Mapping the world's opinions

Welcome to Ethics

This is a place to read about and contribute to discussions about ethics. Discover the controversies surround the world of morality, right and wrong, and impossible questions we've been seeking to answer for millennia.
Welcome to Ethics
Welcome to Ethics
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Spotlight

A selection of interesting maps for you to explore.

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Should people switch to electric cars for the sake of the environment?

The environment has been breaking down over the years and only recently have we tried to stop it. One of the biggest problems is the waning ozone layer. The ozone layer keeps the earth at a safe temperature and provides it with the perfect atmosphere for life. One of the substances that breaks down the ozone layer is carbon monoxide, which usually come from cars. Electric cars are presented as a p...

Ethics, Nature
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Is tourism beneficial to developing countries?

Everywhere is a tourist destination nowadays. With flights available every hour, the possibilities are endless. However, this combined with the internet's ability to help people plan trips anywhere means that many developing countries that previously had no tourism now are flooded with them. When tourists land in a country in the midst of developing, is it beneficial to that place? Or is it detrim...

Ethics, Society

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Does the marketplace of ideas work?

It is said that truth is found where opinions intersect. The marketplace of ideas is the figurative town thoroughfare where zealots and intellectuals barter, subjecting their ideas to the gauntlet of public debate. Much how the best goods and services may rise to the top in a free market economy through innovation and competition, truth and the soundest ideas and philosophies may rise to promin...

Ethics , Philosophy

Is advertising morally wrong?

Advertising is ubiquitous to modern day society. You would be hard-pressed to go a day or even an hour without seeing some form of advertising. However, the whole point of advertising is to manipulate our minds into largely pointless purchases. Should we condone the amount of advertising we see? Or is it wrong?

Ethics , Society

Should schools be able to ban books?

Hundreds of books have been challenged or banned in schools throughout the US. These books are banned on a huge range of reasons, from obscene language to sexual content to violence to the discussion of menstruation. But all of these things are facts of life. Should academic institutions have the power to censor books?

Education , Ethics

Is diversity critical to a business' financial success?

Research proves that diversity (gender, ethnic and social) can improve work place culture and productivity. Some argue that workplace diversity can increase growth or revenues, by increasing the comfort of workers and ensuring different views are represented. But diversity really have that much of a baring on a business' success?

Economics , Ethics , Gender , Politics , Society

What are the positions on gun control?

There are more than 300,000,000 guns in the United States. Guns have claimed the lives of more American citizens than all the wars since the American revolution put together. With guns holding a unique place in the American psyche, should there be measures in place to limit gun ownership? What should these measures look like?

Economics , Ethics , Politics , Science

Is direct democracy superior to representative democracy?

At a time when voters are increasingly disengaged from the political process and disillusioned with their elected officials, many are starting to question whether direct democracy could hold the answer to solving the problem of the growing democratic malaise.

Ethics , Politics

Mapping the world's opinions.

Do theodicies explain why God allows evil in the world?

A theodicy is a story that attempts to demonstrate that the presence of evil in the world does not disprove the existence of a perfectly good, almighty, and all-knowing God. Theodicies and defences are two forms of response to this conundrum. Evil can be classified into natural evil such as disease and physical catastrophes or moral evil, which can be summed up as "man's inhumanity to man."

Ethics , Philosophy , Religion

Is it ethical to stockpile groceries during the coronavirus crisis?

All around the world we are seeing images of emptied supermarket shelves as people prepare for lockdowns. Is it ethical to ensure you have enough supplies for your family without regards to others? Or is it unethical not to think of other (potentially more disadvantaged) people's needs?

Ethics , Society

Should human cloning be banned?

Cloning is the creation of a genetic copy of a sequence of DNA or of the entire genome of an organism. In the cloning debate, the term ‘cloning’ typically refers to a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). SCNT involves transferring the nucleus of a somatic cell into an oocyte form, where most of the DNA has been removed. The manipulated oocyte is then treated with an electric curr...

