Friday, March 07, 2008

The Natural Death of (Amoral) Secular Liberalism

Found in First Things today:

Dacey has quibbles with Pope Benedict’s analysis of moral “relativism,” but he admits that “secular liberals find it had to shake the lingering feeling that there is something to the pope’s diagnosis. Something disquieting has been happening to the Western mind over the last half century.” He writes about a philosophy professor who reports that none of his students are Holocaust deniers, but an increasing number are even worse: “They acknowledge the fact, even deplore it, but cannot bring themselves to condemn it morally.” Who are they to say that the Nazis were morally wrong? And so it is also with apartheid, slavery, and ethnic cleansing. For these students, passing moral judgment “is to be a moral ‘absolutist,’ and having been taught that there are no absolutes, they now see any judgment as arbitrary, intolerant, and authoritarian.”

Dacey authored a book, The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life.

Fr. Neuhaus, the reviewer, offers this:

These contests are not between people who, on the one side, are trying to impose their morality on others, and people who, on the other side, subscribe to a purely procedural and amoral rationality. Over the years, some of us have been trying to elicit from our opponents the recognition that they, too, are making moral arguments and hoping that their moral vision will prevail. But in the world of secular liberalism, morality is the motive that dare not speak its name.

...and what they got, of course, was relativism: the dogma which proposes that there IS no dogma.

1 comment:

Billiam said...

Interesting, but, you'll never get them to admit it.