Single Idea 8049

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / d. Ethical theory]

Full Idea

Moral judgements are linguistic survivals from the practices of classical theism which have lost the context provided by these practices.

Gist of Idea

Moral judgements now are anachronisms from a theistic age


Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory [1981], Ch. 5)

Book Reference

MacIntyre,Alasdair: 'After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory' [Duckworth 1982], p.57

A Reaction

He is sort of right. Richard Taylor is less dramatic and more plausible on this (Ideas 5065, 5066, 5077). Big claims about 'duty' have become rather hollow, but the rights and wrongs of (e.g.) mistreating children don't seem to need theism.

Related Ideas

Idea 5065 The ethics of duty requires a religious framework [Taylor,R]

Idea 5066 If we are made in God's image, pursuit of excellence is replaced by duty to obey God [Taylor,R]

Idea 5077 The modern idea of obligation seems to have lost the idea of an obligation 'to' something [Taylor,R]