The Utalitarian Approach to Moral Obligation

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Wand(1979) expounds on Hume ethical theory in relation to moral obligation is a theory of good and evil rather than one of duty and obligation- , according to Wand (1956:55):”this statement is quite erroneous’ for Hume does not merely wish to discover the foundation of our moral actions”. Hume account of how motives prompt men to moral actions is quite complex, but Wand (1979) also asserts that Hume distinguishes between two basic type of action to make it more understandable. The first type are those action which men will perform without the aid or influence of reason or custom; the second are those action which it can be expected men will normally perform with the aid or influence of reason or custom.
Hume distinguishes these two types of action-in terms of the specifically moral nature of their motive, whether or not the action is done from a sense of duty; thus for Hume, there are four classes of action: The first, are those actions prompted by the natural or -moral motives; The second are those actions prompted by artificial, non-moral motive; third; those actions promoted by artificial moral motives. In consideration of his account of moral motivation; Hume’s ultimate intention is to show that it cannot be a natural duty to carry out certain types of obligation such as being just or keeping promises. Hume thinks that the actions envisaged cannot constitute duty; it would never be a duty unless human nature possesses some rational inclination prompting individuals to

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