The Pros And Cons Of Metaethical Theory

Metaethical theory addresses whether or not there are correct answers to ethical issues. Metaethical theory also discusses how these answers apply to the world. There are two major branches of metaethical theory, objectivism and non-objectivism. These theories have advantages as well as disadvantages to using them. I will be discussing these branches and the theories they contain, the advantages and disadvantages, and which branch appeals most to me.
Objectivism states that there are correct answers to ethical issues. Objectivists also believe that these answers apply to everyone at every time. So when someone states that ethics is objective what they really mean is that it applies to everyone, no matter what. For example, If someone threw
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Cultural relativism states that there are correct answers to ethical issues. However, unlike objectivism, cultural relativism also states that these answers may vary from culture to culture. Subjectivism states that there are correct answers to ethical issues but that these answers depend on the individuals. Ethical Nihilism states that there are no correct answers to ethical issues. Nihilism states that since we do not know where we would find these ethical answers then there must not be any. Nihilists state that when we are discussing an ethical issue we are just projecting our emotions and there is no truth value to the claim. Overall, non-objectivists are stating that there may be correct answers to ethical issues; however, if there are, they do not apply to everyone or at every…show more content…
However; that is also the issue with this view. The issue with this theory is we cannot say that some action is inherently wrong. We would like to say that certain acts, like throwing an infant into a vat of acid for fun for example, are not permissible no matter where you are. In the case of adopting cultural relativism, we wouldn’t be able to say this because if the person’s culture allowed it and said that it was morally permissible then they would be in the right. Similarly in the case of adopting subjectivism, as long as the person committing the action thought this action was morally permissible then that statement could not be made. If we adopted ethical nihilism, statements like this would not be able to have any truth value. Since ethical nihilism states that there are no correct answers whatsoever we could not state that something was wrong and give it a truth factor. In order to do this there must be some correct alternative but nihilism states there is no such
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