Ethics and the Bahá'í Writings:
A Philosophical Survey

By Ian Kluge

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #116
Bosch Bahá'í School: Santa Cruz, California, USA
May 30 – June 2, 2013
(see list of papers from #116)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 15, pages 93-198
under new title
"The Bahá’í Writings: A Meta-ethical Excursion"
© 2014, ‘Irfán Colloquia

    The Bahá'í Writings promise an ethical renewal for all the peoples and cultures in the world and ethical guidance for the future personal, social and spiritual evolution of humankind. This paper pursues a philosophical examination of the Writings' ethical teachings, how they relate to the major ethical systems proposed in the past, and how they deal with some of the difficulties inherent in past systems. Among the topics discussed are virtue ethics, utilitarianism, existentialism, Kant's theories, natural law theory, ethical subjectivism and objectivism, relativism, intuitionism, Nietzschean ethics, and self-realization ethics. Special attention will be paid to Udo Schaefer's magisterial two volume "Bahá'í Ethics in Light of Scripture" which was the first study to undertake a systematic review of Bahá'í ethical teachings.

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