Friday, July 23, 2010

Moral philosophy quiz answers (11)

Last one.
 11. ASCETIC LIFE Is ascetic living (simple life with a minimum of physical comforts) conducive to being virtuous?
    a) Yes, it is essential to live this way
    b) Pretty much, but it isn't particularly essential to live this way
   c) No, physical comforts are fine, they may even be rewarding
   d) Doesn't matter/Dislike all answer choices
      What priority do you place on your selection above? High    Medium    Low
Asceticism is a very powerful idea that people love to take up telling themselves it is the opposite of selfishness when it is usually driven by very selfish motives. Think of all these people detoxing themselves for example. South Park is very good at tackling this sort of vanity.

An ascetic life is only a simulacrum of morality.


  1. Again, I made the same choice, maybe with Medium priority.

  2. I think the thing that split us into Aquinas and Sartre was probably question #4.

  3. Maybe. I guess it depends on how one uses the authority implied in "authoritative" and who is being authoritative. The Catholic Church abused its authority and extrapolated things that have nothing to do with Jesus, upon whom they based their authority, for its own institutional gain and profit. In addition, many of those in "authority" were found to have feet of clay. That lead to people, rightly or wrongly, rejecting the whole package and seeking to find virtue on their own. And maybe that's what we're all called to do, I see little moral value in doing something that someone else says is virtuous if you don't believe--or understand-- it yourself, though it may have some practical value, e.g., social order. I think the Church is realizing--maybe for the first time--what an awesome responsibility playing God really is.

  4. OPINION | July 23, 2010
    Op-Ed Columnist: The Moral Naturalists
    Scientific research is showing that we are born with an innate moral sense.

    This was in todays NY TIMES. I've followed Brooks for a long time, I generally agree more than disagree with him. Washington CT, where the conference he went to took place, is only a few minutes from me (not that I would ever have been invited). I neither agree nor disagree with what he reports here, just another theory to consider.