Moralising

Six-step guide to ‘justifying atrocities’ – The Irish Times – Tue, Jan 13, 2009

There is no morality, only “moralising”. Morality is an awkward bugger in these circumstances, not least because it can play hell with your own conscience. There is, thankfully, an almost magical solution – the beautiful word “moralising”. It transforms that nasty stuff about right and wrong into a contest between insufferable prigs (them) and clear-eyed realists (you). It shifts the ground from the atrocities you have committed or supported to the psychological flaws of those who get upset about them – all with the addition of five little letters. For advanced practitioners, “moralising” may be combined with “grandstanding” in a contemptuous sweep like “the throng of moralising grandstanders”, but it generally requires at least a university professorship to pull off such a comprehensive dismissal of international humanitarian law.

Great stuff altogether from Fintan O’Toole.

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