Gerard Elfstrom (auth.)'s Ethics for a Shrinking World PDF

By Gerard Elfstrom (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0312032048

ISBN-13: 9780312032043

ISBN-10: 1349205001

ISBN-13: 9781349205004

ISBN-10: 1349205028

ISBN-13: 9781349205028

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Lacking an international authority to keep order, there is little but the force of arms to stop them. Moreover, leaders are notoriously susceptible to the urge to exert their will on those in other nations. The most direct and satisfying way of doing so is the resort to arms. Of course, nations frequently feel threatened by others. When they are, a natural first impulse is to amass weaponry or signal threats abroad in order to calm unsteady nerves at home. Another, lesser, factor remains, but it is one that is too often overlooked.

20 More of this sort of thing would be useful, but such measures alone will be ineffectual if there is no broad support for them. The key is ultimately individual concern and effort, whether distributed throughout the larger public or working through governmental leadership. Nonetheless, the above shows that moral sensitivity is possible and illustrates some of the means by which it can be made politically effective. Utilitarian theory does not condemn the special relations and responsibilities which individuals develop toward one another.

When institutions act or when they think, these operations must be understood as the co-ordinated thought or action of the individuals within them or of particular persons designated to perform these roles. Thinking and acting in this manner is obviously different from the thought and action of particular individuals. Do these differences imply that institutions cannot be held morally accountable in the way individual persons can? Certainly institutions are held accountable, in ways other than moral, by the law or by stockholders or by stockbrokers.

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Ethics for a Shrinking World by Gerard Elfstrom (auth.)


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