in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Two Breeding Males Miss the Point

In the New Statesman online there is a review by John Gray
an awesome hatchet-job of a book by Kenan Malik, grandiosely entitled
Quest for a Moral Compass - a global history of ethics,
whose reply to Gray's virulent attack you can read here. 

Having read both,  I don’t know what to think…and Malik's  book is VERY expensive.

“the main problem we face in the world today is not that of too much rationality.”

is a pretty good point, not that Gray actually thinks that.
I think that what Gray is attacking is the teleological fallacy, the belief that we are improving –
though he has strong opposition there from Pinker and Diamond, who contend that humans ARE actually getting nicer. Except that we are pullulating like hideous mega-maggots on this fragile planet,
and no amount of human niceness can ever make up for the harm sheer numbers have caused the current biosphere, in what Diamond refers to as “The Sixth Extinction” [of a helluvalota life on the Earth].

A phrase that Gray uses by the by – “world-transforming sense of agency” – is interesting,
and I think that our post-Christian quasi-rationalist belief in individuals and groups,
rather than ‘humanity’ as potent agents acting more or less rationally is what Gray is against.
But it’s great to have someone like Gray growling like Cerberus in the back room, 
and I suspect that Kenan Malik, something of a socialist groupie, might be something of a smug whitewasher!  Both have axes to grind - but that is fairly normal.

Two breeding males challenge each other with misplaced self-righteousness...

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