C. George Boeree
There are three overlapping "moralities:"
A. Individual "morality" -- individual opinion
B. Society's "morality" -- social convention
C. Morality (the real deal)
For example: A plantation owner in 1850's Alabama.
A represents the plantation owner's personal code.
B represents the laws and social standards of 1850's Alabama.
C represents true morality.
1. Individual opinion only: The plantation owner believes that he can
do anything he wants with his own property, including his slaves --
most of his neighbors find a bit extreme.
2. Social convention only: Slaves must be registered with the state
although most find this reasonable, it is something the plantation
nevers bothers with.
3. Individual opinion and social convention: Slavery was
and permitted in Alabama, which the
plantation owner certainly agrees with.
4. Individual opinion and true morality: The plantation owner
he has a moral duty to care for his elderly father, even though most of
his neighbors would be just as happy to see the old coot croak.
5. Social convention and true morality: The state - and most people
that time and place - says that all human beings, slaves included,
be well treated. The plantation owner doesn't always agree.
6. True morality, separate from both individual opinion and
convention: Slavery is wrong and should be eliminated - even though
neither the plantation owner nor his neighbors nor his state
7. All three: There are laws against murder, following general
principles, and the plantation owner agrees.
||How certain overlaps can be interpreted:
1. A good fit between person (A) and society (B): the conformist, the
2. A poor fit between person and society: the misfit, the outlaw, the
insane, the innovator.
3. A compassionate person.
4. A cruel person.
5. A virtuous society.
6. An evil society.
7. Moving towards the ideal.
8. Moral perfection: The individual and society are in complete
and the principles involved reflect true, "ultimate" morality.
expected anytime soon!
© Copyright 2004, C. George Boeree