13 June 2007


Open University: "rue, Shorris also accuses the Bush gang of lacking the Christian virtues of hope and charity. They are possessed, however, of an excess of the third virtue, faith, with which they have given themselves permission to commit evil acts. Faith, unlike hope and charity, being the distinguishing virtue of Christianity, it seems fair to read Shorris' essay as mostly about the loss of classical virtue and the overabundance of faith.

A similar theme infuses Christopher Hitchens' best-selling book, God Is Not Great. At the end of 250 pages of point-by-point explication of the follies and dangers of revelation based moralities, Hitchens finally finds someone he can trust: Socrates. 'From Socrates,' Hitchens says, the very tone of his prose shifting markedly, 'we can learn how to argue two things that are of the highest importance. The first is that conscience is innate. The second is that the dogmatic faithful can easily be outpointed and satirized ... In essence the argument with faith begins and ends with Socrates.'

Looking for moral revival after the Bush years, frightened of people who talk to god, malnourished by the formalistic prescriptions of liberalism, it is not surprising that the rich tradition of classical philosophy calls."

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