Moral Issues

Hypothesis 1: Moral issues are those which involve a difference of belief and not a matter of preference. |
  | A. In other words, a moral dispute would involve a factual disagreement (or a disagreement in belief) where one or the other or neither belief is correct. It would not involve a disagreement in attitude (or a disagreement in feeling). |
  | If you need a clarification on this distinction together with some exercises in making the distinction go to the varieties ofDisagreements in Attitude and Belief and the quiz on that topic. |
  |   | 1. On this view, an example of a moral issue would be cheating on exams or obeying the law. |
  |   | 2. A nonmoral issue would involve examples like eating grapefruit or listening to music, c.p. |
  | B. Objection: Many nonmoral issues are factual. This distinction would not be sufficient distinguish between scientific and moral beliefs. |
II. Hypothesis 2: Moral issues are those which involve a specific kind of experience, i.e., a special kind of feeling. |
  | A. This feeling differs intuitively from other kinds of feelings such as religious or aesthetic feelings. (Some people think they arise from a conscience.) |
  | B. On this hypothesis, such feelings are a kind of satisfaction, shame, or guilt. |
  | C. Objection: such feelings depend to a large extent upon how one has been reared. |
  |   | 1. Sociopaths or pyschopaths have no such feelings. These words are informal descriptors for . . . |
  |   |   | "Antisocial personality: A personality disorder characterized by a basic lack of socialization and by behavior patterns that bring the individual repeatedly into conflict with society. People with this disorder are incapable of significant loyalty to individuals, groups, or social values and are grossly selfish, callous, irresponsible, impulsive, and unable to feel guilt or to learn from experience. Frustration tolerance is low. Such individuals tend to blame others or to offer plausible...