Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Seed of an Argument against Semiquietism

If we are to have a universal respect for persons, we cannot seriously except ourselves; if we are to hope that the virtuous are especially rewarded, whether or not we are rewarded cannot reasonably be treated as morally indifferent if being virtuous cannot be.

(Semiquietism gets a mention in the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Quietism. Semiquietist views are very common, and I think morally pernicious. What makes them 'pernicious' rather than merely erroneous is that people think of the semiquietistic state as a sort of superior morality, when in fact it involves a set of moral deficiencies. It is morally deficient to have no concern at all for one's own welfare, even for the sake of goodness itself; and yet this moral deficiency is often mistaken for a type of exceptional goodness.)

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