Monday, 12 July 2010

Heaven on earth

From here:
Alan Wolfe reviews Terry Eagleton's new book:
“We cannot pass reliable moral judgment on the human species,” he argues, “because we have never been able to observe it other than in desperately deformed conditions.” Lift the burdens imposed by scarcity and poverty, and then we will find that human beings need not kill others to make up for their moral and psychological failings. This seems to me, if I may be so crude as to repair to the language of social science, a non-falsifiable proposition, assuming, as it does, a condition that will never be met. Such futuristic speculation is not what we would expect from a self-proclaimed realist, but logical consistency is not remotely Eagleton’s strength.

Not quite right. '[T]he burdens imposed by scarcity and poverty' have been lifted in parts of Cheshire and Surrey and, no, they don't seem to need to kill each other. Well, not much.

4 comments:

ghostofelberry said...

The more i hear of Eagleton the more i loathe him. One of my friends recently had the opportunity to assassinate Terry in his cups but let it slip, a grave lapse.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Yes, I was also ready to pounce on "we have never been able to observe it other than in desperately deformed conditions"... "the burdens imposed by scarcity and poverty...". Has this Eagleton chap spent his entire life 'on the street'? I suspect not.

Hey Skipper said...

Lift the burdens imposed by scarcity and poverty, and then we will find that human beings need not kill others to make up for their moral and psychological failings.

Adam Smith proved that it is cheaper to buy than steal.

It is ignorance of, or resistance to, that counterintuitive result that leads to scarcity and poverty.

Need to get cause and effect in the right order.

Vern said...

Eagelton is a dick, and I'm amazed he's been allowed to get away with it for this long. Except, considering his target audience, I'm not.