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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Moral Universalism Is Needlessly Blamed

Cameron and Osborne: moral universalists?

There used to be an article rather grandly entitled “The Contemporary use of Philosophy and Ideas” by a David Morris on the YourBNP website, but the site doesn't exist any more.

I've looked for his name but haven't found anything. Googling the site turns up "Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) Test" and similar results.

How do I know about this article?

Because I've seen it discussed in an old post on The Occidental Observer on the pathology of moral universalism.

Here is a quotation in the latter from the YourBNP piece:
The [British] government planned drastic financial cuts for us, but increases in overseas aid! This perverse attitude grew from the Victorian middle class influenced by evangelical Christianity, which believed it had a duty to ‘save’ unchristian natives. It became a preference over the British working class which endures today. Characteristic of this is Mrs Jellyby in Dickens’s Bleak House, whose eyes ‘had a curious habit of seeming to look a long way off, as if they could see nothing nearer than Africa’. Like the elites she neglected those around her, including notoriously her own children. Her thoughts were directed instead towards the fictitious African possession of Borrioboola Gha and her idealistic plans for its development.
This and other quotations show that Morris' article doesn't say anything that amounts to a rational criticism of universalism, but only of its wrong (non realistic, or non pragmatic) application. Or rather, of something which is not moral universalism but the incapability of seeing the link between cause and effect, an action and its consequences.

The "pathology" it attacks is the pathology of that inability, not of universalism.

That some universalists possess that inability is accidental.

I can easily imagine plenty of examples of particularists displaying it: one is that of barbarians descending on Rome and destroying the wealth of civilisation that could have been so useful for themselves.

Actually, that behaviour can be attributed to their particularism, their cultural short-sightedness and consequent inability to see their long-term interest (even in purely particularist terms).

Morris' example of a Dickensian character is not valid or persuasive either.

Here we have a person, Mrs Jellyby in Bleak House, acting in an irresponsible manner, who is also universalist: there is a correlation, but the causation has not been demonstrated or established.

The Dickensian character is a fallacy, a red herring. (Incidentally, Dickens was a universalist, and it's that universalism that made him campaign for better conditions for the British poor, which shows the absurdity of the YourBNP chap's claim.) A rational - namely, that takes into account the link between cause and effect - application of universalism gives priority to the next of kin, as the most directly affected by a moral agent's actions.

Let’s take a universalist, a Christian man, who has a family. He doesn’t think – and no other Christian expects him to think – that he has the same responsibility for his kids as for some children living on the other side of the earth with whom he has no genetic or cultural links. (In fact, the moral priority given to attention to one's children over strangers is one of the reasons for priest celibacy, as priests could not offer the same care to their flock if they had a family.)

Nobody, including a universalist, expects two parents to look after the children of others in the same way and degree they look after their own.

It's nonsensical. It makes far more sense to divide responsibilities, fragment them into much smaller units than to stipulate that everybody must be responsible for everybody else in equal measure. That applies to nations in the same manner as to families.

Procreation, biology and genetics are part of the universe created by God.

"Honour thy father and thy mother", says one of the commandments.

In the same way that a natural family has unique ties, so has a natural race, which can be seen as an extended family, sharing more DNA than the rest of humanity.

There is no reason why universalism needs to lead to racial suicide and multicultural absurdities, and it is not the cause of current Whites' sad predicament. Only the misunderstanding of universalism is.

Universalism is the basis of ethics. Most ethical theories are universalist, both Christian and secular.

Are we prepared to live without ethics?

Have people understood the consequences of what it means? Without an ethical system to govern a society, the weakest would easily be trampled. If there is no other source of right, might becomes it.

Do we want to become like the rest of the world, like the non-White countries?

Herein lies the contradiction.

People from other parts of the world want to come to the West because it's better. But it's better for us before it's better for them.

And, going back to the post by David Morris, one can hardly say that the current crop of British politicians are morally universalist, let alone a good example of moral universalism. Their moral universe starts and ends with their own self, and their only moral imperative is to get re-elected.

1 comment:

  1. Great article Enza! Totally agree with your point.
    The revitalization of the Faith is the only hope for the West.