Saturday, March 10, 2012

[PL 431] What, if anything, makes someone a moral authority?

Is there such a thing as a moral authority? Are there experts in matters of ethics and morality?

Who is a moral expert?

Some people consider religious authorities to be the ones to go to with questions about right and wrong. Does a moral authority have to be a religious authority as well?

In The Republic, Plato envisions a society governed by philosopher-kings. One might think that these philosopher-kings are moral authorities as well. Indeed, Plato says that their education aims not only at the attainment of virtues, such as courage, but also at knowledge of the Good. If philosopher-kings have knowledge of the Good, then are they the ones to go to with questions about right and wrong?

1 comment:

  1. A moral authority does not have to be a religious authority. A moral authority is someone who strives to do good and one that often achieves that goal. Being moral and being religious are not one in the same. There are many people that are religious authorities but that doesn't mean they are always moral authorities too. There are religious authorities that have done such things such as molesting children, and I don't think anyone would consider such things to be moral, let alone consider those religious authorities to be moral authorities also.


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