A very Hansonian point: moral talk is not about a better world

Another example of Hanson’s X isn’t about Y insight; from The Moral Fool by Hans-Georg Moeller [emphasis mine]:

Morality is not so much an inner conviction that prevents people from doing bad things as a rhetorical device that helps them justify their actions before and after they act. In fact morality often leads people to commit extreme acts in the name of good—that others will view as bad or even evil. The Zhuangzi observes that this is the primary effect of morality. A society in which there is a lot of moral talk will not have fewer crimes. All the moralists in the world have not, so far, prevented war and murder. There is no correlation between more moral talk and a better world. Moral language, in fact, seems to be part of the problem, not the solution.

Moral talk isn’t about a better world!

Via Wreckage: the culture war | Meaningness by David Chapman.

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