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Old 11-05-2011, 03:50 AM
Florian Florian is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,118
Default Re: Want more Pinker?

Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
The distinction drawn in the article is too academic and drastic, I think. It puts the author in another "counter-intuitive" box: you can't be for world peace as a rational goal unless you're willing to drown your mother even though saving her will cause the death of two strangers.
You have to distinguish two things: moral philosophy (moral doctrines such as utilitarianism, intuitionism, Kantianism) on the one hand; philosophies of history on the other. The various positions in moral philosophy have all been staked out. Everyone knows what moves you can make in one doctrine, what moves you cannot make in another. It is all very academic, as you say. A philosophy of history, linking past, present and future (a goal), is based on beliefs that ultimately cannot be justified by a moral philosophy, but only by a religion, i.e. by faith. Without the Judeo-Christian scheme of a "history of salvation," I really don't see how you can claim that history is pointing in the direction of world peace, and that it is "rational" to strive for it.
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