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Ethical nihilism is the supposition that any philosophical discussion of ethics and values is meaningless because of the observable fact of moral diversity and disagreements. (Thus, ethical nihilism is a thesis about the philosophical treatment of values, while nihilism is about knowledge and values themselves.) What can often be observed is that what some people perceive as “good,” others perceive as “evil,” and still others are indifferent to it (for instance, abortion, the death penalty, or stem-cell research). From that evidence, ethical nihilism takes a more radical step than ethical relativism, which only goes as far as postulating that ethics is ultimately relative to the moral agent or observer. Ethical nihilism argues that, in the end, nothing matters in the moral arena. Many ethicists argue ...

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