moral maxim

Can someone give me examples of moral maxims?

I'm trying to understand this paragraph:

"While I am performing the action I am influenced by a moral maxim in so far as it can live in me intuitively; it is bound up with my love  for the objective that I want to realize through my action."


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  • I never thought so in depth at what an idealist really is. 

    I understand your example with being healthy. But in that case I think you are the world, because you are bringing yourself closer to the ideal of healthiness :) 

    Anyway, I just wanted to share a thought that I found in Steiner. He says that the good spiritual beings have really great concepts about what the human being should become in the future. His words were more like this: they made the most wonderful and great ideals about the human being.

    So humans are not the only idealists.

  • I noticed that if you go to the blog post to add your blog comment, rather than adding a comment to a blog in the front page comment box, the comment will be featured like this post. Its better for the post to be featured so everyone knows it exists.

    By transforming the world as a reality-based knowing doer empowered by our ethical principles seems to me to be living the dream.

    POF says the ethical principle lives in me intuitively and is bound up with my love for the goal. The goal of action is concretely visualized, such as plant a garden in my back yard to eat healthy vegetables. Within this vision is a driving force: my ideal of being healthy. As you say, the world (my backyard anyway) will move closer to my ideal. We love the goal that is embedded with our ideal.

    By contemplating a goal that we love we should be able to identify the motive and driving force as described in chapter 9.4. The descriptions are very good. 

  • For me this was the hardest chapter...

    Regarding the love what an idealist loves is that by doing this or that action (born out of an impulse from a moral principle he adhered to) he brings a bit or maybe a lot of the world closer to his ideal ? So he loves "pushing" the world toward his ideal? Hope it makes sense to you.
  • Some examples of moral maxims are given in POF 9-4: (1) the greatest possible happiness of humanity as a whole purely for its own sake, (2) the progress of civilization, or the moral development of mankind towards ever greater perfection, (3) the realization of individual moral ends conceived by an act of pure intuition.

    "While I am performing the action I am influenced by a moral maxim in so far as it can live in me intuitively; it is bound up with my love for the objective (goal) that I want to realize through my action."

    This is misinterpreted to mean that all you have to do is follow your “love” of the deed and you will be moral. All you need is love! But love is a response (see chapter 1), it does not form motives, thinking does that. We love many things, some good some bad. What we love the most, though, is striving for our highest ideals (which are thoughts).

    A moral maxim is a moral principle, a pure concept. In the moral process in POF we enter into pure conceptual thinking and select the moral principle we want to apply in the particular life situation we face. This is done intuitively in the realm of concepts and ideas. I don't mean this as something difficult. We use intuition to gain any knowledge because we gain concepts by means of intuition. To think in pure concepts leads to intuitive insight, understanding. Then the moral maxim lives in us intuitively and the idea becomes an ideal to strive for. This can all happen very quickly in a life situation or we can draw from our existing moral content.

    This moral maxim then is applied to life in the action we take in this situation. This moral maxim is the force that drives the action. We love the deed because it is an application of our high ideal. We love transforming the world according to our ideals. So you see an idealist such as an environmentalist, peace activist or human rights activist inspired and empowered by their ideals expressed in the deed.

    The intuitively selected ideal --the love that responds, --the objective (goal) I want to realize by the action,  are united, so we are integrated (thinking, feeling, and willing) and function at our highest potential.

    "in so far as it (the moral maxim) can live in me intuitively" To sustain moral action over time we need to be re-inspired with fresh intuitive realizations of our principles. When a person is losing their inspiration on a project it may be time to re-think it, or it may be time to do something different.

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