The Basic Questions of Ethics
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The Basic Questions of Ethics book
I. In setting out the case against theistic morality it has been assumed that it is quite clear what morality is. It has been assumed, for example, that the concern of morality is with the actions of men in the world, and with the general principles under which those actions can be brought; that some acts should be performed simply because it is right to perform them, regardless of the consequences to oneself; and that the 'rightness' of an act cannot be established by appeal to matters of fact. It was also noted that a rational and prudent man could construct a moral code-a set of general principles as to how men should act-by considering what classes of action must be enjoined or forbidden if peace and security were to be attained in society. Of course, such a man must ultimately say that it is right to aim at peace and security, either for their own sake or as a means to attaining further goals such as personal happiness, which it is right to aim at.