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Dignity and Degradation

October 22, 2016

Can we restore dignity to our degraded times? So asks Bruce Frohnen at The Imaginative Conservative.

The very notion of infidelity as a wrong seems outdated today. Presidential candidates of both parties dismiss the thing-in-itself as meaningless or, at most, a private concern. Its only relevance, for the political classes, seems to be related to its implications, in specific cases, to one’s “attitude toward women.” And even here outrage seems more a matter of political calculation than moral sense. People have natural drives, so they must act on them. The only question is how best we can manipulate the public’s perception of the circumstances of our opponent’s activities. Moral outrage, being the product of mere conditioning, on this view, should be used, especially against those people of faith who retain the capacity to disapprove the thing-in-itself. Moral outrage is for liars and for suckers.

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