Australian-born American College Textbook Writer, Fiction Author
There are two types of justice: retributive justice and distributive justice. Retributive justice requires punishment for wrongdoing in proportion to the magnitude of the crime... Distributive justice refers to the fair distribution of benefits and burdens in a society.
The naturalist fallacy draws a conclusion about what ought to be, based on what is. The fact that people believe something to be true, whether it be the flatness of the earth or the morality of slavery, does not make it true or moral.
Ethical subjectivism absolves people of ever having to deliberate before making a moral judgment, whereas cultural relativism absolves people from moral responsibility so long as they follow the crowd. At the same time, almost everyone wants others to treat them with respect and be held morally culpable for their hurtful actions.
If we are unwilling to universalize a particular moral maxim - that is, apply it consistently in all similar cases - we should either modify the maxim or toss it out.
A virtue is an admirable character trait or disposition to habitually act in a manner that benefits ourselves and others. The actions of virtuous people stem from a respect and concern for the well-being of themselves and others.
Being morally good, for the majority of Americans, means following the norms and values of their society or culture - whether this be their peer culture, their church, their country, or a combination of these. The theory that morality is relative to societal norms is known in moral philosophy as cultural relativism. Many others claim that morality is relative to the individual and is different for every person depending on what they feel. This theory is known in philosophy as ethical subjectivism.
Unlike Hinduism and most Western ethics, Buddhism is nonhierarchical, emphasizing oneness and the interrelatedness and moral value of all living beings. Right living, therefore, includes compassion and an attitude of nonviolence toward all of nature.