fredag, september 24, 2010

Speaking of Virtue

In Brendan Myer's book The Other Side of Virtue, there is a passage right at the beginning of the book that caught me. Speking of virtue, he brings up the nowadays 'traditional' views on virtue. He brings up niceness, charity, chastity, et c. - passive virtues. He continues, with what I could consider the most moving and powerful passage of the book:

"But there are problems here. You could be successfully Virtuous this way without exploring much of the world, without discovering your full potential, without accomplishing anything of significance (even to yourself), and without even being happy."

And soon after, the reasoning continues, regarding the Christian 'law' as recieved by Moses:

"But we should be very cautious about taking up such a gift and accepting it without question. Such pre-packaged gifts are sometimes like the Trojan Horse. They often conceal all sorts of other problems and complications. In the case of the Ten Commandments, the problem is this: if you accept it, you effectively hand over to God the responsibility for determining what is right and wrong. Your only choice in life is whether to obey or to rebel - precisely the choice made by Eve, in the garden of Eden. It might be explained that human beings are not qualified, not intelligent or knowledgeable enough, or simply not entitled to make such determinations on their own. In that presupposition one can see a very un-flattering picture of what it is to be human. I find that lack of confidence in humanity disturbing."

Say. No. More.


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