Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Moral Contextualist

Some deeds are black. And some are white.
But most of them are grey.
So we must talk about them in a quantitative way.
It is fine to follow. As it is fine to feel.
For we must believe in something, and believing, we must wheel
To defend what we believe in with a fine fanatic zeal.
But we must also measure. And we must also think.

Some things are true. And some are false.
But seldom can we know
Which falsehood is the falsest as the falsehoods come and go.
I know there is a best way. I doubt that it is good.
For we all were born to trouble in a vast and sunless wood
Where many are the paths of 'must' and few the paths of 'should'.
And we wander here to measure. We wander here to think.

The usages of Sulva! The portion of Lothair.
There are two sins against hope:
Presumption and despair.


Marco said...

I don't know how, but I missed this post before. Where did the poem come from?

Marco said...

I found a good questionnaire at

Don't know how we missed it before.

Dr. Clam said...

I menat to make sure the North Korea post was in between Belloc's good poem and my lame one, but it would seem that Blogger puts the datestamp on based on when the draft was started, not when you publish. Despite the non-appearance of a moral relatvism questionaire, I haven't stopped thinking- I am hoping for something a little less overt than than the based on statements that are conclusions flowing from (unexamined) moral relativist premises.

Marco said...

Yes people are generally less hung up about a philosophy not being self-consistent than we are for sure.