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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)


A fundamental question in building any theory of ethics is: should ethics be individual or collective? Because, as a contingent fact, we live in societies, I suggest that ethical principles have to be treated as collective.

  1. Let us assume that an individual acts so as to achieve his own ends wholly at the expense of the ends of others (or, at least, ignoring the aims of others). In this case, he can only expect others to act likewise. This will lead to many of his aims being thwarted and a lot of energy being wasted on conflict. Consequently1, he will have a greater chance of increasing the percentage of fulfilled aims if a principle of co-operation is adopted rather than one of confrontation.
  2. While a strategy may be wholly competitive or partly or wholly co-operative, the fact that the strategies of others are involved implies that an ethical theory that aims to achieve its ends cannot ignore the aims of others. I will argue that aiming at a measure of co-operation is the most efficient strategy.




Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
12/08/2007 10:17:46 432 (Non-theistic Ethics - Collective) Non-theistic Ethics

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Non-theistic Ethics - Collective - Selfishness        

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Summary of Note Links to this Page

Non-theistic Ethics        

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