Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ethics and Moral Reasoning, a Students Guide.

Is morality discovered or constructed?
Is there a set of ethics that transcends every culture's mores and every person's preferences, or is it all based on nature or nurture and one's desire for pleasure and aversion to pain?

If you're ready to begin studying ethics, what ethics is, how ethics have been understood/explained/defined through history, and what their basis is, or if you need a refresher course to remind yourself, then this book is a great place to start.

This book isn't meant to be exhaustive, and it isn't meant to exhaust the reader either.
That's why it is a slender six chapters and 110 pages. It is a starting place to grasp hold of the basic ideas of the study of ethics. This book doesn't overwhelm, rather it gives you an overview of how many different people have tried to pin down that thing we call ethics.

I made notes all through this book, and had conversations with myself as I read.
{So he thinks that the right solution is whatever causes pain for the fewest number of people and pleasure for the most. What about slavery? That fits those descriptions. And pain is always bad? So is locking a man up in jail always bad? And pleasure is always good, so how do you explain that one man's pleasure in adultery causes so much pain to his spouse?}
I know that the first read only scratches the surface here... and this book is an introduction to the field!

Thank you Crossway for my review copy!

C. Ben Mitchell (PhD, University of Tennessee) holds the Graves Chair of Moral Philosophy at Union University in Tennessee, and serves as the editor of Ethics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics. He is a senior fellow in the Academy of Fellows of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity and previously served as its executive director. Additionally, for more than ten years he served as a faculty member at Trinity International University. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles examining the intersection of science and ethics, and has contributed to a number of books.

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