Friday, January 20, 2012

We are the 90%

Friday afternoon is Habermas Happy Hour here at millinerd.  Warm up with Hart on Pinker, then read what the famous philosopher said in an interview quoted at The Chronicle:
For the normative self-understanding of modernity, Christianity has functioned as more than just a precursor or a catalyst.  Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights, and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. 
But what about the Greeks?  According to Diogenes Allen, the Greek notion of justice, even in its most exalted form as found in Plato, "failed to notice the distress of the helpless in a society in which 90 percent of the people were slaves."