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Richard Taylor: ON THE ORIGIN OF GOOD AND EVIL Morality is not transcendental, but a naturalistic reality. It originates in the fact we have desires and what Taylor calls “felt needs” • We are CONATIVE BEINGS • If there are no desires, there are no values & no good or evil • Compare with Hobbes? Nietszche? Plato? Taylor’s “4 Worlds” Taylor is presents us with 4 worlds to support his argument that good/bad and good/evil are tied. to our being Conative, or people with “felt needs”. • He proposes 4 worlds, gradually adding conditions to see what is necessary for good/bad and good/evil to be present in the world. • He make some claims about rationality that we will want to examine carefully. World One: Imagine the world as it is, but without any living thing capable of reacting to the world • There would be no concept of good/evil • In fact no difference between a beautiful and a harsh world • Nothing is better or worse – it is just a world of facts World Two: Imagine a world with people like ourselves… rational, intelligent and capable of perception, but these people don’t have needs, purposes or desires. [They are mechanical beings.] • There would still be no concept of good and evil. • QUESTION: How is rationality related to purpose? • Is rationality only true/false & inferences as Taylor seems to suggest? • Is rationality independent of needs? World Three: Add one sentient being. A being for whom “what he finds makes a difference” [definition of sentient”?] • Now we get the notion of good and evil – but NOT the idea of moral right & wrong. • Furthermore: Good and Evil are absolute to that person. • And there is no sense of “moral obligation” [Why not?] World Four: Add another sentient being and we get moral right and wrong – Why? • Because aims and purposes can conflict • They both can want the same thing • But their aims and purposes can also coincide [compare with Hobbes] Right and Wrong are relative to rules In order to satisfy the needs and fulfill goals for more than one person rules are needed. • Rules = ways of behaving/”practices” • The “rational element” is that one choice available avoids an “evil” • Compare with Hobbes? Nietzsche? Plato?