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Forum Oi! → Chit-Chat → Can The Same Act Be Both Legitimately Ethical and Unethical?

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It is called a moral dilemma. Life is full of these and you are expected to do the right thing every time.


1a) I'd say yes.
1b) As with most absolutes I'd say this is ambiguous. More details need to be added before figuring out whether the act was ethical.
2) Yes, as long as the lawyer does not actively lie. The role of the defense attorney is to provide their client with the best possible legal defense. It is the role of the prosecutor to prove that the defendant is guilty.
I think a big part of scenario 1a and 1b is that there are some actions which may be moral but are also illegal, and vice versa. These discrepancies usually get rectified once enough legislative impetus is put behind these topics.


I understand what you are saying. I agree that morals aren't always completely subjective. Nonetheless, there are some people who do not see immorality in even mass murder, mass rape, genocide or slavery - look at ISIS and the people it recruits. There are millions of humans alive today who feel that way about one or more of those things. That's just fact.
How does biology affect morals? That's a fair question.
Human biology influences 100% of what humans do because we're living creatures with human brains and human cognitive and social biology. There's a vast research literature on this. It's not in dispute.
If you're interested, I write book reviews, including reviews about books that focus on the biology of morality. Here are a couple of them:
This author argues morals are dominant in politics:
Same author on the moral foundations of politics:
An excellent review of current neuroscience theories of morality:
Assessment of liberal and conservative moral mindsets and linked thinking from a cognitive linguistics point of view:


Objective truths with a true truth value of true are innately true, even for some matters of morality.

Repeating true over and over does nothing to actually prove your statement. If your 'natrual moral truths' really are discoverable, then walk through what the path to discovering them would be. Or go backwards using the little kid route: At each statement, ask "Why?". Slavery is wrong. Why? Because people have the right to choose for themself. Why? Because individual will is important. Why? So on and so on. If you eventually hit some fundamental fact on the level of 1+1 or gravity, then yes, you have a natural truth. If you eventually hit the level of "just because", then you have only dogma and assertions.
Take modern beauty standards. We value symmetricality of features, skin free of blemishes, low fat ratios, large secondary sex characteristics, etc. These sorts of beauty standards are theoretically discoverable, as in some other sentient race could come up with them as well, but that does not make them 'natural truths'. There is nothing about any of these features that makes them innately beautiful, because it is entirely possible that some other race, or even a human culture, could adopt assymetricality as a sign of beauty, with an equal amount of validity.
Going back to the claim that slavery is immoral. What if there is someone that would enjoy it? What if we design a race, like House Elves from Harry Potter, that enjoy being enslaved and forced to work? What if we invent Artificial Intelligences and keep them shackled? What about creatures like farm animals or chimpanzees used in labs, does keeping them qualify as enslavement and is thus immoral? Where is the line, who gets to draw it, and why?


Clearly you need to learn to read better if you cannot understand what I am saying.
Animals don't have free will and they cannot contemplate or comprehend the consequences of their actions.  Animals reactively kill out of necessity by reacting to their biological urges.  Thus, animals cannot make a conscious and informed choice that deviates from their biological urges and nature.  Animals don't have conscious intent so their killing is not immoral because their killing is morally neutral and justified because they kill for survival and they cannot choose to do otherwise.
This illustrates one of your fallacious conflations.  You disingenuously conflate killing with murder.  Killing for self-defense is not immoral.  Killing for food is not immoral.  However, killing unnecessarily for fun or jealousy or anger is immoral.  Immoral and/or illegal killing of a person is murder.
Another disingenuous conflation you use is to conflate figuring out how understand and explain a fundamental truth and something that is with inventing and idea from nothing.  Those are TWO different processes and you seem incapable of distinguishing between two different concepts and processes.


Then provide me one moral truth not created by a creature.
Your examples only work if we first except that moral truth exist  independently. Physics does. A square does. A triangle does. Moral truth does not.


Then support your claim. All you keep say is "just because".  You have already admitted that empathy and reason  create "most" morality, why not all?
Can you provide support for this comment "The irrefutable difference between discovering verses creating does NOT support that idea that mankind created all morality."  What irrefutable difference are you referencing?

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