The Distinction of Morals: X, Moral X, Cardinal X

  • Sep 13, 2012 · 7:00 PM
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If air is a value, and if becoming an astronaut in twenty years' time is a moral value, what then is a cardinal value, and what are some examples?

[Updated Sept. 7--begin] What about perfection? ( See the prior meeting, Sept. 6.) What is physical perfection? Is it achievable? Can there literally be a perfect storm, a perfect sunset, a perfect smartphone, a perfect human being? Is perfection possible in the realm of morality? If not, why not? If so, how? [end--update]

What about virtues? What are the distinctions, if any, among a plain virtue, a moral virtue, and a cardinal virtue? Why, for example, is temperance considered a cardinal virtue and not a moral virtue in the Christian morality? And speaking of religious morality, what are theological virtues, and do they have secular correlates?

What about sins? How are they related to virtues and to themselves? Are there such things as plain sin, moral sin, venial sin, mortal sin, deadly sin, original sin? And are sins the same as vices?

Then don't forget evils. What are they, and are they of similar grades to the sins? Is it possible to intend to be good but end up doing evil? Conversely, can one admit being evil but end up having done good all along? Is being evil the same as being bad?

Finally, there is the "double-moral." Why being moral is moral? If the term "moral" denotes a kind of obligation, i.e., an "ought" or a "should"; then the question can be reframed as, Why should anyone be moral? Why should you be moral? Why should I be moral? But what if to be moral isn't about any kind of obligation? What then is to be moral about?

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