.

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