(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Same End, Different Means

[S]imilar ethical maxims may be correlated with very different dogmatic foundations.

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905)

It’s a point often lost within moral debate, particularly within the discourse of the church, where the binary elect/world often precludes the discussion of shared ethics in favor of absolutizing/totalizing criticism. Better to recognize more accurately where shared or worthy ethics exist in otherwise problematic relations of, as Weber puts it, foundational dogmas.

Cf. Blankenhorn, “The Seven Habits of Highly Depolarizing People“: quoting Michael Walzer, “We criticize our society just as we criticize our friends, on the assumption that the terms of the critique, the moral references, are common.” … On looking for goods in conflict: “Some conflicts are entirely about good versus evil or right versus wrong, but many (probably most) are more about good versus good or right versus right.”


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This entry was posted on March 6, 2016 by and tagged , , .
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