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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Albert the Great, Writer on Moral Agency

Sometimes I actually learn something, or at least it seems as if I have.

Over the last week, I have mused upon the moral logic of moral choices, wondering in what manner moral logic differs from everyday logic: why there is no simple rule of deduction from moral premises to moral conclusions to guide our actions.

A great number of people would stop right here and say that my description of moral choice is nonsense.
I cannot help that.
I plunge on.
The outcome of moral logic, the moral choice, does not flow from facts and premises and hypotheses. There is something else; the emotional life intervenes and prioritizes values and colors all the logic in very subjective ways.

It is the nature of emotions to be subjective and individual. That part of our being is very much ourselves. We life in a vast universe and large solar systems, and are part of intricate societies with habits, laws, and rules which are not of our making, and which may well be inimical to us.
But the realm of emotion is our own, and it is the moonrise kingdom of each and every human being alone.

How do we find something common, then, in the emotional contents of moral logics?

We learn from William Ralph Inge the hints that lead us to Virtue.
Virtue is the unifying force.
When we choose the more noble path to follow, and leave behind those paths which are the routes of people who are not noble nor virtuous, we choose Virtue, and by choosing Virtue, we choose the way which will ennoble us.

Does it matter is we be ennobled?
We go this way only once, so we decide whether to be noble or ignoble; we choose whether to be virtuous or to be unvirtuous.
Nowadays, we usually take a pose, and we pretend that virtue is meaningless, the world is finite, and this is all there is.... a dead end.... so why prettify a dead end with virtue?

Virtue transforms the world, because it is the magic within the emotional nature of mankind.
If you ignore Virtue, the world remains dead rocks.
If you choose Virtue, the world gains the soul of human emotion, and becomes as new as you are capable of sustaining novelty and blessings.


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