Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Heteronomy's back

Four steps in the history of ethics in Western culture:

1.  God gives the moral law, which you should obey because it comes from God.  Being moral means being subject to another, namely God.

2.  The moral law is objective, and should not be accepted on authority.  Rather, universal reason will bring us to the same moral conclusions, to which we must freely bind ourselves if we are to be moral.  Being moral means being subject to yourself as rational being.

3.  The moral law is subjective, and can only be found within yourself.  There is no universal reason, and what is morally right for you may not be morally right for me.  Being moral means being subject to your own sense of morality and purpose.

4. The moral law is inter-subjective, and can only be discovered through social interaction.  There is no universal sense for what is right and wrong, but your action should be governed by whether it is likely to offend anyone else.  Being moral means being subject to literally everyone you come across.

No comments:

Post a Comment