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Science and morality are separate spheres of reasoning. Only by recognizing them as separate can we have them both. If discrimination is wrong only if group averages are the same, if war and rape and greed are wrong only if people are never inclined toward them, if people are responsible for their actions only if the actions are mysterious, then either scientists must be prepared to fudge their data or all of us must be prepared to give up our values.

From Stephen Pinker

Actually I do sense that sometimes. If people kill others for respect or money, we would more easily condemn the act than if people kill others for more mysterious or exotic reasons like religions.

Is it true? Any explanation on that?

Or may be it's the other way around. Say I kill someone for money. Ah you can't blame me. Everyone wants money. That's very understandable.

Which one is more likely inciting blame and responsibility? Mysterious motives or natural motives? And why?

No. It's not an ethics question. It's a psychology question. Do humans vary? If I am a lawyer, for example, should I make my client's motives mysterious? If so why would that work?

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1 Answer 1

Your asking an ethics question. I think you could rephrase your question as "which ends seem to better justify the means". The answer to this question depends on what kind of society and culture your in. In most modern societies death of an opponent in war is absolutely justified even lauded. However purely pacifist cultures do exist. Also in a lesser number of modern societies death for religious ideals is be praised like a woman who refuses an abortion even though she will certainly die in childbirth or congregations and missionaries which are martyred because of tyrannical governments or other religious groups. To the tyrannical government or religious institutions which kill religious or secular martyrs their actions are completely justified and are in their culture esteemed.

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No. It's not ethic question. It's psychology question. Do humans vary? If I am a lawyer, for example, should I make my client's motive misterious? –  Jim Thio Dec 26 '13 at 3:56
@JimThio like I said it would depend on what your culture feels is justified. there is no universal answer for every culture. –  caseyr547 Dec 26 '13 at 3:58

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