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Finite and Infinite GoodsA Framework for Ethics$
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Robert Merrihew Adams

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195153712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195153715.001.0001

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The Sacred and the Bad

The Sacred and the Bad

(p.102) 4 The Sacred and the Bad
Finite and Infinite Goods

Robert Merrihew Adams (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Badness is not understood here, in parallel with goodness, as resemblance to a transcendent Bad. Rather it is understood in relation to the Good, as privation of goodness, more gravely as opposition to goodness, or in the most horrifying cases as violation of something sacred. This chapter takes a widely shared sense of moral horror at certain actions as a clue in developing the relevant concepts of violation (here preferred to that of defilement) and the sacred. The treatment of the sacred in terms of images of God provides a context for an account of the special value of persons as persons.

Keywords:   badness, defilement, horror, persons, privation, sacred, value

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