The Ethics of G. E. Moore: A New Interpretation by John Patrick Hill

By John Patrick Hill

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I call this capability world creativity. To be human, from birth to death, is to create new worlds of meaning from the worlds of meaning already created by history and others. Each of us is born into a social world whose shape has already been constituted through time, but which each of us cannot help but also reshape over time into meaning for ourselves. Hence what I am calling humanity’s circularity: its being as both passively created by and actively creative of its constituting worlds of meaning.

But most important, in all three synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke), Jesus places a child in the midst of his disciples and declares: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ”21 Children represent a kind of moral purity or humility that is the very model of redemption for all. Judith M. ” Unlike in Paul, childhood tends to be viewed in such passages less as a state of fallenness to be overcome than as a sign of God’s grace entering the world.

It is to some extent inevitable that talk about humanity is dehumanizing. But for children in particular, the problem is complicated by the fact that they cannot, on the whole—nor should they—be held as responsible as adults for making their own particular experiences of humanity known. Children’s ethical complexity is especially readily obscured. Overturning historical biases about childhood will take more than empirical investigation, helpful though this is. It will also require ethical self-critique.

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