Is Ethics Immutable or Can Ethics Change?
I would like to expand the ethical issue discussed in the comments about the
last post. to a discussion about an aspect of the discipline of ethics itself which I never previously written. In the Comment section of the last post, I wrote:
Getting a bit more academic about ethics: Is ethics as a discipline really immutable? Isn't ethics fundamentally a consensus of society's "outlooks" as to what is right and not simply and totally based on the "straight timber" rigid teachings of specific people over the centuries? Isn't there something as democratic ethics? If not, then why not? I realize that what I am writing may sound to an ethicist as intellectually immature, but I never have held myself out as an ethicist and for the education of myself and my blog visitors, it might be valuable to discuss this point. ..Maurice.
Ethicist Bob Koepp, then responded as follows:
You're asking a very difficult question about the objecivity of ethics. There are many very thoughtful people who would disagree, but I happen to think that ethics concerns objective truths about this world. I don't think we can turn to any authorities to tell us what is ethically right or wrong. And I don't think that consensus, even democratically reached consensus, is what determines the answer. All we can do is think, as clearly and critically and honestly and we are able, about how we should live. And then we should have the humility to admit that, in all probability, our best thoughts on the subject are not the last word.
My response to Bob: If objective truths can only be established by subjective means, then why can't we all vote on the issue of what is ethically right or wrong.
Anyone else have a view? ..Maurice.