Ethics , Science

Are zoos bad?

Zoos can be a fun trip for any age, young or old. It may be the only chance most people will be able to see various exotic animals from around the world. Yet, they have also been known to be unethical or dangerous for both the animals and people. Are zoos truly bad?

Ethics , Nature

Is cannibalism ethical?

Cannibalism - the practice of eating human flesh - is illegal in every country on Earth. Yet, the moral context is far from straightforward: is it always wrong? What about in matters of life and death? Should having the victim's consent impact the way it is viewed?

Ethics , People

Should people wear fur?

Numerous fashion houses and even entire cities have banned the sale or use of fur. The tides are turning against the fur industry as people become more conscious of the way in it exploits and abuses animals.

Ethics , Fashion

Should corporations have "morals"?

With BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, and Apple’s ‘batterygate’, there is no shortage of corporations behaving in a morally reprehensible way to cut costs or increase profits. Should corporations have morals? Are business ethics important? Is it a firm’s collective responsibility to behave in an ethical way?

Economics , Ethics

Should voting in elections be mandatory?

Countries like Australia have mandatory voting to increase political participation. In the face of growing public disillusionment with politics and a substantial amount of the adult populace who refuse to vote in elections, should voting be mandatory?

Ethics , Politics , Society

Should the wealthy pay more taxes?

Western societies have become more economically unequal, with a small minority holding the majority of the wealth while public services continue to decline. The back drop of austerity has made this inequality even starker, leading many to question whether the richest should be paying more to help fund public services?

Economics , Ethics , Society

Were the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki morally justified?

Was President Harry Truman justified when he authorised the use of nuclear weapons against Japanese civilians? Did the bombings end the war with fewer deaths than an American invasion of Japan would have resulted in? Or was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki unimportant to Japanese military leaders when they decided to surrender?

Ethics , History , International Relations , Politics

Is torture ever justified?

Torture is the intentional use of extreme physical suffering on a non-consenting, defenceless person for the purpose of breaking their will. While it is a horrific act, defendants argue that torture can produce information that is extremely valuable to governments and can save many lives.

Ethics , International Relations

Is affirmative action racist?

Affirmative action is a policy in which an individual's race, sex, religion or national origin are taken into account to increase opportunities provided to an underrepresented group in society. It is used to encourage diversity and equality. Affirmative action can most often be seen in academic institutions, such as college admissions, scholarships and programs.

Ethics , Society

Should hate speech be illegal?

Hate speech has been around since time began, when feuds began occurring between different groups. Is it something that should be lawfully punished ? Or is it covered as a part of someone's right to free speech?

Ethics , Society

Should foreign residents be eligible to vote?

People are become increasingly globally mobile, with foreign nationals accounting for ever higher population percentages in most nations on Earth. Should they be allowed to vote?

Ethics , Politics , Society

Should military conscription be banned?

Conscription, also known as compulsory military service, is the practice of requiring military service of all qualifying individuals within a nation. Chiefly known for having been employed during the First and Second World Wars, the duration of modern-day conscription can range anywhere from two weeks to two years. But does conscription foster hyper-nationalism and unhealthy aggression? Is the go...

Ethics , Politics

Should confederate monuments be removed?

Whether or not confederate monuments should be removed is hotly debated. On one hand, confederacy has a negative history. Automatically, it’s associated with slavery and Civil War. On the other hand, confederate monuments are simply a representation of history. Shouldn’t all history, good or bad, be put on display?

Ethics , Politics , Society

Should surrogacy be legal?

Surrogacy refers to the process through which a woman intentionally becomes pregnant with a baby she does not intend to keep, instead carrying the foetus for its intended parent or parents, usually because the parent is unable to do so without her. Surrogacy may be altruistic where the surrogate is not paid, or commercial where she is. Countries and states often have unclear legislation on surroga...

Ethics , Health , Science , Society

Are vaccines safe?

