The Sacred and the Bad

Robert Merrihew Adams

in Finite and Infinite Goods

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780195153712
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869381 | DOI:
The Sacred and the Bad

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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

Chapter.  16106 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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