Ethics: A Very Short Introduction
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Our self-image as moral, well-behaved creatures is dogged by scepticism, relativism, hypocrisy, and nihilism, by the fear that in a Godless world science has unmasked us as creatures fated by our genes to be selfish and tribalistic, or competitive and aggressive. In this clear introduction to ethics Simon Blackburn tackles the major moral questions surrounding birth, death, happiness, desire and freedom, showing us how we should think about the meaning of life, and how we should mistrust the soundbite-sized absolutes that often dominate moral debates.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
‘signatures’ written by God into natural ven threats t features, so that, for example, the shape of plants might indicate what they would cure. It also meant uncovering the hidden meanings behind the analogies, parables, and apparently o ethics unbelievable historical reports of Scripture. In its modern application, to the hermeneutic eye things may be similarly far from what they seem. So we get the view that pacifism conceals aggression, or a desire to help masks a desire for power, or
that extra time. So of course that is preferable to the shorter span. We can mourn what we will never do. Equally, the death of a child is a more moving event than that of an adult, because of all that the child never enjoyed and never did. There is something mock-heroic about the stance that death is not an evil. If it is not an evil, then there seems to be a corollary, which is 61 that there is nothing especially bad about killing; or, if there is something bad about killing, it is because it
pressure to speed things up. Myself, I cannot see this argument as very powerful. Relatives and providers can indeed pressure the elderly and powerless to do all kinds of things they don’t want to do. But the belief that those closest to you would be relieved if you died is a terrible misfortune anyhow, whether or not there is the option of complying. The evil seems small and controllable, compared with the painless termination of many of the worst kinds of dying. As is often pointed out, in
marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. Article 17 Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Appen dix Article 18 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience
horrendous punishments and delicious rewards in their gifts. That doesn’t make them good. Furthermore, to obey their commandments just because of their power would be servile and self-interested. Suppose, for instance, I am minded to do something bad, such as to betray someone’s trust. It isn’t good enough if I think: ‘Well, let me see, the gains are such-and-such, but now I have to factor in the chance of Se God hitting me hard if I do it. On the other hand, God is forgiving ven threats t and