The Naive Views of Yuval Harari in Home Deus – Third Criticism

Harari writes that Humanistic Ethics consists of the principle: if it feels good — do it.

Contrast this with the following passage from C. D. Broad:

The Factors on which the Rightness or Wrongness of an Action Depends. On my view the Net Value of an act depends jointly on three different factors. These are

(i) its Intrinsic Value or Disvalue. i.e. the value or disvalue which it has in virtue of its own intrinsic qualities, as distinct from its relations to other things and from its effects;

(ii) its Immediate Fittingness or Unfittingness to the situation in which it is performed; and

(iii) its Utility or Disutility, i.e. its tendency to produce good or bad consequences.” (C. D. Broad, “War Thoughts in Peace Time,”Religion, Philosophy and Psychical Research (1953). pp. 249.)

Harari’s principle is factor (i) in Broad’s list. It thus ignores (ii) such as the keeping of a promise despite how one feels about keeping it. And it ignores (iii) such as getting into a homosexual relation in Iran where the punishment is death.

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