Download Prospects for a Common Morality by Gene Outka, John P. Reeder PDF

By Gene Outka, John P. Reeder

This quantity facilities on debates approximately how a ways ethical judgments bind throughout traditions and epochs. these days such debates seem specifically risky, either in pop culture and highbrow discourse: even if there's expanding contract that the ethical and political standards invoked in human rights files own cross-cultural strength, many sleek and postmodern advancements erode self assurance in ethical appeals that transcend an area consensus or follow outdoors a specific group. usually the purpose of departure for dialogue is the Enlightenment paradigm of a standard morality, within which it truly is assumed that yes unchanging ideals inhere within the constitution of human cause. while a few thinkers proceed to shield this paradigm, others regulate it in diversified methods with out leaving behind completely the try to deal with a common viewers, and nonetheless others jettison almost all of its distinguishing gains. displaying quite a number positions Western members soak up those debates, this quantity seeks to develop the substance of the debates themselves with no prejudging the result. Rival tests of the Enlightenment paradigm are provided from a number of philosophical and theological issues of view. as well as the editors, the participants comprise Robert Merrihew Adams, Annette C. Baier, Alan Donagan, Margaret A. Farley, Alan Gewirth, David Little, Richard Rorty, Jeffrey Stout, and Lee H. Yearley.

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Now when moral and other practical precepts are addressed to persons, two main assumptions are made about their required actions, and these assumptions indicate the generic features and necessary conditions of all action in the relevant sense. The first generic feature is voluntariness or freedom; the second is purposiveness or well-being. Freedom is the procedural necessary condition of action; it consists in controlling one's behavior by one's unforced choice while having knowledge of relevant circumstances.

Although only some persons may need to be rescued from deprivation while other persons are taxed in order to provide such rescue, this duality does not prevent the affirmative rights in question from being a part of common morality in both the substantive and the judgmental senses. These rights, as derivative from the principle of human rights, involve that each person always has, as a matter of principle, both the right to be treated in the appropriate helping way when he or she has the need and the duty to act helpfully when circumstances arise that require such action and when he or she then has the ability to do so; this ability includes the consideration of cost to oneself.

But in the effectuation of moral norms—making positive in beliefs and especially in actions and institutions the contents of the normative conception of morality—religion can be of help. It can provide rhetorical and dialectical motivations that lead many persons to act morally and to support institutions and policies that promote human rights. In all of this, however, morality is normatively the independent variable, even if, in positive terms, it may to some extent be causally dependent on religion for the positive effectuation of its norms.

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