Quoted


Some gems from Bernard Williams' Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy:

On consequentialist moral theories:

G.E. Moore also thought that the forward-looking type of consideration was fundamental, but he allowed things other than satisfaction -- such as friendship and the awareness of beauty -- to count among the good consequences. It was because of this that his theory was so attractive to the Bloomsbury group: it managed to reject at once the stuffiness of duty and the vulgarity of utilitarianism.
On what to do about religious ethics:

In fact, the logical or structural questions about religious ethics, like many questions about God, are interesting only if you believe in God. If God exists, then arguments about him are arguments about the cosmos and of cosmic importance, but if he does not, they are not about anything. In that case, the important questions must be about human beings, and why, for instance, they ever believed that God existed. The issues about religious ethics are issues about the human impulses that expressed themselves in it, and they should be faced in those terms. For those who do not believe in a religious ethics, there is some evasion in continuing to argue about its structure: it distracts attention from the significant question of what such outlooks tell us about humanity. Nietzsche's saying, God is dead, can be taken to mean that we should now treat God as a dead person: we should allocate his legacies and try to write an honest biography of him.