Quotes on Ethics

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Does pure altruism actually exist? Can you ever separate doing good from the expectation of reciprocity, public acclaim, seld-esteem, or the promise of paradise?
 
Just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim Algebra, we will see tht there is no such thing as Christian or Muslim morality.
 
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.
 
To treat others ethically is to act out of concern for their happiness and suffering.
 
Physiologically, it doesn't come cheap being a bastard 24 hours a day.
 
What would our world be like if we ceased to worry about 'right' and 'wrong,' or 'good' and 'evil,' and simply acted so as to maximize well-being, our own and that of others? Would we lose anything important?
 
No matter what we do, and how dishonestly we play, the brain nudges us to conclude we’re ultimately a better person than most.
 
The more income inequality, the less likely people are to help someone (in an experimental setting) and the less generous and cooperative they are in economic games.
 
I am one of the few people I know of who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.
 
How’s this for a display of human kin selection: Subjects were given a scenario of a bus hurtling toward a human and a nondescript dog, and they could only save one. Whom would they pick? It depended on degree of relatedness, as one progressed from sibling (1 percent chose the dog over the sibling) to grandparent (2 percent) to distant cousin (16 percent) to foreigner (26 percent).
 
Ethical ideas and sentiments have to be considered as parts of the phenomena of life at large. We have to deal with man as a product of evolution, with society as a product of evolution, and with moral phenomena as products of evolution.
 
The problem is that no ethical system has ever achieved consensus. Ethical systems are completely unlike mathematics or science. This is a source of concern.
 
I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority.
 
Many of our moments of prosociality, of altruism and Good Samaritanism, are acts of restitution, attempts to counter our antisocial moments.
 
It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.
 
Human well-being is not a random phenomenon. It depends on many factors - ranging from genetics and neurobiology to sociology and economics. But, clearly, there are scientific truths to be known about how we can flourish in this world. Wherever we can have an impact on the well-being of others, questions of morality apply.
 
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