Among those who argued that a being could become so depraved as to lose the will to do good, there arose the notion that they could nevertheless be brought out of depravity by a kind of grace. One being of exceptionally high virtue might transfer the beneﬁts of that virtue to a being of exceptional depravity. How might such a transfer of merit take place? How could belief in such a doctrine be defended? This issue will be explored in this module on ethics, and the question will be tied to metaphysical and epistemological concerns discussed in previous modules.
We begin by looking at the transference of merit in the context of ritual.