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MacIntyre Ethics

This paper will be an analysis and discussion of MacIntyre’s critique regarding modern morality. This analysis will conclude that there is no way to rationally discourse about values when values are individually and socially formed, as opposed to being Divine or inherent knowledge and universally similar and provable for all individuals in their quest to know irrefutably what the “good” is. A conclusion will address the path that MacIntyre feels we must pursue in order to understand the “good” in modern society.

In his work, After Virtue, MacIntyre provides us with three particular examples that represent modern day moral dilemmas: valid war versus peace; an unborn’s right to life versus a woman’s right over her body; public welfare as equality correction versus individual enterprise provisions. While it may be true that there are no moral dilemmas in actuality, just value decisions, MacIntyre argues that previous forms of moral ethics and interpretation gives each of these arguments what he terms interminability. This is because previous modes of moral argument do not assist us in our modern day morality where dilemmas like the above are concerned:

Every one of the arguments is logically valid or can be easily expanded so as to be made so; the conclusions do indeed follow from the premises. But the rival premises are such that we possess no rational way of we


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MacIntyre Ethics. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:24, October 22, 2014, from
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