This essay gives an account of how traditional morality is best understood and also why it is worth defending (even if some reform is needed) and how this might be done. Traditional morality is first contrasted with supposedly more enlightened forms of morality, such as utilitarianism and liberal Kantianism (i.e., autonomy-centered ethics). The focus here is on certain sacred values that are central to traditional morality and which highlight this contrast and bring out the attractions of traditional morality. Next, this essay explores and offers support for the convergence thesis to which traditional morality, understood as common morality, is committed. This thesis states that although there are diverse moral traditions, insofar as they are in good order we should expect them to converge upon a common or universal morality, even if there remain some differences in the details. The defense of this thesis provides justification for the validity of traditional morality as it suggests an objective basis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science