Moral Mediocrity

Interesting post here by Eric Schwitzgebel, with a lot of relevance to the fact that very few people succeed at being perfect or even near-perfect vegans.


s. wallerstein said...

Would I want to aim at intellectual mediocrity or mediocrity in sports or mediocrity regarding artistic tastes?

Isn't part of not being a moral mediocrity distinguishing oneself from the herd?

I look at the ethical, as well as the intellectual behavior, not to mention the artistic tastes of most people and I don't find them very admirable.

Maybe I'm a moral snob or elitist.

Faust said...

I find the idea that people should not aim to be moral saints revolting.

If morality has any importance at all its importance should be absolute.

I would argue that virtually all of the world's ills are a function of the view that it is acceptable to shirk moral duty (what really, can that idea even MEAN).

Now having said that - I also believe that gaining a deep understanding of what we ought to be doing is exceedingly difficult.

As a consequence our first moral task is developing a capacity for moral self-awareness.

For most people this is generated by mimicking other people. First and foremost family, then community, then broader culture. When deviating find alternative communities and cultures.

I strongly agree with Schwitzgebel's suggestion of how we should view the moral exemplars of religion. Because our moral compass is driven by mimesis, having an ideal type to shoot for is exceedingly helpful.