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Explain the difference between Meta ethics and Normative ethics.

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Explain the difference between Meta ethics and Normative ethics Laura Barrett Ethics is concerned with ideas about moral judgements and the basis for rules of conduct, which apply to all humans, and therefore is a form of ethical absolutism. What is right i.e. about justice, how people should live. In addition it explores the choices people make and about the values and reasoning that lay behind them and about the meaning and use of moral terms. The study of Ethics is split into two branches. There is normative ethics. Normative ethics is based on natural law theory which states that what is good can be determined from an analysis of human nature. This considers what kinds of things are good and bad and how we are to decide what kinds of action are right and wrong. This is the main tradition of ethical thinking, as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle used it. Many moral arguments is concerned with the rights or wrongs of specific matters. "It is always wrong to steal." The sentence above is a normative statement as using another normative statement such as "No I think it is right to steal on some occasions," can challenge it. ...read more.


If you had the power to assassinate him would you? From a deontological view: Killing is wrong and two wrongs don't make a right. However from a Teleological view: The consequence is higher than the rule and to kill one person to save many people. In addition the state is under false pretences so he has to be stopped. Another part of ethics is Meta ethics. This deals with a philosophical analysis of the meaning and character of ethical language. It is possible to stand back from moral statements and ask, "What does it mean to say something is right or wrong?" or "In what sense can a moral statement be said to be either true or false?" Meta ethics can be split into three subcategories: Ethical Naturalism. This means all ethical statements can be translated into non-ethical ones, as it is similar. Ethical statements are factual. For example Napoleon died in 1821 is of exactly the same order as the statement that Napoleon was evil. Both statements can be established as true by a consideration of the evidence. Another example could be that Adolf Hitler was an evil man, Adolf Hitler committed in 1945. ...read more.


This means that the content of the words good or bad are established by referring to our common principle. Ethical Non naturalism (Intuitionism): This expresses the feeling and the emotion of the speaker. This is the sense, which allows us to establish whether an ethical proposition is true or false. Personally you know yourself its true. It is non-universal. In this theory G.E Moore argued that goodness could not be defined, because it was unlike any other quality. If you try to say something is "good" you will never find a definition, which does not reduce and limit the idea of goodness, and therefore make it inappropriate. We know that something is good by instinct. You can define an action as being 'right' if it leads to a 'good' result. We can also argue about moral problems deciding which of various options will lead to good but you cannot define that basic idea itself. In conclusion normative ethics deals with norms, which have an "oughtness." These have a standard or rule to which conformity is in some way expected. Meta ethics on the other hand is when we talk about ethics. Instead of laying down rules about what is good or valuable - the job of normative ethicists is to ask, " what is good" and "what is value." ...read more.

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