Feelings as a guide to morality

Laura asked:

Can our feelings be our sole guide to morality?

Answer by Shaun Williamson

No they can’t. Just as you can’t decide what a word should mean (the meaning of a word is decided by all the speakers of a language who use that word), so you can’t decide on your own if something is right or wrong. You are part of a moral community and all the members of that community take part part in the forming of moral decisions. When you decide that something is morally right you are also deciding that it is right for all other members of the moral community. Morality is the highest and most difficult of human activities and moral decisions are the most important decisions we make.

You do not have to agree with the moral beliefs of other people but you must take their moral beliefs into account when forming your own moral beliefs. Remember morality is about how we act towards other people and how we expect them to act towards us.

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