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The Moral WorldArnold Smith

The Moral World

(Revised First Edition)
Written and edited by Arnold Smith

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-63189-599-9, 270 pages


This collective wisdom from such a diversity of cultural traditions would serve students well as a complement resource for all World Religion Study courses. The text would enable students to be the best persons possible and to relate and name their own experiences in the context of a much broader worldview. The literary selections and their sources cover an expansive trip into world history and are an inspiration for students looking for role models today.—Sister Nancy Dawson, Instructor, Youngstown State University

The Moral World contains a judicious, innovative, and wide-ranging selection of sources: Plato, Hume, and Kant, of course, but also Habermas, Confucius, and Avicenna, and even Gandhi and Chief Seattle and Sahadeva Dasa. This is indeed a rich and insightful variety of readings.—Bruce Waller, PhD., Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Youngstown State University

A lot of us think we know all of the answers when it comes to morality, what ought I do? But the first step to wisdom is knowing that you may be wrong, and the first step to morality is having an open mind. A lot of us also mistake the meaning of morality too, we all know The Golden Rule...but there's more than that! This text puts us on the right track for real understanding.—Katherine Lutes, Student, Lakeland Community College

The Moral World is a good book when it comes to learning about ethics in religion. The book has a key words at the end of each chapter that helps you understand the main concept of what the chapter is about. These words helped me out a lot.—Christina Thompson, Student, Lakeland Community College

The Moral World is a comprehensive introduction to the diverse perspectives of major ethical thinkers and theories. The book explores Eastern, Western, religious, and secular views of ethics and helps students understand when and how to participate in ethical discussions.

The text is rooted in normative ethics—the various theories of ethics created by thinkers to let us know how to behave toward one another. The four sections of the book address religious morality and transcendence, virtue ethicists, rational norms and secular morality, and ethics and social change. As students engage with these overarching concepts, they are exposed to the writings of great philosophical thinkers ancient and contemporary, including Aristotle, Maimonides, Avicenna, Bentham, Rand, Marx, King, Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama.

Written in a student-friendly style, The Moral World enables students to understand the place of ethics, connect religion and ethics, and recognize the value of ethics in the material world. The book is appropriate for introductory courses in ethics. It can also be used as a supplemental reader in classes on comparative religion, general philosophy, or humanities.

Arnold Smith earned his B.A. in philosophy and history, and his M.A. in philosophy at Kent State University. In addition, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from ULC Seminary in 2010. Professor Smith is a faculty member in both the Department of Philosophy at Kent State, and the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University in Ohio. In addition, Professor Smith has acted as advisor for the Philosophy and Religious Studies Forum and the Eastern Wisdom, Meditation and Chant group. He is a member of the Ohio and American Philosophical Associations. Professor Smith’s professional writing has been published in Philosophy Now, Brijabasi Spirit, and the Ogele.