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Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Most Basic Form of Knowledge

The other day I wrote a blog in which I mentioned that in the United States we had much rather attribute our actions to pragmatism rather than righteousness, and that this ethos reflects Christ’s admonition not to parade righteousness—which when done tends to immediately transmute into self-righteousness (a form of hatred).

One of the most powerful arguments against evil is that it is ineffective and simply doesn’t work in the end. It is just too great a burden to bear—which is precisely what MLK said about racial hatred: 

l’ve seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and I've seen hate on the faces of too many sheriffs, too many white citizens‘ councilors, and too many Klansmen of the South to want to hate, myself; and every time l see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear.**

The most elegant argument for morality is its pragmatism—it is what works and endures—it is in the end what's most effective and efficient. Again as MLK said, “we must finally believe in the ultimate morality of the universe, and believe that all reality hinges on moral foundations.” Quoting Carlyle he said “No lie can live forever.” Thus, if one chooses not be believe in God, at least one should believe in moral laws and principles out of practical self-interest. Even if one does not know the creator of the game we are in, it obtains to one's benefit to know the rules.

** From: A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. “A Christmas Sermon On Peace”.

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