The Ethical Problem on Earth and on Dunatopia. Ethics and Religion

  • Angelo FusariEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


Confusion over the appropriate method of the social sciences has aggravated the social dimension of ethical questions, which have become confused, controversial, and, indeed, a true value-ideological puzzle. The chapter presents an overview of the current confusion on ethics, its main causes and its implications. It is noted that use of the observation-verification method puts ethics outside science, for such a method is unable to provide a scientific explanation of values. The result of this exclusion is the so-called doctrine of ethical relativism, which assigns a free choice with regard to values, a position only contradicted by the no less antiscientific claim that ethics is an object of faith. One result is that ethics becomes one of the exacerbating causes of conflicts among people. Making use of our notions of functional and ontological imperatives, this chapter criticizes some of the main sociological treatments of ethics, most notably those associated with the notion of natural rights and utilitarianism, but also some aspects of later Christian teachings and capitalistic ideas as well. A reinterpretation of the so-called secularization movement is offered. We unmask the idea that, in ethics, everyone has reason for his choices from his own point of view, and we demonstrate the erroneousness of any explicit renunciation of the possibility of providing scientific explanations of ethical problems.


Ethics Ethical relativism Ethical absolutism Ethical objectivism (the scientific explanation of fundamental ethical values) Natural rights Utilitarianism Secularization movement 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RomeItaly

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