Critically assess the view that the word “good” has no real meaning (35 marks)
Meta ethics looks at ethical language and helps us to identify whether the word good is meaningful. Analytical statements are sentences that are true because of the relationship between the subject and the predicate. Analytical statements are usually self-explanatory, e.g. all carnivores eat meat; we know what a carnivore eats which is meat, the subject is the carnivore and the predicate here is the meat. Analytical statements are logic based, they tell us about language but little meaningful information about the world. Also no additional meaning or knowledge is contained in the predicate that is not already given in the subject. Synthetic sentences may or …show more content…
Weaknesses of prescriptivism are that the naturalistic fallacy claims that what we ought to do can’t be based on the fact of what ‘is’ this means that we can’t just turn what appear to be right or wrong into a rule, E.g. murder is wrong so we should put the murderer to death because that’s what they deserve, they took away an innocent human life so why shouldn’t we do the same to them, it makes the world a better place. This would be highly immoral although the death sentence is still performed in some states of America and other countries
A world without any objective moral absolutes would descend into absolute chaos, this statement would be true as if the world only relied on people’s opinions to make the rules e.g. recreational drugs are an enjoyable pastime, we should allow that as a rule, or I like killing people, let’s make killing people allowed. This would cause nit only riots but the whole world if it relied on anyone’s opinions as rules would descend into chaos.
In contrast to non-cognitivism is cognitivism. Cognitivists believe that moral concepts are real things whilst non-cognitivists believe that moral concepts have no actual existence, and are matters of personal choice. In the cognitivist approach there are things that are intrinsically bad, good, right or wrong, they perceive moral concepts to be real. Therefore we