Moral Concepts in Practice I
This chapter and the chapter that follows define and explore a select number of concepts that are central to ethics. The emphasis is on how these concepts operate in moral life, their uses, misuses, and limitations. A lifespan approach to these concepts is important to keep in mind. Concepts that seem remote at one life stage, such as death, take on central importance at a later stage. The concepts discussed in chapter 6 are the anchoring value of truth; forgiveness and freedom; the varieties of love; the moral uses of spirituality; and the persistence of hope. Forgiveness is described as a gateway to a less encumbered life. The varieties of love are enumerated and their relevance to various dimensions and stages of life explored. Spirituality, including religious beliefs and practices, is explored for its moral importance. Hope is distinguished from optimism and does not require an object or something hoped for.