Il bene dentro

Nel libro “The Moral Sense” James Wilson intende sostenere che siamo dei moralisti nati.

Lo siamo anche e soprattutto quando cerchiamo di non esserlo.

***

Di questi tempi la virtù gode di cattiva reputazione

… Virtue has acquired a bad name. To young people it is the opposite of having fun, to older ones it is a symbol of lost virtue that politicians now exploit for partisan purposes…

Eppure il moralismo è ipertrofico (stampa, radio, tv non fanno altro che prediche e tirate moralistiche mascherate…)…

… Yet the daily discourse of ordinary people is filled with oblique references to morality…

Giusto qualche preoccupazione linguistica per non farlo emergere immediatamente come tale, e poi vai a trinciar giudizi da mane a sera…

… This preoccupation, like the adjectives with which we express it—loyal, kind, or nice; disloyal, selfish, or rude—is with the language of morality, even though we often disguise it in the language of personality….

Tesi: l’uomo è un moralista naturale

… I endeavor to show that mankind has a moral nature…

***

Ma perché il moralista che è in noi dovrebbe nascondersi?

Forse perché crediamo che i giudizi morali siano arbitrari. Il culto della scienza avrebbe questo effetto collaterale…

… I believe it is because we have learned, either firsthand from intellectuals or secondhand from the pronouncements of people influenced by intellectuals, that morality has no basis in science or logic. To defend morality is to defend the indefensible…

Siamo stati educati da Darwin che tutto è utilitarismo…

… Charles Darwin taught us, we suppose, that a person is the isolated product of a competition for survival among selfish genes coping with material circumstances; his or her morals are entirely utilitarian and selfcentered…

Da Freud che ogni morale è repressione…

… Sigmund Freud taught us, we suppose, that guilt is an unhealthy expression of a repressed impulse…

Da Marx che tutto cela rapporti di forza…

… Karl Marx taught us, we suppose, that we are driven entirely by economic impulses…

Con maestri del genere lo scetticismo è dovuto.

Ma il senso comune ci dice ben altro…

… That spirit has been one of skepticism. Science has challenged common sense…

Ci sono poi anche gli antropologi, quelli per cui tutto è cultura

… the dominant tradition in modern anthropology has held that those customs are entirely the product of culture, and so we can conclude that man has no nature apart from his culture….

Il relativismo ha vinto…

… Many people have persuaded themselves that no law has any foundation in a widely shared sense of justice…

Nell’educare i bambini siamo terrorizzati dall’indottrinamento

… Many people have persuaded themselves that children will be harmed if they are told right from wrong…

Preferiamo presentare ai piccoli i valori e lasciare che scelgano da soli (a costo di procurare ansie inutili)…

… they should be encouraged to discuss the merits of moral alternatives. This is called “values clarification,”…

Ma una ricetta del genere crea più confusione che educazione.

Eppure c’è riluttanza nel giudicare le abitudini altrui

… Many people have persuaded themselves that it is wrong to judge the customs of another society since there are no standards apart from custom on which such judgments can rest…

Questa riluttanza viene chiamata “tolleranza”.

In questo clima lassista non meraviglia che prosperino droga e teppismo giovanile…

… people who have persuaded themselves to embrace nonmoral standards should not be surprised if young people who have heard these ideas grow up taking drugs, cheating on tests, and shooting their enemies…

Ma crediamo veramente nel relativismo?…

… Do we really want to have the utterly malleable, slightly cynical, superficially tolerant, wholly transparent human nature that we claim we have?…

Probabilmente no poiché, una volta messo a punto un linguaggio che non ci dia sensi di colpa, giudichiamo eccome, giudichiamo a raffica. E i “tolleranti” in particolare.

Eppure quel che uno pensa di essere continua a contare…

… We must be careful of what we think we are, because we may become that…

Le buone maniere vogliono che il giudizio vada espresso in privato. Il giudizio pubblico è qualcosa di rozzo e tipico dei fanatici…

… When they speak of virtue, they must do so privately, in whispers, lest they be charged with the grievous crime of being “unsophisticated” or, if they press the matter, “fanatics.”…

***

Prendiamo il caso del crimine: colpa della società o della mancanza dei valori?…

… When we try to explain the high rate of crime, some argue that it is the result of young people’s no longer having the right values and others claim that it is caused by social barriers that have prevented young people from attaining their values by legitimate means… Hardly anyone can discuss the problems of public schools without claiming or denying that these failures are the result of the schools’ teaching the wrong values, or no values…

Trattasi di vera e propria guerra culturale

… We are engaged in a cultural war, a war about values. It is not a new war; it has been going on for centuries as part of a continuing struggle at national self-definition. Once the issues were slavery, temperance, religion, and prostitution; today they are divorce, illegitimacy, crime, and entertainment…

Per molti i “valori” sono solo preferenze soggettive (come i gusti del gelato)…

… But what do we mean by a “value”? A taste? A preference? A belief? A moral principle? A binding obligation?… The word “values” finesses all of the tough questions. It implies a taste or preference and recalls to mind the adage that there is no disputing tastes…

