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Peter Svensson
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Peter Svensson

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Peter Svensson

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Another insight from Steven Pinkers' "The Better Angels of Our Nature," which is about violence and why we're seeing less of it:

"The world has far too much morality. If you added up all the homicides committed in pursuit of self-help justice, the casualties of religious and revolutionary wars, the people executed for victimless crimes and misdemeanors, and the targets of ideological genocides, they would surely outnumber the fatalities from amoral predation and conquest. The human moral sense can excuse any atrocity in the minds of those who commit them, and it furnishes them with motives for acts
of violence that bring them no tangible benefit."
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It is an interesting, and not entirely original thought. When he says we have "far too much" morality, the implication is a prescription for much less morality. But how exactly would we do that? And what is the source of this prescription, if not a wish for a more moral world?

I thought of this quote when I read this article about debt and the strange morality that insists debts be repaid even when the austerity measures needed to facilitate repayment would cause the deaths of thousands of children.

http://www.bostonreview.net/BR37.1/david_graeber_debt_economics_occupy_wall_street.php
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104 people
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Karl Svensson's profile photo
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Michael Cooper's profile photo
Joan Tang's profile photo
Saif Ansari's profile photo
mary ann priestley's profile photo
Deb Yao's profile photo
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