10 February 2008

We care a lot

“Morality is not a science or knowledge that can stand on thought alone; morality is a practice. This explains why the heart of the inauthentic moralist beats only for distant and unattainable causes (in space and time): this gives him an excuse for not taking moral action and remaining all talk. It is very difficult to preach morality to one’s neighbor without applying it to oneself: by his very presence the other bears witness to the imposture and casts reproach in the face of the Pharisee. When the other is far removed, however, there is no reproachful look. The Pharisee therefore has every interest in reserving his moral discourse for the distant other, while he writes his neighbor off as a loss, on the argument that he is free to do what he wishes.”
– Chantal Delsol, The Unlearned Lessons of the Twentieth Century.

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