Philosophy An Enquiry Concerning The Principles Of Morals

714 words - 3 pages

Intro Sample...

What is a moral? This is a question that has plagued philosophers for many years. Is it possible
to have a set of universal morals? There are many questions that surround the mystery of morals. They
seem to drive our every action. We base our decisions on what is right and what is wrong. But what is it
that actually determines what is right and what is wrong? Is it our sense of reason? Is it our sense of
sentiment? This is a question that David Hume spent much of his life pondering. What exactly is it that
drives our actions? Yes, morals drive them, but what determines what our morals are? What is it that
ultimately drives our actions; our feelings or our minds?
Hume would say that it is our sentiment... View More »

Body Sample...

These truths are based on reason. These truths/reasons are what help to determine the person's
sentiment. However, it should be noted that because the reasons are NOT necessarily the person's
sentiments, they do not motivate actions. One other reason why reason does not impel action is because
reason is based on truths. Truths are never changing whereas sentiments are dynamic and are in a
constant change of flux. At one moment, the criminal could feel sympathy for his victims and decide to
spare a life, and the very next, the same criminal could become enraged at the pimple on a hostage's
forehead and shoot him.
Of course these are extreme cases, but the point is clear. Reason would dictate that only the first
action would be moral. If reason drove actions, then moral behavior would prevail and there would be no
immoral actions and hence there would be no crimes. This shows how sentiments can change as the
individual's perception of the universe changes. Obviously, the driving force behind the criminal shooting
the victim because of a skin blemish is not one based on reason, but instead it is based on feeling, emotion,
sentiment. Although it is an abstract idea and a seemingly tiny technicality, it is easy to see that indeed
reason is not the ultimate motivator but instead sentiment is.

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