David Hume: Reason Cannot Discover Moral Truths

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George Washington University
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From David Humes arguments points to the fact that moral perceptions and judgments by extension derive primarily from an individuals feelings rather than the all-important principles of the facts of the objects that vanguard-come before-the said morals. The particular arguments laid down by Hume are principally very convincing. He highlights the differences that exist between the two principal points of arguments with the basis of reason on one side and that of morals on the other. He begins by highlighting how the two aspects are related and how they follow each other. As a result, he brings to the picture the notion of object which acts primarily as the action point. If one is to analyze crime as an action, there is a fundamental need to separate it from the schools of reason and moral and by extension give it its own life. From this point of view then the object acts as the foundation for every thought process.

As a result of Humes arguments, it can be seen that morality does not influence the various precepts of affections as well as actions. It is as a result that we view morals as aspects that are derived from actions and more of afterthoughts as well as being able to be used in most instances to deter particular actions as well as to influence specific actions only after the analysis and occurrences of the certain actions.

Hume argues that men are controlled by their duties as well as various opinions on any particular perception of injustices. Humes real analysis lies in how we as humans manage to arrive at the opinion on what exactly is good or bad. He sought to clarify that people are unable to derive what ought to be from what is The assertion is to implies that statements of fact arent simply the foundation for any basis of morals and the obligations attached to the same.

It is interesting to note how he manages to distinguish moral sentiments from both personal taste and cultural bias. In this analysis, it is important to point out that there is no clear delineation of what exactly is a virtue based on the varying levels of personal perceptions (tastes) as well as the avalanche of cultural differences. As a result of this, Hume makes his point that determining virtues and anything that is vicious isnt factual.

By taking an action that is perceived and accepted as being a vice, and stripping it of all analysis, it is important to note that the matter of fact that is attached to it not being moral cannot be proven. From any dimensions, it is so clear that what exists are raw passions which have no attachment to the aspects of the said elements agreed on as vice. It can be seen that provided the object is considered in its entirety, it is self-evident that the other notions are only as a result of afterthoughts. They are based on the various sentiments that as humans have attached to entirely all aspects of life.

As far as reason is concerned, if we take the issue of incest, it becomes more of a human problem rather than a natural occurrence. Before any deductions are made as to the appropriateness of incest, it is apparent that incest does exist even in animals and humans do perceive it as being very appropriate in the said animals. Put simply; there exists no matter of fact as regards to the appropriateness of incest until one turns to their perceptions in which one eventually arrives at the existence of a sentiment of disapprobation and thus the branding of incest as being wrong. In this regard, Humes arguments can pass as being inclined to relativism which isnt the case as he manages only to show the difference between morals and sentiments and not entirely base his theory on the environment is a factor in decision-making.



Heath, Joseph. 2014. Morality. Oxford University Press, USA.http://www.myilibrary.com?id=622005.

White, James E. 2005. Contemporary Moral Problems. 10th. New York: Cengage Learning.



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