Tag Archives: human nature

What exactly is “faith in humanity”?

Because I’m pretty sure I don’t have it.

And that’s not to say that I’m a pessimist who thinks no good is possible and everything is doomed — that would be defining the potential of humanity according to a status-oriented model of morality, which is a framework I don’t use.  So, no, I’m not that cynical, but I do have a lot of confusion and skepticism around this term and how it’s employed.

Continue reading

Models of Conceptualizing Morality

Whenever moral evaluations take place, the two models I’ve frequently seen employed in discussion are these:

  • a status-oriented, “being”-centered morality of personal characteristics and fixed natures (that which takes for granted the existence of “bad people”, as a division from the rest of the population, which commentators then use to sort people on the basis of whether or not they go in that category)
  • and, less frequently, an adaption of the former that emphasizes “shades of gray” and that “everyone has some good and bad in them” (which always devolves into a rather frustrating and defeatist brand of moral relativism that, in attempting to acknowledge complexity, prevents acknowledgement of anything by undermining any productive discourse, deeming the whole discussion a pointless exercise and thinking itself enlightened for it).

Neither of these models jive with my understanding of reality and human nature, and out of frustration with their ubiquity, I want to share with y’all an alternate model that I find far more useful in practice.

This post was brought to you in part by the encouraging comments on this post and in part by sheer bitterness.  Enjoy.

Continue reading