¿Hay algo que importe?

OXFORD - ¿Pueden los juicios morales ser verdaderos o falsos? ¿O en el fondo es la ética, una cuestión puramente subjetiva, que las personas pueden elegir, o tal vez relativa a la cultura de la sociedad en que uno vive? Puede que hayamos encontrado la respuesta.

Entre los filósofos, la opinión de que los juicios morales afirman verdades objetivas ha estado fuera de moda desde la década de 1930, cuando los positivistas lógicos afirmaron que, debido a que parece que no hay forma de verificar la verdad de los juicios morales, no puede haber otra cosa que expresiones de nuestros sentimientos o actitudes. Así, por ejemplo, cuando decimos, "No deberías golpear a ese niño," todo lo que estamos haciendo es expresar nuestra desaprobación de que se golpee al niño, o animar a que se lo deje de golpear. No hay verdad sobre la cuestión de si es o no es malo hacerlo.

Aunque a menudo este punto de vista de la ética ha sido cuestionado, muchas de las objeciones han venido de pensadores religiosos que apelaban a los mandamientos de Dios. Estos argumentos tienen una atracción limitada para el mundo en gran medida secular de la filosofía occidental. Otras defensas de la verdad objetiva en la ética no han recurrido a la religión, pero poco han podido contrarrestar el estado de ánimo filosófico imperante.

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