Immunisation is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. "Anti-vaxxers” have firm convictions about vaccines’ harmful effects and many people believe their children have been harmed by vaccines. Others have ‘vaccine hesistancy’: they are not inherently anti-vaccine, but are concerned or confused by the mixed m...

Economics , Ethics , People , Religion , Science , Society , Technology

Should prisons be abolished?

Prison abolitionism is an ongoing debate in American society in particular. This map addresses the different views and arguments surrounding this question.

Ethics , Law , Society

Is political correctness detrimental to society?

Although founded on the idea that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, political correctness is frequently used to dismiss opinions as racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic. What is the real impact of political correctness? Does it foster harmony, or is it a weapon to stifle debate and dismiss controversial opinions as invalid?

Economics , Ethics , History , People , Philosophy , Politics

Is shale oil a sustainable business model?

The drilling of shale oil has been hailed as revolution that has brought cheap gas and oil to American and made America a net exporter of oil and natural gas. However, there is serious debate as to whether shale is a sustainable business model given the high number of bankruptcies in the sector.

Economics , Ethics , Politics

Should we legalize all drugs?

Most countries in the world have laws banning the production, sale, and possession of illicit drugs. Despite billions being spent each year on enforcing these laws, a robust criminal market for drugs persists, and many places are undergoing epidemics of drug addiction. The challenges of enforcing drug prohibitions have led some advocates to propose legalizing drugs, while others maintain that laws...

Ethics , Law , Society

Should corporal punishment be allowed?

Corporal punishment - state sanctioned physical punishment - has been banned in 58 countries worldwide. However, some argue these bans deter violent crime. Should corporal punishment be allowed? Can it be an effective disciplinary tool? Or is it linked to skyrocketing crime rates?

Education , Ethics , Society

What is cultural appropriation?

Cultural appropriation, the adoption of aspects of another culture by members of a dominant culture, is not a new phenomenon. Today, wearing an insensitive Halloween costume or sporting a certain hairstyle can draw accusations of cultural appropriation. But what is cultural appropriation? A form of neo-colonialism? Racism? Cultural theft? Political correctness gone too far? Or is cultural appropri...

Ethics , Politics , Society

Should the drinking age be 18?

The risks associated with drinking have led most countries to set a minimum legal age for the purchase or consumption of alcohol, but the specific drinking age varies from place to place. The most common drinking age around the world is 18, but the United States has a minimum legal drinking age of 21, and ages from 15 to 25 are used in other nations. Is 18 the ideal standard, or should the drinkin...

Ethics , Politics , Society

What are the views on the legalization of gay marriage?

To be denied the opportunity to marry is to be locked out of one of life’s main identity-defining rituals. Marriage is both an expressive and legal act but for many same-sex couples around the world, it is not an option. Should our legal definition of marriage be expanded to include same-sex couples?

Ethics , Politics , Religion , Society

Are individual opinions of value?

Critical thinking, reason and logic are the crucible upon which we hope to forge fact and truth. But some areas of thought, such as philosophy, are more open to debate and personal viewpoints. Other areas of thought may be perverted by the idea that opinion as as good as fact... where should the line be drawn?

Ethics , Society

Should abortion be legal?

Throughout the world, abortions and a woman's right to have them remain taboo. As abortion is illegal in many countries, women sometimes going to extreme and dangerous lengths to obtain them. Going beyond whether or not terminating a pregnancy is right or wrong, what are the pros and cons of abortion? And should abortion as a medical procedure be legal?

Economics , Ethics , Gender , Health , News , Philosophy , Religion , Science , Society

Should recreational marijuana be legal?

Following a public outcry over the case of Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy with epilepsy who was prohibited from bringing back a life-changing supply of cannabis oil from Canada, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has now been made legal in the UK. Unsurprisingly this has re-ignited the ongoing question: should we legalise the recreational use of cannabis?

Economics , Ethics , Health , Politics , Science

Should you go vegan?

