Moral Nihilism


If we take moral scepticism seriously and find that we cannot find a satisfactory answer to the sceptic, we seem to be faced with the prospect that we cannot really justify morality.    This is the view that there are no such things as right and wrong, and no such thing as morality in general (or that if there is then we cannot know it).  Meta-ethically speaking, moral nihilism is anti-realist (morality does not exist; there are no moral truths), non-cognitivist (we cannot know of intelligibly think about morality) or both. 

We have already done some work on moral philosophy and developed a sense that moral argument is often hard to grab hold of.  What if this is because there isn’t anything really there?  What if we’re just fooling ourselves into thinking that our own creations have somehow taken on a life of their own?

Note that one might be a sceptic as far as the morals of a particular society goes without denying the possibility of moral truth.  However, to establish the truth of morality, what kinds of response might convince a sceptic?  Could we ever ‘prove’ that there is some truth in the idea that we should behave morally?


3 Responses to “Moral Nihilism”

  1. I consider myself to be a moral nihilist (or “amoralist”). In a way, morality doesn’t even seem to actually mean anything. It’s just a variable that people use to describe different viewpoints, some of which may be outlandish while others are more reasonable. If you ask 10 different people what it means for an action to be morally good, you will probably get 10 very different answers.

  2. Would all of these answers be equally justified?

  3. 3 utopia

    If all of these answers be equally justified, it turns to the beginning that there is nothing like morality or moral truths. Different viewpoints of morality would prove that there cannot be one moral truth or a set of moral truths which have the same basis of moral theory. So, there is nothing like morality, if we accept people as individuals, not just crowds holding same moral truths.

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