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ETHICAL PHILOSOPHY SELECTOR
These questions reflect the dilemmas that have captured the attention of history’s most significant ethical philosophers. Answer the questions as best you can. When you’re finished answering the questions, press "Select Philosophy" to generate your customized match of ethical philosophers/philosophies. The list orders the philosophers/philosophies according to their compatibility with your expressed opinions on ethics. Click on a philosopher/philosophy to see a summary and links. We hope you enjoy this selector and we encourage your further philosophical explorations. --Tara Anderson
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1. MORAL STATEMENTS Moral statements are primarily:
a) statements of fact or truth (e.g. "Murder is wrong" means "It is a fact that murder is wrong").
b) statements of the speaker's desire/emotion?(e.g. "Murder is wrong" means "I hate murder").
c) statements of command (e.g. "Murder is wrong" means "I say: don't murder").
d) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices

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2. PURPOSE TO LIFE Does each person have a moral purpose/morally ideal way to live?
a) Yes, the ideal life exists outside of one's preferences and is the same for all people
b) Yes, but the way to live in order to meet that purpose is unique for each individual
c) Yes, but following moral law is the only standard that a person must meet
d) No, yet there are ways to act that are inherently more conducive to the self-interest of the person who is acting
e) No, yet there are logically consistent ways to act and logically inconsistent ways to act
f) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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3. PROPER ORIGIN OF MORALITY Where does the proper distinction between "good" and "bad" come from?
a) A moral realm that is completely unique, transcendent.
b) Every individual, through their choice to pursue that which they desire.
c) God's will
d) From holistic forces of the universe (may involve divine power or not).
e) Human nature, with the natural interests of people
f) Human intellect, with the natural capabilities of human thought
g) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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4. SOCIETAL INFLUENCE Must a person be coerced/ influenced at some level by societal powers in order to live morally/virtuously?
a) Yes, people will be good only when ruling forces of society use the power of force to make them be as such.
b) Yes, people will try to be good when they have knowledge of the virtuous life, but societal guidance and reinforcement (sometimes forceful) is necessary.
c) Sort of, society doesn't have to coerce a person to find morality, but the interest/rights of others in society must be conveyed to a person in order for that person to determine right from wrong.
d) No, society should be not be an influence on a person when one is trying to find virtue.
e) No, society must be physically abandoned in all its forms in order to find virtue.
f) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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5. VIRTUOUS LIFE To be virtuous/live morally, we should primarily make moral distinctions according to:
a) our passions, desires, and sentiment.
b) our reasoning that is used to achieve our will.
c) our inherent knowledge (what we know without experimentation).
d) our empirical knowledge (what we know with experimentation).
e) our intellect in general, but not to achieve desires.
f) religious revelation and spiritual reflection.
g) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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6. HAPPINESS Will using morality properly necessarily result in maximization of our own happiness?
a) Yes.
b) No, not necessarily.
c) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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Books about philosophers and philosophy. Click on the covers to read more about them at Amazon.com. Books about individual philosophers are included on the descriptions page.



7. UNIVERSAL LAW Should I act as if the maxim (principle) with which I act were to become the universal law for all rational people?
a) Yes, and any deviation from this rule is wrong.
b) Yes, but in a very loose manner, evaluating the unique specifics of the situation is essential.
c) No, there is a consistent morality that applies to all, but their methods may differ greatly.
d) No, one's own actions are not morally equivalent to the actions of others.
e) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices.
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8. END, MEANS, INTENT Which is the most important, morally?
a) The intent (the choice to do something or the will).
b) The means (the way something is done).
c) The ends (the results from the action).
d) None of them are significantly more important than the others.
e) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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9. INDIVIDUAL & OTHERS Is the self-pleasure or self-preservation of the individual ever in conflict with the same type of interests of others?
a) No, and virtuous living is consistently beneficial to the individual and the community.
b) Yes, and it is wrong to be selfish, one should lean towards benevolence.
c) Yes, and neither the interest of own self nor the interest of the other is more important.
d) Yes, and acting in one's own self-interest is fine.
e) Yes, and acting in one's own self-interest is morally essential.
f) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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10. LIBERTY Would it be ideal to maximize pleasure for all people even at the cost of liberty for some?
a) Yes
b) No, we need liberty
c) No, maximization of pleasure for all people has nothing to do with morality.
d) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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11. ASCETIC LIFE Is ascetic living (simple life with a minimum of physical comforts) conducive to being virtuous?
a) Yes, it is essential to live this way
b) Pretty much, but it isn't particularly essential to live this way
c) No, physical comforts are fine, they may even be rewarding
d) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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12. VIRTUOUS PERSON A virtuous person can be described best as:
a) Strong, powerful and passionate
b) Strong, powerful and rational
c) Humble, restrained and spiritual
d) Humble, restrained and rational
e) Caring and loving
f) Concerned with others, yet very rational
g) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
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