miercuri, 13 iunie 2012

Note on the Beginning of Moral Feelings

 We cannot deny that moral feelings as remorse or regret follow a temporal order.

Their starting point is the wrong deed, but their temporal beginning belongs to the order of facts of life proper to the wrongdoer.

The facts of life rarely are disposed in a rational order, since they are influenced by different non-rational circumstances. Almost each human being is primarily interested in living and only secondary in ordering its life.

However, only the reason can link a feeling to its proper cause. Therefore, the life unordered by reason does not enable the moral agent to have moral feelings that rise directly from the time when the wrong deed was done, even if this would be their correct way of beginning.

If the wrongdoer claims that his moral feelings of remorse and regret derive from the wrong deed, he conceals a time of rationality inserted in his life by external causes.

In many cases, such forces are represented by others’ moral judgment or by the moral language they have spread in society and transmitted to everybody through moral education. Because such forces cannot be easily named, a convenient explanation for the direct link between the wrong deed and remorse was to consider that the divinity as a being which can ignore the temporal order of lives can also to return the past deed in the present life of the supposed penitent.