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Keeping in line with the examples of Chapter four, a serious defect and insurmountable objection comes to Divine Command Theory and Natural Law.It is this inability of these ethical systems to overcome the objection that I think exposes the true reason for the bad review of this book.The fourth edition appeared in 2003, the year Rachels died.
Therefore, if you want to expand your knowledge and ethical reasoning beyond the golden rule, this book might be the best start.I used this book as a companion piece for reading classical, modern, and contemporary essays by "the greats" in moral philosophy.Perhaps, the best way to use this book, and one I would strongly recommend for those who didn't get it, is After looking over some of the reviews here on goodreads about this book, I had to admit I found them somewhat amusing.It is very up-to-date, very structured, not boring at all: it tries to explain philosophically the answers to many questions we have asked ourselves: • [How] should we judge cultures that have different moral codes? After starting with very interesting and modern examples to illustrate the questions above, the author goes on to analyse the proposals of the great philosophers to explain Ethics as a solution for humanity (and not only) so that the happiness of the individual is also optimised.•This review is mostly for who is new to the world of Ethics-by-the-book, as I am. Thus, it goes to the description, pro's and con's of: • Ethical Egoism - do whatever is in your best interest • Utilitarianism - do whatever promotes the best ratio of happiness over unhappiness in the world • Kant's idea that we should find moral rules that can be followed by everybody no matter the circumstances.Perhaps, the best way to use this book, and one I would strongly recommend for those who didn't get it, is for that purpose.As an example, and I use this example, because I think this is the source of much of the poor ratings, I read St.To put it differently,the fact that the book is more a textbook than a philosophical thesis meant to convince, is the reason why I liked much, much more the first Ethics book I've read -- Ética para Amador, by Fernando Savater; this one went straight to my heart, even though it is simpler (it is a book for teenagers.) So I will promote it to 4 or 5 starts.Engaging and clear"And in ethics we should often expect people not to listen to reason: After all, ethics often requires us to do things we don't want to do, so it is only to be expected that sometimes we try to avoid hearing its demands."This work serves as a good starting point to dive into the vast realms of moral philosophy.Overall, I have nothing but praise for the book, and I think it is important to also take note in the fact that the book does not make claim to which ethical/moral system is correct. Can this book be used to highlight and critique elements of ethical systems? Perhaps, if you have an interest in moral philosophy, and really want to understand it, then this book is for you. This book is full of logical fallacies and unwarranted assumptions.It only shows the various systems and elements of them (hence the word "element" in the title). However, these assumptions are part of the warp and woof of the modern American worldview, so they are almost invisible to the unwary reader.