|Hegel's Thoughts on Morality
To Hegel, the ideals of moral virtue
"are empty, ineffectual words which lift up the heart but leave reason unsatisfied,
which edify, but raise no edifice." Hegel believed that everyone should speak the
truth, in his or her own eyes. "'Everyone ought to speak the truth.' In this duty as
expressed unconditionally, the condition will at once be admitted: if he knows the truth.
The commandment, then, will now run: everyone ought to speak the truth at all times,
according to his knowledge and conviction."
Hegel says that "the truth
about Right, Ethics [and so forth, lies in the customary]
morality of everyday
life." He attacks the popular maxim of 'The end justifies the mean' as either a
"trivial and pointless" formula or reprehensible. "Subjective
opinion", which is what morality in the abstract turns out to be, is denounced as an
inadequate "measuring-rod of right and duty."