On his note on Kamma from his book Notes on Dhamma

The question of kamma or action- what should I do? is the ethical question for all personal action done by me is either akusala or kusala, unskilful or skilful. (good or bad).

I can't follow here why might it be the case that he says 'what should I do, is the ethical question?'

Hegel in his Phänomenologie des Geistes has said that there can only be an ethical consciousness in so far as there is a disagreement between nature and ethics: if ethical behaviour became natural, conscience would disappear. And from this it follows that if ethical action is the absolute aim, the absolute aim must also be the absence of ethical action.

What does it mean that ethical action is the absolute aim? I mean what is an absolute aim precisely, it seems to pertain to some Hegelian terminology that I am unaware of. Any suggestions?

  • See Ethics: "The moral theory of Aristotle focuses on virtue, recommending the virtuous way of life by its relation to happiness. His most important ethical work, Nicomachean Ethics, devotes the first book to a preliminary account of happiness[...]. This account ties happiness to excellent activity of the soul. In subsequent books, excellent activity of the soul is tied to the moral virtues and to the virtue of “practical wisdom” – excellence in thinking and deciding about how to behave." May 18, 2022 at 11:59
  • We assume the existence of some sort of "goal": the good, happiness, and then we develop guidance for actions to achieve that goal. This is the link between ethics and "what should I do". May 18, 2022 at 12:01
  • Hegel here simply means to be ethical is hard since it's necessarily unnatural upon first look for anyone, only if one overcomes the previous natural action then one can initiate an ethical action if it's the ultimately philosophic goal. Once this is achieved then there won't be any ethical action from the same person which seems paradoxical but not illogical if you contemplate further... May 19, 2022 at 5:57


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