Critically assess the view that the word “good” has no real meaning (35 marks)

2130 WordsNov 15, 20149 Pages
Critically assess the view that the word “good” has no real meaning (35 marks) Meta ethics looks at ethical language and helps us to identify whether the word good is meaningful. Analytical statements are sentences that are true because of the relationship between the subject and the predicate. Analytical statements are usually self-explanatory, e.g. all carnivores eat meat; we know what a carnivore eats which is meat, the subject is the carnivore and the predicate here is the meat. Analytical statements are logic based, they tell us about language but little meaningful information about the world. Also no additional meaning or knowledge is contained in the predicate that is not already given in the subject. Synthetic sentences may or…show more content…
Its power does not lie simply in how others respond to it. If ethical clams were contingent on emotions, they would change as emotions changed. They cannot be universal claims as the emotions of the speakers would vary. Even when moral statements are carried by a weight of public emotion, that does not provide reason for them to be adopted, nor does it make them right. Emotivism effectively prescribes complete freedom of action on the basis that everyone’s opinion is equally valid and everyone is therefore free to do what they choose irrespective of the opinion of others. How can we judge between two people’s moral opinions? What criteria is there - if any – for judging the relative merits of a moral viewpoint. Emotions can unite people in a common moral bond, but can also isolate groups and individuals. The emotional force with which a moral view is expressed is no recommendation of its value. Whereas prescriptivism is the belief that ethical statements are not only expressions of emotion, but intrinsically prescriptive, as they imply what ought to be done and that it is universal. The Prescriptivism approach would be the projection of your own emotion on other people. An example of this would be that “I think that recreational drug use is wrong and so should you.” This statement suggests that not only I think recreational drug use is wrong, but I think that you should adopt my opinion to. Strengths of prescriptivism are

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