Sunday, January 21, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Carroll

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The real task is not to rid life of ethics but to rid ethics of its ideological content.
--
p. 38

 
John Carroll

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I must interpret the life about me as I interpret the life that is my own. My life is full of meaning to me. The life around me must be full of significance to itself. If I am to expect others to respect my life, then I must respect the other life I see, however strange it may be to mine. And not only other human life, but all kinds of life: life above mine, if there be such life; life below mine, as I know it to exist. Ethics in our Western world has hitherto been largely limited to the relations of man to man. But that is a limited ethics. We need a boundless ethics which will include the animals also.

 
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The World and Life are one. Physiological life is of course not "Life". And neither is psychological life. Life is the world.
Ethics does not treat of the world. Ethics must be a condition of the world, like logic.
Ethics and Aesthetics are one.

 
Ludwig Wittgenstein
 

And yet Catholicism does not abandon ethics. No! No modern religion can leave ethics on one side. But our religion although its doctors may protest against this is fundamentally and for the most part a compromise between eschatology and ethics; it is eschatology pressed into the service of ethics. What else but this is that atrocity of the eternal pains of hell, which agrees so ill with the Pauline apocatastasis? Let us bear in mind these words which the Theologica Germanica, the manual of mysticism that Luther read, puts into the mouth of God: "If I must recompense your evil, I must recompense it with good, for I am and have no other." And Christ said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," and there is no man who perhaps knows what he does.

 
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There is a sense, and a very exciting sense, in which art is moral. When Stendhal says a good picture is nothing but a construction in ethics, one recognises a truth about art which opens up vistas that are at the same time liberating and terrifying. The ethics of art are terrifying because real art by increasing our knowledge of ourselves increases in exactly the same proportion the ethical commitment.

 
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Land-use ethics are still governed wholly by economic self-interest, just as social ethics were a century ago.

 
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