I feel the same way occasionally. I think there is a lot to be said for personal responsibility and this conservative streak, as you so aptly put it, has "worried" me. but that's just nonsense, my worrying. limiting myself to automatically assume the default "liberal" position is not very open-minded is it? also, your last paragraph is brilliant. maybe by placing these high moral standards on ourselves we are doing more harm than good as they would surely be impossible to fulfill.

I remain unconvinced that impossibly high standards are a bad thing when it comes to morality. The unachievable project of being a saint is different from the unachievable project of, say, becoming telekinetic, in that spending hours upon hours squinting at spoons and trying to bend them with your mind presumably doesn’t enrich your life in anyway; it just frustrates you, and maybe gives you a headache.

On the other hand, dedicating a lot of thought and energy to trying to meet an impossible standard of goodness seems like a worthwhile endeavor to me in that, while it won’t make any of us saints, it will make us better. And while that’s good enough, settling for it would seem to defeat the whole point.


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