Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Robert George, Method, and the New York Times Magazine

I do not know if the New York Times magazine accurately reported an aspect of his method, but, if it did, I find it disturbing. According to the Times, as I read it, George makes a sharp distinction between moral conclusions based in Reason (which I take to be Opinion supported by reason - right or wrong) and moral conclusions that do not follow deductively from moral principles (thus, as I understand it, favoring particular practical steps in favor of the poor is always lower in his hierarchy than say opposing homosexuality).

It seems to me that compassion is a major theme in the gospel and that this method does not leave adequate room for compassion.

I should say that I have never met Robert George and am not talking at all about his personal compassion for others. But I have a general view that deduction as an exclusive method of moral reason risks taking on bloodless conclusions unless the operator of the method smuggles his or her desires into the premises.


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