Robert George

So the New York Times Magazine had a long write up on Robert George, a Princeton Professor who appears to be on the vanguard of the ecumenical Christian conservative movement. As a committed secular rationalist, I savor the opportunity to read and study serious, intellectual writing in support of the traditional social conservative touchstones, i.e. abortion, gay marriage, etc. No Bible thumping Palinism here.

George is one of the three co-authors of the “Manhattan Declaration”, which has been brought up in another thread here in Great Debates. Posters there, last I checked, are going back and forth on gay marriage.

I’m more interested in a particular question that has been gnawing at me since reading the piece. George is described to describe Moral Philosophy as

What I don’t get is this: George posits that the Humean conception of the universe is inferior because it relegates morality to the “predetermined passions” that guide human agency in the absence of clear moral conclusions. But in his description of the superior, Aristotelian version of the universe, humans still have agency, still have choice; we have the ability to follow, or not to follow, the objective social order that “human reason can see”.

How come our choice to follow that objective social order is not subject to the same “predetermined passions” that render morality in the Humean conception pointless? What would George’s response to my question be?

George would direct you towards the end of the article:

Me, I really wouldn’t care what George’s response would be, as I’d be eagerly awaiting his response to my question, “why are you attributing such nonsense to David Hume?”

Send not to know for Hume the bell tolls…

OK, I’m Donne here…

That’s a Locke.

Those last three posts epitomize why I spend most of my time here. Bravo, fellas!

They epistomize it for me, too. . .

“Ecumenical” in the sense of including both Protestants and Catholics, or what?