Ma il buon senso si oppone…

… beneath that tolerance there lurks among many of us a worrisome uncertainty—some of us doubt that we have a defensible philosophy or credible conviction that we would want to impose…

E poi in tutto questo  c’è qualcosa di strano: chi ritiene che i valori siano “gusti” poi li difende fino alla morte

… But of course we don’t really mean that our beliefs are no more than tastes, because when we defend them—to the extent we can—our muscles tighten and our knuckles grow white… That is not the way we discuss our taste for vanilla ice cream. We are aware, then, that some values are more important than others…

Sotto c’è la nostra ipocrisia: siamo dei moralisti e negarlo non serve a nulla. Quanto più lo neghiamo, tanto più la cosa emerge.

Se siamo dei moralisti la “value clarification” è qualcosa di inadatto da propinare ai bambini…

… We suspect that “values clarification” is not the best way to teach the young but lack the confidence to assert a value that ought to be defended…

Se siamo dei moralisti naturali la scienza non puo’ essere nemica della morale

… Students of child development have observed the emergence of the moral sense and given respectful and thoughtful accounts of it. However much the scientific method is thought to be the enemy of morality, scientific findings provide substantial support for its existence and power….

Tesi: il moralismo non è né evitabile, né arbitrario

… tries to make clear that people necessarily make moral judgments, that many of those judgments are not arbitrary or unique to some time, place, or culture…

Avere un senso morale significa intuire l’esistenza di valori reali…

… By a moral sense I mean an intuitive or directly felt belief about how one ought to act when one is free to act voluntarily (that is, not under duress)…

Era già vero per Aristotele…

… you cannot discuss morality with someone who is devoid of any moral sense.3 The fact that you can discuss morality with practically anyone suggests to me that the word “ought” has an intuitively obvious meaning…

Altri precursori…

… This effort is a continuation of work begun by certain eighteenth-century English and Scottish thinkers, notably Joseph Butler, Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith…

E oggi la biologia conferma…

… What I seek to add to this tradition is a knowledge of what the biological and social sciences have since learned about what they were the first to call the moral sense…

***

Ma dove reperiamo le evidenze sull’esistenza del senso morale?

Essenzialmente osservando i comportamenti dell’uomo…

… Much of what we know about the moral senses has to be inferred from how people behave. For example: We observe somebody helping somebody else. Is the explanation a desire for a reward, hope for a reciprocal favor, or genuine compassion for the other fellow? The best one can do is to try to make a plausible inference from the facts…

Esistono regole universali che unificano tutte le culture…

… how did it happen that in the West people were induced to believe that our moral sentiments should extend to many, perhaps all, people, and not just to family, close relatives, and ethnic kin?…

La morale è dentro di noi. Va riabilitata allora la connessione tra carattere e morale…

… To anticipate and oversimplify the conclusion, it is that an older view of human nature than is now current in the human sciences and moral philosophy is the correct view…

Esiste nell’uomo una tensione verso il bene che va accudita e sviluppata…

… Beneath our wars, crimes, envies, fanaticisms, persecutions, snobberies, and adulteries; beneath, that is to say, all of those human traits that might be said to constitute our original sin, there is a desire not only for praise but for praiseworthiness, for fair dealings as well as for good deals, for honor as well as for advantage….

Leggi il giornale e cosa concludi? Che l’uomo è cattivo!…

… A person who contemplates this endless litany of tragedy and misery would be pardoned for concluding that man is at best a selfish and aggressive animal…

Ma se il male fa notizia è per due ragioni: perché è raro e perché sconvolge il nostro animo…

… But before drawing so bleak a conclusion from his daily newspaper, the reader should ask himself why bloodletting and savagery are news. There are two answers. The first is that they are unusual… The second reason that misery is news is because it is shocking…

Ci sconvolge perché abbiamo un senso morale…

… The argument of this book is that people have a natural moral sense, a sense that is formed out of the interaction of their innate dispositions with their earliest familial experiences. To different degrees among different people, but to some important degree in almost all people, that moral sense shapes human behavior and the judgments people make of the behavior of others…

***

Un tempo l’esistenza di una morale naturale veniva data per scontata…

… At one time, the view that our sense of morality shaped our behavior and judgments was widely held among philosophers…

Aristotele, Tommaso, Smith

La modernità ha rotto con questa tradizione…

… Modern philosophy, with some exceptions, represents a fundamental break with that tradition…

Marx

… Marxism as generally received (and, with some exceptions, as Marx himself wrote it) is a relentlessly materialistic doctrine in which morality, religion, and philosophy have no independent meaning…

I positivisti, la fallacia naturalistica e il necessario soggettivismo morale. A. J. Ayer

… Analytical philosophers took seriously the argument that “values” could not be derived from “facts,” and tended to relegate moral judgments to the realm of personal preferences…

Esistenzialismo

… Existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre argued that man must choose his values, but provided little guidance for making that choice….

