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Christian Tractatus

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

Since we have defined right action to be parasitic on our conception of the good, what is it that constitutes the good?

  1. In the introduction to this Appendix, I implied that ethical systems contain elements both of relative and of absolute truth. The good things that are prized by a society split into those that are that society's free choice (and are not further justifiable by appeals to the world) and those good things that are justifiable by appeals to the world.
  2. The good things that are justifiable by appeals to the world (for which justification will presently be given) are such as:
    • Physical life and health, including those things (in due proportion) that make life and health possible (such as food, clothing, shelter).
    • Freedom of the individual to pursue his own projects. This infrastructural good is a prerequisite for all else and is to be taken to include freedom from molestation by others.
  3. Examples of goods that are not justifiable by appeals to the world are such as:
    • A society's form of government (given that it provides those goods identified in the previous section).
    • A society's cultural identity.
  4. How can we justify this distinction between natural and arbitrary (cultural) goods? The naming convention just given is one such way. The first set of goods may be seen to be justified by "nature" in the sense that, for instance, the basic necessities of life are the natural prerequisites of any human life.
  5. However, are we justified in placing freedom of action & freedom from molestation in this category (as we have done)? The arguments for & against may be broken down as follows1.

Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
12/08/2007 10:17:46 435 (Non-theistic Ethics - Good) Non-theistic Ethics

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