Sunday, July 3, 2016

This Is Now

I was reminded, earlier this morning, of a conversation I'd had with an acquaintance, that went something like this:

"The fact that it was acceptable to people back then doesn't make it right, and they deserve to be criticized for their actions."

"But that," I replied, "Leads to a never-ending cycle of criticism. Besides, those people were no less committed to doing what was right than we are. Are you prepared for a litany of criticism for the wrong ideas that we hold?"

"What do we do that's obviously wrong?"

"I have no idea," I admitted. "But I'm pretty sure that given seventy or a hundred years, someone will tell us."
As the saying goes: "The struggle to find moral principles that are indisputable, universal, and eternal has never been resolved." But, like every generation before us, I think that we've convinced ourselves that not only have we figured it out, but in addition to being indisputable, universal, and eternal, moral principles are self-evident - obvious to the point that only deliberate negligence can explain why they weren't uncovered before. And we do this, despite not only understanding that prior generations, including our parents, got it wrong, but we mock them for it, even while defending our moral sentiments from our children's generation - who are convinced that we are just as deliberately negligent as those who came before us.

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