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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Condemning Rush Limbaugh for his divorces and drug use 

Legal Fiction has criticized the condemnation of Rush Limbaugh for his, ummm..., moral laxity on the basis that socially tolerant/liberal individuals should be tolerant of the all too human failing of even the worst moral scolds. I don't think that's quite right.

Recently I've begun reading Simon Blackburn's RULING PASSIONS and I want to quote at length from the first chapter of the book:


People who moralize too readily arouse our suspicions. To be able to give somebody a bad conscience is to have a hold over them, and people like this power. They may claim quite spurious authority, from sacred traditions, or convenient pieces of text, in holy books or holy constitutions, or from inner voices. They may be hypocrites, or they may be just stupid, blind to the real complexities of situations people find themselves in, and perhaps they are glib with justifications for their own doings.


Thoughtful criticism of the moral failings of scolds is difficult, but it is important so that the willful simplifications of our moral worlds isn't successful. We need to be on guard against the Manichean ethics of those who cannot understand tragedy and weakness of the will. So to gloat at Limbaugh's difficulties (while tempting) isn't appropriate, it is important to point out when people promote moral codes that do not map onto our actual moral world.

-Ziggy Stardust  23:53 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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