This book, a sequel to The Morality of Everyday Life, proposes a constructive alternative to the abstract ideologies that dominate both Left and Right. $30 Price for an autographed copy of the edition includes shipping and handling. Click on ad to open for details.
No argument can be put forward for abortion that cannot be applied to infanticide. When does a woman’s right to control her body stop? If she gives birth in the wild, does a mother have a moral obligation to nurse a newborn and warm it with her body?
By Liberal Tradition, I am referring to an intellectual current that begins in the Renaissance, takes ideological shape in the 17th and 18th centuries and is decked out as a complete ethical, political, and economic theory by such writers as Adam Smith and the Utilitarians, and ultimately spawns its socialist mirror image in Marx.
In addition to his legacy of materialism, hedonism, and the myth of the social contract, Epicurus also bequeathed a cynical attitude toward truth. While Aristotle and his students studied nature to find out how natural processes work, Epicurus and his disciples were only interested in attaining a serenity that was only possible in a godless universe.
It is easy to see how an empowered sense of equality might lead a blind law student into feeling justified at demanding, at public expense, a reader to help him get through his courses. The question, though, is why do people who are not blind acquiesce in the foolishness?
As a virtue expressed in Aristotelian terms, it is the mean between the character that invests everything into the distinction between me-and-mine and everything else and the character that rejects all distinction. In Jacobin terms, however, liberty, equality, and fraternity represent either or both of these three baneful extremes.
Knowledge is power, so the proverb goes, but it can also be weakness. If human beings knew they were going to die in a few days, some few perhaps might take the opportunity to reflect on their lives and make the most of the time they had; more would give free rein to their wildest appetites; and perhaps the greatest number would fall into acedia and despair.