Moral som känsla


Det finns många högtravande teorier om moral. Men i själva verket är moral, dvs. uppfattningar om rätt och fel, bara uttryck för känslor. Jag betecknar x som omoraliskt därför att jag känner ett slags emotionell olust inför x eller inför konsekvenserna av x. Bertrand Russell skriver om detta i ”Science and Ethics”* (s. 229):

But when we try to be definite as to what we mean when we say that this or that is ”the Good,” we find ourselves involved in very great difficulties. Bentham’s creed that pleasure is the Good roused furious opposition, and was said to be a pig’s philosophy. Neither he nor his opponents could advance any argument. In a scientific question, evidence can be adduced on both sides, and in the end, one side is seen to have the better case – or, if this does not happen, the question is left undecided. But in a question as to whether this or that is the ultimate Good, there is no evidence either way; each disputant can only appeal to his own emotions, and employ such rhetorical devices as shall rouse similar emotions in others.


*Essän ingår i boken Religion and Science (Oxford University Press, 1961).