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"I offer our good opinion of Singer and Singer's good opinion of himself (look at that picture), despite his drinks and shows and vacations, as evidence for my view." Is this "evidence"? You seem to be saying that hypocrisy or atleast an at-ease hypocrisy (the profession of standards contrary to one's real character or actual behaviour) is the one flaw that mustn't be tolerated. It's a logical flaw perhaps but that wouldn't make it a higher order flaw in the opinion of a drowning child surely. In fact why can't a lack of hypocrisy be a flaw - a lack of moral imagination - rather than a virtue? Self-mortification over our hypocrisy is not necessarily productive in increasing our moral behaviour. Neither is lowering moral standards so that the hypocrisy disappears however. If our goal is to give more to charity than we currently do then perhaps a willingness to include hypocrisy as crucial to our moral development is the way to go.
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2011 on The Good, The Bad and Peter Singer at
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Just because I'm currently getting my head bent by Tolstoys' Law of Love and Law of Violence I feel I ought to disagree with your definition of moral duty. You say, "No work of literature or drama has or would treat a victim’s refusal to defend himself in such circumstances as anything less than heroic; that is, as a sacrifice beyond the call of moral duty." Do we have a moral duty that stops short of heroism? Is there really a two tiered approach to morality? Or rather, as I don't think of rights and morals as "real" in any concrete sense, what would be so insane about expecting our moral duty to turn us into heroes. (Luke 6.29,30) 38You know that you have been taught, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." 39But I tell you not to try to get even with a person who has done something to you. When someone slaps your right cheek, [a] turn and let that person slap your other cheek. 40If someone sues you for your shirt, give up your coat as well. I don't live this (nor am I a Christian) however surely this would count as literature. Tolstoy makes a compelling case that any moral law of love becomes meaningless with the introduction of exceptions such as self-defence.
Toggle Commented Oct 22, 2011 on Self Defense at
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Oct 22, 2011