Moral values are not somethig that we work out rationally on the principle of utility, or any other principle, for that matter, but are irreducible aspects fo the phenomenal world, like colour. I agree with Max Scheler, and for that matter with Wittgenstein, that moral value is a form of experience irreducible to any other kind, or accountable for on any other terms; and I believe this perception underlies Kant's derivation of God from the existence of moral values rather than moral values from the existence of a God. Such values are linked to the capacity for empathy, nor reasoning; and moral judgments are not deliberative but unconscious and intuitive, deeply bound up with our emotional sensitivity to others. Empathy is intrinsic to morality. The Master and the Emissary, p. 86
If you are unaware of this book, it's definitely a must read. Now I have some extra time during the holidays I'm just working my way through it. I'm taking a lot of extra time with chapter two because I have to educate myself on brain physiology and function.
I was wondering if there was any interest out there to do a book club on it. I'm open to it if there are three or four others who might want to join me as I dig through it. I think it's a very, very important book.
The passage quoted, I think, stands on its own, but it is supported by the larger argument that he is making in his book. Rather than go into it here again, I point you to earlier post on the book.