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Make an Ethical Difference by Mark Pastin

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Chapter FiveUncommon Sense

“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”

—William Blake, Plate 7

Some people have difficulty recognizing the ethics sense, even after using this sense to solve problems. This is usually because the idea of an ethics sense seems to conflict with two of their beliefs. The first is that it should it be easier to resolve ethical disputes if we have an ethics sense. The second is that the idea of an ethics sense seems contrary to common sense or science.

We have observed that difficult controversies are not unique to ethics, nor do they prove that there is no innate ethical ability. Such controversies only show that our innate ethics sense, much like our other senses, ...

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