Monday, February 22, 2021

I have argued that the moral egalitarianism that is central to modern morality cannot be defended on any basis other than the supposition that there is an egalitarian God that invests everyone with equal moral worth. Defenders of morality argue that this aspect of morality can be defended without any theistic assumptions, even though, as I have suggested, moral egalitarianism appears to be nothing more than a legacy of Judaism and Christianity.

Counting against Nietzsche’s skepticism about the ability of morality to survive the death of God is precisely the fact that he calls repeated attention to, namely that, in the domain of moral thought “everything goes on as before” (A 38), that is, that the egalitarian moral ideals have expanded their scope rather than receding in the wake of modern atheism (cf. Leiter 2013a). Of course, the more accurate thing to say is that, for the last 150 years or so, “everything goes on as before.” Might this change in a Nietzschean direction? Of course, it could, and we cannot rule that out. But it counts against Nietzsche’s prediction that the death of God will produce the death of morality that 150 years later, it really is true that “everything [still] goes on as before.”

To be sure, to the extent Nietzsche is making a prediction—as when he says “Christianity as dogma perished of its own morality [i.e., the demand to be truthful]; in this manner Christianity as morality must now also perish—we stand at the threshold of this event” (GM III:27)—he presumably is not making a prediction about what the vast “herd” of humanity will come to believe, only about his rightful readers, that elite he imagined were predisposed for his insights--or at least those benighted atheists who have not yet thought clearly about the implications of the death of God.

And right below this, the centennial of Rawls. repeats: Rawls, Joshua Cohen and Apple University.

The absurdity of Leiter. His loyalty to the academy supersedes everything else. But I keep returning to it and the absurdity of philosophy.

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