Explain different views about what people mean when they call a moral decision 'wrong'.

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Explain different views about what people mean when they call a moral decision ‘wrong’.

In Ethics it is very important to understand the language used and the ideas behind it. There are many different opinions about what the word ‘wrong’ means and this helps to explain why there are many different views about what people mean when they call moral decision wrong. The dictionary definition of the word ‘wrong’ in the Oxford English Dictionary is an adjective meaning ‘not correct or true’, something that is ‘unjust, dishonest or immoral’, or ‘something contrary to ethics or morality’. It is very hard to define ‘wrong’ completely and accurately and with no doubt or argument.

Ethics is study of wrong and right and people’s moral choices and how they justify their points of view. Ethical language is the language people use to convey their points of view in a moral discussion. It is used to describe how right and wrong are perceived. There are many different types of ethical language and each has a slightly different approach to it. Through ethical language different people interpret the word ‘wrong’ in different ways to try and define and explain the different perceptions of the word.

Descriptive ethical language is essentially objective, it neither condemns nor condones but just states the case of an issue such as the death sentence. It describes the moral choices and values that one society holds at a particular time. Descriptive ethical language invites the reader to make their own moral judgement. If the word ‘wrong’ is used in descriptive language it does not give explicit values, and therefore it is possible to misunderstand them and allows for personal judgement. This means when used in descriptive ethics it is difficult to explain what a person meant when they called a moral decision wrong.

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Another way in which people express their views of a moral decision being ‘wrong’ is through Meta-ethics. Meta-ethics is the branch of moral philosophy, which looks at the ways in which people use the language of morals, asking questions about what we mean when we call something ‘good’ or ‘wrong’. The word ‘wrong’ can not be defined as it can constantly be changed and it will vary from person to person, how a person defines wrong will be from their own point of view and will depend a great deal on the perspective from which they view what is ...

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