Albert Schweitzer's Ethical Vision: A Sourcebook by Predrag Cicovacki

By Predrag Cicovacki

The philosophy of Albert Schweitzer has proved extensively influential in glossy considering, specially within the box of ethics. His top moral inspiration could be summarized within the word "reverence for all times" - specifically, that stable is composed in protecting and perfecting existence, and evil is composed in destroying and obstructing existence. For Schweitzer, all existence is sacred. Ethics therefore bargains with human attitudes and behaviour towards all residing beings.Unlike many ethical philosophers, Schweitzer argues that wisdom of human nature doesn't offer a adequate origin for any enough ethical concept. this is why he bases his ethics on a lot broader foundations, articulated in his philosophy of civilization and the philosophy of faith. Schweitzer argues that the fabric point of our civilization has turn into way more vital than its non secular counterpart. Even prepared faith has positioned itself within the carrier of politics and financial system, thereby wasting its power and ethical authority.Schweitzer's ethics of reverence for all times, argues Predrag Cicovacki, deals a achievable replacement at a time while conventional moral theories are came across insufficient. Schweitzer's strong and un-dogmatic idealism may perhaps supply the simplest antidote to the present relativism and nihilism of the postmodern epoch. His moral imaginative and prescient directs us towards a brand new manner of creating a extra simply and extra peaceable global. gathering 16 of Schweitzer's optimal essays, this quantity serves as a compelling advent to this extraordinary philosopher and humanist.

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He does not preach the inactive ethics of perfecting the self alone, but instead preaches active, enthusiastic love of one’s neighbor. It is because his ethics contains the principle of activity that it has affinity with world- and life-affirmation. In the late-classical period, the Greco-oriental and Christian forms of lifenegation came together, so that European thought, up to the end of the Middle Ages, was under the influence of world- and life-negation. This is clear from the fact that, in these centuries, the European was so much concerned with the winning of redemption that he took no trouble to move energetically for the improvement of social conditions and the bringing about of a better future for humanity.

There are further distinctions that need to be taken into account; for instance, the one between intentional and unintentional killing. What should also be provided is a more systematic analysis of various types of conflicting situations and conflicting values. Roughly speaking, some of them deal with the preservation of the entire human species, some with the preservation of smaller groups or individuals. Then there are types of situations in which killing occurs in order to enhance, rather than merely sustain, one’s existence.

39 When we refrain from such sacrifices, we should feel a sense of guilt and responsibility because there is so much more that we could have done for our neighbors and for living beings in general. One further objection to Schweitzer’s ethics of reverence for life concerns his sometimes confusing differentiation between rationalism and mysticism (together with the related distinctions between knowledge and will, reason and spirit). Although Schweitzer maintained that one virtue of his ethics was that it is based on thought and reflection, he seemed equally eager to limit, and, in some cases, even dismiss, the relevance of knowledge and rationality.

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