Love and Morality

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15 Nov 2011
Monday, January 31, 2011
TA Office Hours: Thursdays 1-2pm, 2101 McCain Building
Love & Morality
Morality splits up right and wrong
Right is further split between obligations and permissive (ex. Donating to charity)
oObligations – rule of ‘ought’; ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ (ex. Obligation not to
“There is still the issue of which actions are right and which are wrong, when done for
love or because of love, to beloveds and those not part of the love relationship. (p.89)
“Romantic love cannot really be obligatory, because it violates the important principal of
“ought” implies “can.” If we are obligated to do action a, we would have to be able to do
a, (p.89)
Prevents ridiculous moralities
You cannot force someone to love; romantic love can’t be morally obligatory
No y has a right against x that x romantically love y. (p.90)
No right myself to say you have to love me; I have no right to your love
Do human beings have a right to the love of someone else?
“If romantic love were morally abhorrent because it involves the preferential treatment of
the beloved, then any other intimate association would also be morally abhorrent if it
involves such preferential treatment.” (p.91)
When we love someone, we make exceptions for them (ex. Drowning kid in the
Morality says you don’t distinguish between people when acting morally
Loving makes us partial to certain people/communities over people – i.e.
preferential treatment
We would have to get rid of family, friends, nationalities, etc. – no more
preferential treatment – moral looking world?
Loss of trust -
If you eliminate all relationships with preferential treatment, wouldn’t you just be
equally as moral to everyone?
Roughly, the prudential is what is in a person’s interest to do. Thus, it is thought, what is
prudential is not always what is moral. (p.111)
Prudence is what’s good for us (keep our interests safe) – love may be fun, but is
it a good thing to do?
Interest – rationality (what’s necessary for us to fulfill our desires)
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