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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Moral clarity (2)

Sunday's blog gave me some clarity on moral clarity (sic!). For some time, I've been considering why morality is taking over from other debating arguments, like objectivity. Initially, I considered that the need for using moral clarity as an argument, might stem from a lack of other answers. It's more complicated than that and more simple as well.

This topic is hot within liberal-left media (see New Yorker article). Hence, I considered whether moral clarity is rooted in the common schism of the arrogance of the liberal-left versus the ignorance of the conservative-right (my 2017 blog). However, both sides use their perspective on moral clarity.

The New Yorker: "So what is moral clarity? The philosopher Susan Neiman, who wrote a book on the subject, says that it is not, in fact, a statically defined concept: it can be found only on a case-by-case basis. “Moral clarity, however, is about looking at each particular case, looking at all the facts, looking at all the context, and working out your answers,” she stated in a lecture."

In other words, moral clarity is a micro perspective. Any macro perspective would likely result in a (generic) philosophy rather than a view on a "case-by-case basis".

The New Yorker article makes another interesting observation: "[Moral clarity] should not be confused with moral simplicity: we may have clearly defined moral values, but the quest for the actual position of moral clarity is always complicated and specific to the circumstances."

In my view, morality is always complicated because of its context (eg, history vs today). The more you zoom out to a macro perspective, the more complex morality gets. The more you zoom in to a micro perspective, the more you can ignore its context, and the more easy - or simple - moral opinions become.

Hence, I'm not so sure if moral clarity and moral simplicity are really differing in view. Perhaps, moral clarity is just a morally superior way of phrasing moral simplicity. Moral arrogance at its best.

Despite the above, I've prepared a diagram which may outline the various positions. Based upon this diagram, moral simplicity is the macro and moral clarity the micro perspective.

Clearly, there is a moral judgement hidden in both concepts: a micro perspective is deemed better than a macro view. I disagree on that immoral principle.


 La morale Dell'immorale - OST La Piovra 2 - by Ennio Morricone


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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