Common Truths: New Perspectives on Natural Law

By Edward B. McLean | Go to book overview

opinion that there are certain upcoming and very real waves of global magnitude that we and subsequent generations will critically be subject to in a very short time. These waves, of such magnitude that we can scarcely comprehend them, are the global interactions of peoples of radically different cultures who, geographically, are moving in any direction toward which they think they can find life and hope. Each of us, I believe, is going to experience the outcome of vast migrations of peoples: the shifts, wanderings, and desperate searches of immigrants, refugees, and disaster victims that result for many reasons, in many ways, and with many and variant consequences, both good and not good. If this is the irreversible trend of our current times, then it seems clear which choice we have to make. We have to bring our personal inclinations, resources, patience, and virtue to bear on treating with dignity people who belong to groups we are not familiar with and may not even like, that is, treating them as moral equals. If we do not, I think we shall all go under. And the conflicts of intolerance and hatred preceding our destruction will not even be worth engaging in because both the means to resist and the end that is not resistible are unworthy of our dignity.


ENDNOTES
1.
B. E Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972).
2.
Gregg v. Georgia, ( 1976), USGa, 96 SCt 2909, 428 US 153, 49 LEd 2d, 859, stay gr, 96 SCt 3235, 429 US 1301. Selections reprinted in What is Justice, eds. N. C. Solomon and M. C. Murphy ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).
3.
Martin Schlag, "The Revolution in Human Dignity," presented at Fourteenth World Congress of International Association of Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1989. Vera Lex, V. XIII, Nos. 1 & 2, pp. 19-22, 1993.

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