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"'. . . that He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.'
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of God from Jerusalem."
|Others who have held that "good" is informative in moral discourse have not been naturalistic objectivists, or intuitionists, or subjectivists of a private or societal brand; rather, they have viewed good instrumentally or from the standpoint of a process. A broad evolutionary theory says that "good" applies to that which is conducive to the development of new values (e.g., Julian Huxley). Marxism holds that those ideals are good which are adapted to the needs of a particular stage in economic-social, dialectical process (e.g., Marx, Engels). Men like Hegel and Bradley identified good with that which contributed to the realization of true selfhood, mans ultimate aim. But is change, or a classless society, or selfhood (whatever that means) genuinely "good"? How does one calculate moral directives or get the ability to follow them? Is there anything to recommend these aims over competing ones? Can obligation be derived from such notions of "good"? Such questions serve to undermine the ethical authority of process theory ethics and underline the arbitrariness of their standards. It would seem that any man could claim that his behavior represented the pioneering newness of the evolutionary process, or the appropriate expression of dialectical materialism, or the true realization of genuine selfhood. Who could gainsay him? On the other hand, what besides coercion could motivate a person who is recalcitrant to the process? Since the only intrinsic good is that toward which the process is moving, is it not accurate to say that coerced behavior is just as morally praiseworthy as willing behavior since both further the process? Since any means can be justified by the end, and since no person can presume to speak authoritatively as to what behavior will actually promote the realization of the desired end, ethics is once again adrift from universal obligation and concrete directives and correctives. |
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