Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ethics Without Religion

Philip Kitcher: Ethics Without Religion | berfrois:


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To say that ethics is founded in the command of God – or the dictates of Reason, for that matter – doesn’t help. Not every command should be obeyed, and it is crucial that the source of the command be a good one. Thus there must be some prior basis of goodness, antecedent to the source of the command, against which that source measures up. Failure to think in terms of that prior standard pervades the testimonies, offered in courtrooms from Jerusalem to Johannesburg, of those who protested that they were only following the orders of their powerful superiors. That sort of evasion is no more successful when the putative “superior” invoked is powerful beyond human comprehension.

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