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Christian Tractatus

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

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. Consequently, 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.

  1. The above argument bears a formal resemblance to Kant's Categorical Imperative, which states that one should "act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law" (The Metaphysics of Morals).
  2. It is to be noted that the above argument is undermined if any individual's main goal is the subversion of the goals of others (as is the case in many children's squabbles and religious & political disputes). This is a special case of a breakdown of final vocabulary, as noted above.
  3. In such a case, I can see no alternative to physical force as the ultimate enforcer of a social ethical system. Any society has to determine what kind of actions it is not prepared to tolerate. These will usually be those actions that will, if left unrestrained, lead to the dissolution or distortion of the society.
  4. Hence, either the society submits itself to a revolution, and accepts the deviant actions, or it resists the changes. In the latter case, since people are corporeal beings, physical restraint will ultimately be required.

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12/08/2007 10:17:46 505 (Non-theistic Ethics - Collective - Selfishness) Non-theistic Ethics - Collective

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