Pragmatismo

… Richard Rorty, perhaps the most important philosophical writer in present-day America, denies that there is anything like a “core self” or an inherently human quality,…

Freud: solo istinti, nessuna moralità…

… it seems clear that Freudianism was popularly understood as meaning that people have instincts, especially sexual and aggressive ones, and not moral senses; morality, to the extent people acquire any, is chiefly the result of learning to repress those instincts…

Antropologia culturale…

… Ruth Benedict’s best-selling book Patterns of Culture was read to mean that all ways of life were equally valid….

In sintesi: tutto è permesso, dio è morto, l’uomo non ha natura, è una tabula rasa da modellare.

***

I due errori quando si parla di cultura: o la cultura è tutto o non è niente…

… Two errors arise in attempting to understand the human condition. One is to assume that culture is everything, the other to assume that it is nothing. In the first case there would be no natural moral sense—if culture is everything, then nature is nothing. In the second, the moral sense would speak to us far more clearly than it does…

Quando la cultura è tutto allora l’educazione diventa una semplice esposizione di valori tra i quali il discente sceglie…

… The “values clarification” approach to moral education that began in the late 1960s warned teachers to avoid “moralizing, criticizing, giving values, or evaluating.” They were especially to avoid “all hints of ‘good’ or ‘right’ or ‘acceptable.’”…

E se scegli di copiare all’esame?…

… There is no evidence that this bit of pedagogical idiocy had any direct effect on the beliefs of children,9 but it may have had an indirect effect on their actions. If a child cheated on an exam, did the teacher respond by helping the student “clarify” the “value” he attached to honesty and dishonesty?…

Non ci sono più contromisure, il relativista è all’angolo.

Una situazione chiaramente in contrasto col buon senso.

Dietro il relativismo c’è lo slogan ossessivo “non giudicare”…

… In my classes, college students asked to judge a distant people, practice, or event will warn one another and me not to be “judgmental” or to “impose your values on other people.”…

Sii tollerante e rispetta la libertà altrui.

Quando si cerca di difendere questa posizione si ripiega di solito su argomenti utilitaristici ma l’insincerità di questa difesa è palese…

… attempt to construct intellectual defenses of these notions, defenses typically based on utility: for example, society is better off if everybody behaves that way. Most people, however, do not act fairly or sympathetically because they have decided that “society” (whatever that is) will be better off as a consequence… The feelings on which people act are often superior to the arguments that they employ…

I relativisti, molto semplicemente, vivono in un mondo che consente loro di essere tali…

… College students, like Professor Rorty, rarely have to cope with an atrocity or give a reason for condemning those they learn of. To them, the perils of accepting cultural relativism are purely hypothetical…

Parlando di criminalità tutti i limiti del relativismo vengono a galla…

… Consider the problem of rising crime rates. Having thought about the matter for many years, I can find no complete explanation for the worldwide increase in crime rates that does not assign an important role to a profound cultural shift in the strength of either social constraints or internal conscience or both… The moral relativism of the modern age has probably contributed to the increase in crime rates, especially the increases that occur during prosperous times. It has done so by replacing the belief in personal responsibility with the notion of social causation and by supplying to those marginal persons at risk for crime a justification for doing what they might have done anyway…

Persino i criminali – una parte minoritaria della società – hanno un senso morale…

… Even criminals believe in morality, at least as they grow older, David Farrington and Donald West have followed a group of working-class London males from early childhood well past the age of thirty…

Tesi: il relativismo è un’ipocrisia, un lusso che chi vive nella bambagia puo’ permettersi di sfoggiare…

… we have a moral sense, most people instinctively rely on it even if intellectuals deny it, but it is not always and in every aspect of life strong enough to withstand a pervasive and sustained attack…

Attenzione: dire che abbiamo una moralità innata non significa aderire alla teoria del “buon selvaggio”…

… To say that people have a moral sense is not the same thing as saying that they are innately good. A moral sense must compete with other senses that are natural to humans—the desire to survive, acquire possessions, indulge in sex, or accumulate power—in short, with self-interest narrowly defined….

***

Molti di noi ubbidiscono alla legge e lo fanno non solo per la paura di ripercussioni. Perché?

Chiediamoci allora come nasce un ordine sociale?

Ci sono due ipotesi.

La prima postula una soluzione razionale: l’uomo è intelligente e si organizza attraverso un piano (contratto sociale)…

… The first is rationalistic and individualistic: order exists because people, horrified by the anarchy of the natural world, find some rule or convention that can keep them from being part of an endless war of all against all. Thomas Hobbes argued that government is created because “every man is enemy to every man,” driven by a desire for gain, for safety…

Seconda ipotesi: abbiamo un senso del dovere innato

… The second explanation is normative and communal: order exists because a system of beliefs and sentiments held by members of a society sets limits to what those members can do. Emile Durkheim believed that neither governments nor markets alone could produce order…

Chi ha ragione? Nessuno. O meglio, entrambi. Esiste sia un piano razionale che un senso del dovere.

aa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Rispondi

Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Google+ photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google+. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Connessione a %s...