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Why Should I Be Moral?

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WHY SHOULD I BE MORAL? PLATO
Jorge Mendieta

•Meta-ethical positions -Nihilism -Absolutism -Relativism •Nihilists debate whether or not one can justify morality without appeal to religion •Certain people believe that one must appeal to God to support moral beliefs •Religious moralists argue that without God, life has no meaning and there is reason to be good or just •Secular moralists claim that morality is independent from God and religion.

Pascal’s Wager
•Blaise Pascal claimed that we do not need to have decisive proof of God’s existence in order to adopt a religious morality •Should we believe in God or not? •We can act as if God exists, or we can act as if God does not exist •Belief requires finite sacrifice for the infinite reward, while disbelief gets one finite rewards on the threat of infinite punishment •According to the diagram, in the absence of knowing whether God does or does not exist, we should act as if he does since the benefits ultimately outweigh the costs

•“Why should we be moral when it is our self-interest to be immoral?” (Plato, 53)

•Egoism is a challenge to morality

•Two forms: Egoism Proper & Ethical Egoism

•Egoists admit that occasionally it is in our interest to be moral

ORIGIN OF JUSTICE
•“They say that to do wrong is naturally good, to be wronged is bad, but the suffering of injury so far exceeds in badness the good of inflicting it that when men have done wrong to each other and suffered it, and have had a taste of both, those who are unable to avoid the latter and practice the former decide that it is profitable to come to an agreement with each other neither to inflict injury nor to suffer it. As a result, they begin to make laws and covenants, and the law’s command they call lawful and just. This, they say, is the origin and essence of justice; it stands between the best and the worst, the best being to do...

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