I remember reading A.J. Ayer quoted somewhere as saying 'All morality based on authority is worthless' in the context of religious authority which I took to mean dictates like the Ten Commandments. Am I right in thinking he meant that acting morally based on fear of punishment or reward in an afterlife is repugnant because one is motivated wrongly, i.e., purely out of self-interest, or by just blindly conforming to one's religious text of choice?
If this is so are we not only left with secular humanism as a basis for 'good' acts without self-interest?
All religions seem to have similar ethical commandments which would point to their human (and sociological) rather than divine origins, wouldn't you say? I believe the Vatican has 'approved' Aristotle's ethics too which surely underlines my previous point.
Are there any beginners' texts dealing with these matters you can recommend?
Thanks for a great and edifying site.