Moral facts

Are there moral facts? For example, is it a fact that “copying homework assignments is wrong”? Or is this merely an opinion or belief? In “Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts,” Justin McBrayer explains that there are moral facts and along the way raises some useful distinctions about facts, values, beliefs, opinions, and the truth … though it’s clear from readers’ comments not everyone agrees. (Also, it’s “ad nauseam,” not “ad nauseum.”)

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One thought on “Moral facts

  1. The moral person seeks the best good and least harm for everyone. The ethical person seeks to follow the best rules. The best rules serve moral intent. That’s how rules are judged and why rules change.

    A moral fact would be something like, “a cup of water is good for the person in the desert dying of thirst”, or, “a cup of water is bad for the person drowning in the swimming pool”. These would be “facts” because they are objectively true.

    The rule “always give someone a cup of water” would not be a good rule to follow all the time. Rules are judged by how well they serve moral intent.

    Another example would be how to protect Anne Frank and her family hiding in the attic when the Nazi’s bang on the door and demand “Are there any Jews here?” An ethical person might want to tell the truth, but a moral person would lie.

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