LawandLiberty.org

JOHN GRAY:

COMMON TO ALL VARIANTS OF THE LIBERAL TRADITION IS A DEFINITE CONCEPTION, DISTINCTIVELY MODERN IN CHARACTER, OF MAN AND SOCIETY.… IT IS INDIVIDUALIST, IN THAT IT ASSERTS THE MORAL PRIMACY OF THE PERSON AGAINST THE CLAIMS OF ANY SOCIAL COLLECTIVITY; EGALITARIAN, IN AS MUCH AS IT CONFERS ON ALL MEN THE SAME MORAL STATUS AND DENIES THE RELEVANCE TO LEGAL OR POLITICAL ORDER OF DIFFERENCES IN MORAL WORTH AMONG HUMAN BEINGS; UNIVERSALIST, AFFIRMING THE MORAL UNITY OF THE HUMAN SPECIES AND ACCORDING A SECONDARY IMPORTANCE TO SPECIFIC HISTORIC ASSOCIATIONS AND CULTURAL FORMS; AND MELIORIST IN ITS AFFIRMATION OF THE CORRIGIBILITY AND IMPROVABILITY OF ALL SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND POLITICAL ARRANGEMENTS.”

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If the abolition of slavery and cruel punishment is not progress, nothing is, which brings us to the fourth Enlightenment ideal. With our understanding of the world advanced by science and our circle of sympathy expanded through reason and cosmopolitanism, humanity could make intellectual and moral progress. It need not resign itself to the miseries and irrationalities of the present, nor try to turn back the clock to a lost golden age.

Steve Pinker. Enlightenment Now.

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Andrei Reznikov

Andrei Reznikov

Dad. Dreamer. Civil Servant. Trying to nudge history in the right direction.