I think you're right about that. Elizabeth Anscombe noted back in 1958 that ALL academic ethics (as taught in Philosophy texts) is based on "consequentialism" (she was the originator of this term), meaning that no act of any sort can be termed "immoral" ---murder,rape, slavery, abortion, sodomy, torture, massacre --- if the perpetrator hopes to gain something by it, which is sufficiently "good."
Anscombe herself was a Catholic and recognized God as moral law-giver. For a while she was working on a concept called "Virtue Ethics," based on Natural Law via Aristotle. But it's hard, maybe impossible, for "Virtue Ethics" to answer the very first question that comes up: why be virtuous? Why NOT be a self-centered jerk? Why NOT be cruel?
I don't think anybody has devised any ethical system that effectively replaces God.
Of course there are ethical atheists and agnostics; but whether they are conscious of it or not, they are living off the (dwindling) capital of a post-Judeo-Christian civilization.
posted on 10/01/2011 2:04:38 PM PDT
by Mrs. Don-o
(In theory. there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is. -Yogi Berra)
To: Mrs. Don-o
"Of course there are ethical atheists and agnostics; but whether they are conscious of it or not, they are living off the (dwindling) capital of a post-Judeo-Christian civilization. "
How much longer before the capital is all gone?
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