Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Standing for Principle

I observed this trend among many of my own students at three different universities where I taught undergraduate courses in philosophy…The most common answers that students gave to principled questions concerning the right and the good were evasive statements like, “That depends on your point of view,” or “I can see both sides of the argument”, or “That’s just my opinion”, or “Your mileage may vary.”

One of my most articulate students, when asked what things make life meaningful, said: “Oh, whatever people want, so long as we’re not harming or judging anyone.” I understand why my students spoke this way. They do not wish to create controversy or conflict; they do not wish to appear dogmatic or closed-minded. Nonetheless, these answers are varieties of deliberate non-thinking. They are public declarations of an unwillingness to commit to anything, and an unwillingness to make serious choices about the value and meaning of their own lives. Indeed I began to doubt whether they believed anything substantial at all.

From "The Other Side of Virtue" Brendan Myers

He said it better than I could.  

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