Moral Believing Animals

Moral Believing Animals - 2/12 Humans and Moral Order We...

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2/12 Humans and Moral Order: We will not really understand human beings (ourselves) until we come to understand them as fundamentally MORAL, BELIEVING ANIMALS and human social life as consisting of moral orders that constitute and direct social action. “Moral” – right/wrong, good/bad, worthy/unworthy, not established by our decisions, they exist apart from that, providing standards by which our decision and preferences can be judged Order – prevailing course/ arrangement of things – established system - Most of the moral orders we inhibit, however, do NOT repulse us. We may not like them, but they make sense to us. They’re the world we know.. - But we alone are able to form “second level” desires: evaluating our evaluations Smith – A key motivation of human action is to act out and sustain moral order which helps us make life significant. We judge things all the time. Individual humans only, always, and can ever enjoy life, identity, and significance by locating themselves within stories and cultural order outside and beyond themselves. This makes their lives have place and purpose. We need others and the above is “Elementary Social Insight” People routinely violate all sorts of moral convictions and normative codes. We’d rather say they’re not “acting morally” but that’s not true in a strong sense. Moral dereliction reflects the existence of competing moral orders.
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  • Spring '08
  • Langenkamp
  • Sociology, Metanarrative, moral order, moral orders

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