Amoralits are sceptics about the claims of morality. They do not have to be ruthlessly selfish—they may have generous impulses and care about other people—but they are sceptical about claims that they ought to do things for others. An amoralist says about ‘ought’ what Oscar Wilde said about ‘patriotism’: it is not one of my words. The generous, caring amoralist is in practice not much of a problem. It is the ruthlessly selfish amoralist who arouses the hope that amoralism can be refuted.
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, New Haven, 1999, p. 18
A morality is not incoherent simply because, in its own terms, it would be better not propagated.
Jonathan Glover, “It Makes No Difference Whether or Not I Do It”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, supp. vol. 49 (1975), pp. 171-190
If we decide on a positive programme to change our nature, this will be a central moment in our history, and the transformation might be beneficial to a degree we can now scarcely imagine.
Jonathan Glover, What Sort of People Should There Be?, Harmondsworth, 1984
[A]cts of moral independence help to create a climate where social pressures are less, and where the views of the powerful and the orthodox are treated with appropriate lack of reverence.
Jonathan Glover, ‘”It makes no difference whether or not I do it”‘, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, supp. vol. 49 (1975), p. 187
Do we value ‘life’ even if unconscious, or do we value life only as a vehicle for consciousness? Our attitude to the doctrine of the sanctity of life very much depends on our answer to this question.
Jonathan Glover, Causing Death and Saving Lives, London, 1990, p. 45