Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Secular foundations of ethics, and possible weaknesses

It seems that critics of the secular foundations of ethics need to concede, from the outset, two moral motivations that believers and secularists share, and these were pointed out by Hume: social utility and sympathy.
However, there are situations in which these motives don't seem to work. It is often socially not useful to do what is right. And we tend to sympathize with those most similar to us, but we have obligations to those we can't sympathize with.

4 comments:

Heuristics said...

I'm not going to be granting the existence of sympathy to anyone that thinks that all that exist are purposeless particles moving through the void.

im-skeptical said...

"I'm not going to be granting the existence of sympathy to anyone that thinks that all that exist are purposeless particles moving through the void."

It's evolution, dude. But that's OK. I'm not going to be granting the existence of your magical immaterial ghost, either.

Legion of Logic said...

"It's evolution, dude. But that's OK. I'm not going to be granting the existence of your magical immaterial ghost, either."

Considering that the implications of your own beliefs indicate your life and opinions matter objectively as much as those of a lizard or house fly, I doubt any of us are too troubled that you don't grant the existence of a "magical immaterial ghost", whatever that is.

im-skeptical said...

It's in the dictionary. Why don't you look it up?

And it doesn't trouble me, either, that you have such a scientifically ignorant understanding of reality.