You may think that something is necessary – but necessary for what?
I don’t like the finger-in-your-eye kind of posts, but let me be real here…
If your worldview can not answer a few simple questions about the ends of your actions, you may have a little soul-searching that you need to do.
- Equality is good. But
whyshould I care that opportunities are equal?
- Justice is laudable. But
whydo people need to care about something that animals don’t?
- Virtue is ethical. But
on what basisdo you get your moral standard? And why should the rest of us care about it?
I mean, can there even be “correct behavior” without a standard?
Correct compared to what?
I am pointing as gently as I can…
Do you see it?
They write in order to produce certain states of mind in the rising generation, if not because they think those states of mind intrinsically just or good, yet certainly because they think them to be the means to some state of society which they regard as desirable. It would not be difficult to collect from various passages in The Green Book what their ideal is. But we need not. The important point is not the precise nature of their end, but the fact that they have an end at all. They must have, or their book (being purely practical in intention) is written to no purpose. And this end must have real value in their eyes. To abstain from calling it good and to use, instead, such predicates as ‘necessary’ or ‘progressive’ or ‘efficient’ would be a subterfuge. They could be forced by argument to answer the questions ‘necessary for what?’, ‘progressing towards what?’, ‘effecting what?’; in the last resort they would have to admit that some state of affairs was in their opinion good for its own sake.