Consuming meat is a big part of some diets around the world, particularly in western food traditions. However, with production being land and resource intensive, and with a number of environmental and health impacts to consider we must ask, should we be going vegan?

Economics , Ethics , Health , Politics , Society

Should we stop eating meat for the environment?

Several forms of pollution - e.g. deforestation, eutrophication of water, leaching of nitrates, antibacterial resistance, release of ammonia, nitrous oxides and methane in the atmosphere - are associated to livestock production. Should we stop eating meat to prevent major environmental pollution?

Economics , Ethics , Health , Nature , Society

#CakeGate: can you refuse service on the basis of faith?

The cake that Colorado baker Jack Phillips refused to bake was the kindling that lit a nation-wide discussion in the USA. Can a business deny service to an individual on the basis of their sexual orientation? As the Supreme Court came to a verdict in favour of the baker, the narrowness of the ruling still left the question unanswered. The baker was quickly followed by others who stood up in solida...

Ethics , Politics , Religion

Does the West still value human rights universally in light of its dismissal on Khashoggi's death?

The West used to be the loudest voice advocating for human rights. But Western governments' evasive stances on the horrifying death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi government dissident, suggest this is no longer the case. In the light of huge economic links and political turbulence, are human rights still valued in western civilization?

Ethics , International Relations , News , People , Politics , Society

What separates humans from animals?

For some, it is obvious that we are not the same as animals. But is it just our ability to imagine and create stories about there being a difference that separates us? Or is there something more tangible?

Ethics , Philosophy , Science , Society

Would human extinction be a tragedy?

Would it be a tragedy if humans were wiped out? Would it be a cause for celebration given the environmental destruction we have caused? Maybe it would be neither?

Ethics , Philosophy , Society

Should polygraphs be admissible in court?

Once called "the strip searches of the mind", polygraph test creators maintain that their lie detectors can detect when a suspect is lying in 80-95% of cases. Should we use them in the justice system to secure convictions? Or are polygraphs a dangerous and gross violation of a suspect's legal rights?

Ethics , Science , Society

Should we stop using Facebook because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal?

Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm. In March, allegations broke that CA obtained private information from an estimated 50 million Facebook users without their permission. This data was then shared with third parties, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the 2016 US Presidential Elections. The issue has raised concerns about privacy in the age of Big Data, a...

Ethics , News , Politics , Society

Should universities no-platform controversial speakers?

Universities are meant to be the burgeoning hubs of idea exchange, yet denying controversial speakers a platform on campuses has become increasingly acceptable. Are there good reasons to no-platform inflammatory speakers?

Education , Ethics , International Relations , Politics

Are anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism the same thing?

With the UK's Labour Party, the French Parliament, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the US all at the centre of rows over anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, what is the relationship between the two concepts? Is either acceptable? Or do both words describe damaging and dangerous prejudices against Jewish communities across the globe?

Ethics , History , International Relations , Religion , Society

Should UK students be charged university fees?

Just over twenty years ago, higher education was free in the UK for any student who secured a place on a university course. Flash forward to today and students graduate with an average debt of £50,000. Critics claim this is wildly unfair and inhibits social mobility. Others claim that high fees improve equality. With both sides aiming to reduce inequality, why do the positions on implementing fees...

Economics , Education , Ethics , Politics

Should countries accept immigrants?

Donald Trump wants to build a wall. The United Kingdom tries to leave the European Union in an attempt to regain sovereignty over its borders. Every year, thousands of people drown in the Mediterranean while trying to cross over into the EU. At the same time, many European countries sell citizenship to wealthy individuals. Do states have a right to pick and choose who may enter into their respecti...

Ethics , International Relations , Politics

How should we address homelessness?

Homelessness is on the rise in a number of major cities around the world, like San Francisco, USA and London, UK. The human cost and tragedy of homelessness is shocking, and disappointing that it is happening in some of the richest cities in the world. There are many ideas about what could be done. So approaches would best address the problem of homelessness?

Economics , Ethics , Society

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