By John Wilson (auth.)
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Additional info for A Preface to Morality
197) which he cannot blithely throw over in those cases (however few or hypothetical) in which they brought him to grief. If there were some kind of psychological training which enabled the child a temporary escape or cut-out from justice or altruism in such 50 Behaving Towards Others cases- not too unbelievable a possibility- presumably we ought to adopt it. This criticism, though not decisive as it stands, shows just how counter-intuitive such a line of argument is; and it is not clear that this is because 'our intuitions are not even utilitarian, let alone egoistic' (p.
Lying is wrong because people should not be deceived; murder, because they are (we suppose) better off alive than dead. Included in these states of affairs, of course, are things we should not call 'consequences' ('consequentialism' and 'utilitarianism' have handicapped themselves by accepting those titles): for instance, the existence in a human mind of the intention to torture another person - something we usually see as generating consequences, not as itself a consequence (though it is no doubt a consequence of that person's past history, deficient moral education and so forth).
G. torture). Of these (a) and (b) are (comparatively) manageable. g. all Christians) ought to; or that no one at all ought to. Different reasons might be given for these: perhaps, in the first two cases, to do with personal integrity or the betrayal of some ideal to which a class of people subscribed. ) in a sense disconnected from the idea of an overriding guide to action - as people commonly say, there are things that 'ideally' one ought not to do, or which though the lesser of two evils are still evils; or it might turn out that he uses 'ought' as an overriding call to action (or refraining from action).