Week 14

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Feathers and Fur

Kurt Baier

Self-interest according to Baier is not the highest reason for morality. Moral rules are the rules that override self-interest rules. Baier provides excellent arguments for this belief. Divinity is brought into Baier's philosophy because the examples Baier uses are from God's Ten Commandments ? Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, etc.

Baier rises to the challenge to defend his position that moral rules take precedence over self-interest rules. In his analogy of the two worlds of morals and self-interest, the self-interest would resort man to a state of nature rather than man in a self controlled state.

From Baier's moral aspects, a moral rules driven individual could answer positive the question, " Do we have a reason for being moral, whatever the condition we find ourselves in?" Most likely, a self-interest driven man might not be able to answer that question in the positive.

Baier's response to the question, "Why should we be moral?" offers some sound support that moral rules offer a higher reason than self interest for morality. Sacrifices are often necessary for one's morals to be held, as is the case with Mother Theresa and Gandhi. Self-interest to those two individuals was never further from their minds. While Gandhi, for a while served his self interests, he later restrained those desires and followed a life of self-sacrifice. Mother Theresa certainly did not have a single self-interest in her body having devoted most of her life to serving the lowliest of the caste system in India.

Of all the philosophers read thus far, I enjoyed Baier's reasonings and the examples he provided in support of his views. He provided excellent thought-provoking insights.

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