Among the facts of life that youngsters learn, the one about moral authority can remain unresolved for a lifetime. Once they discover that the list of what’s right and what’s wrong is not cast in stone, they question the moral authority of their parents, religious leaders and government officials. Eventually, they question even their own moral authority. Life teaches them to adjust their assessments of other people, and to reconsider opportunities they think are worth pursuing. They come to understand that anyone’s moral authority is essentially a matter of being objective about what is good. This opens their perspective on what is arguably the most basic issue in moral philosophy: “How do we know what is good?”
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