What exactly is moral fanaticism? Like moral relativism, moral fanaticism is a meta-ethical theory – a theory about moral facts and moral reasoning. Moral relativism says, roughly, that there are no moral facts, and moral “reasoning” is just thinly-veiled emoting. Moral fanaticism, in contrast, affirms that there are moral facts, but pretends that thinly-veiled emoting is ironclad moral reasoning.
In a reflective moment, George Orwell wrote, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.” Yet if you actually read his oeuvre, you’ll find a striking disparity: Orwell’s anti-totalitarian writing is massive, but his pro-socialist writing is wafer thin.
Economically speaking, there’s a straightforward win-win case for these Mexican resorts: Not only do they make the tourists happier; they make the Mexicans happier by providing them with better opportunities than they have elsewhere in the Mexican economy. If you reconsider this verdict through the distorted lens of Social Desirability Bias, though, a radically different picture appears before your eyes. Once you forget economics, you could easily describe the resort experience in the following sordid way.
I think modern parenting is often too focused on avoiding conflict and managing the emotions of children. I am working to set certain cultural trends away from this in my family.
The fact that many people refuse to do what works is a flimsy reason to humor them. And it is a terrible reason to endorse clear-cut errors like, “They just can’t do it.”
I’ve seen people argue that commonplace irresponsibility shows why political government is necessary. They never explain how these naturally irresponsible people who won’t govern their own lives can be expected to responsibly govern the lives of thousands or millions of others once getting elected.
Most smart people aren’t doing what I’m doing. Shouldn’t I be worried? Only slightly. Even smart people are prone to herding and hysteria. I’ve now spent three months listening to smart defenders of the conventional view. Their herding and hysteria are hard to miss. Granted, non-smart contrarians sound even worse. But smart contrarians make the most sense of all.
Is money the only possible motivation for a politician or politically active individual? Of course not. It can be the main motivation for those who aren’t rich yet, but once someone is rich they still have to be motivated to use the political means against their fellow humans. Otherwise they wouldn’t.
If you stand for freedom don’t expect to be saluted and thanked by your fellow man. Don’t expect to start a movement. It rarely happens. You’re more likely to lose your reputation at the hands of the masses than your life at the hands of the tyrants.
Being forced to help isn’t helping. Complying with a threat doesn’t make you a compassionate or moral person. It shows you can be manipulated and easily scared into doing what someone else thinks you should instead of acting on your own values.