Exposing the emptiness of contemporary moral fashions, Budziszewski explores the rules of human conduct that we can't not know. Budziszewski's purpose is to "bolster the confidence of plain people in the rational foundations of their common moral sense."Exposing the emptiness of contemporary moral fashions, Budziszewski explores the rules of human conduct that we can't not know. Budziszewski's purpose is to "bolster the confidence of plain people in the rational foundations of their common moral sense."Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2003-02-10 Once upon a time, Budziszewski contends, a common moral ground existed so that all cultures could agree on moral absolutes. In contemporary society, however, such mutual ground has given way to shifting moral sands and new "situational" ethics. According to Budziszewski, an associate professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas, none of these new systems offers strong moral foundations. Very simply, he argues, we all have deep inside us a moral regulator-our conscience-that tells us right from wrong. This conscience is part of our human nature, and the law that it writes on our hearts is the natural law of God. Thus, contends Budziszewski, we all know it's wrong to murder, steal, lie, commit adultery or have abortions because our conscience tells us so. No matter how we justify cheating on a spouse, he argues that "we can't not know" the activity is wrong. Budziszewski finds fault with every ethical system but his own because they fail to account for this natural, absolute law written in our hearts. He also egregiously misrepresents certain philosophical positions to make his case. He mistakenly presents utilitarianism, for example, as an ethical system guided by the principle of pleasure instead of emphasizing utilitarianism's focus on the greatest good for the greatest number. Despite his tendency to make straw men out of the systems he opposes, Budziszewski passionately and polemically challenges what he sees as the moral shortcomings of contemporary society. (Mar.)
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