Assess the Claim That There Are Objective Moral Statements

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By LydiaEveGrant
Words 1458
Pages 6
An objective moral statement is a statement that has a definite truth-value; they are not subjective, even if you are not aware of whether or not a statement is true or false the fact of the matter is it is either one or the other. This is a cognitivist view, although there are many branches of cognitivism they all have one thing in common, they believe that moral statements express a genuine belief.
Moral Realism is a cognitivist theory, they believe that all moral statements have a truth value and there are moral facts which determine that truth-value. Moral Realism is not to be confused with Universalism (the theory that there are absolute values) because a moral realist does not believe that a particular moral judgement has to apply to all situations. For example one could say objectively ‘abortion is wrong’ but in certain situations it is morally acceptable or right. So abortion could be viewed as wrong after a careless pregnancy where a man and woman do not use protection to prevent it, but still be viewed as an acceptable option for a rape victim who becomes pregnant. A moral realist would argue that this was a moral fact.
However an opposing view to moral realism is the non-cognitivist view, Emotivism. Emotivists believe that when you are expressing a moral statement you are merely expressing an emotional response, this is different to expressing an emotional opinion. An opinion can either be true or false whereas an expression of emotion cannot be. For example, if I was to bang my elbow it would be an expression of emotion if I said ‘ouch’ because it can’t be true or false, however if I was to say ‘I banged my elbow and it hurt’ I would be describing an emotion, this would have a truth value as this is the nature of opinions. An emotivist would say that when we say ‘Slavery is wrong’ we are actually saying ‘BOO- slavery’ and if we were to say ‘abortion is…...

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