<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="utf-8"> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /> <title>Note: Christian Tractatus (Theo Todman's Web Page)</title> </head><body> <a name="Top"></a> <h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages</h1><hr><h2>Christian Tractatus</h2><p class = "Centered">(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)<hr> <P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B> The stance I am adopting here is that of a liberal ironist. This term, (but not necessarily the meaning I apply to it) is due to Richard Rorty. </B><ol type="1"><li>I use the term liberal to mean the view that as much freedom as possible should be given to people to act as they like and to believe what they like provided that they do not transgress too much on the freedom of others by so doing.</li><li>While agreeing with Rorty (and Shklar) that "cruelty is the worst thing we do", I do not use this notion to define the liberal attitude, if only because cruelty (in the sense of hurting another) is a risk we undertake if we seek to interact with others meaningfully and deeply. A society that avoided cruelty at all costs would be too insipid.</li><li>I borrow Rorty's term ironist, but use it to mean one who realises that all things are contingent (ie. could have been otherwise), who does not take himself too seriously and whose realisation that all knowledge is no more than probable allows him to leave space for the views and actions of others.</li><li>However, I do not agree that our culture as a whole (and especially our scientific knowledge) is a chance development which could have been arbitrarily otherwise. There are obvious contingencies everywhere, but the fact (as I take it) that culture and science are responses to the world, which is given (even if we and it could, in a different world, have been otherwise), places constraints on the development of science and culture, including ethics. </li></ol></P> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR> <TH WIDTH="25%">Note last updated</TH> <TH WIDTH="50%">Reference for this Topic</TH> <TH WIDTH="25%">Parent Topic</TH></TR> <TR><TD WIDTH="25%">12/08/2007 10:17:46</TD> <TD WIDTH="50%">437 (Non-theistic Ethics - Liberal Ironist)</TD> <TD WIDTH="25%"><A href ="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_195.htm">Non-theistic Ethics</A></TD></TR> </TABLE></center> <BR><HR><BR><h3>Summary of Note Links to this Page</h3> <CENTER> <TABLE Class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR> <td bgcolor="#ffff4d" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_195.htm#11"><span title="Medium Quality">Non-theistic Ethics</span></A></TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> </TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P class = "Centered">To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.</P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><br><hr><br><h3 class = "Left">Text Colour Conventions</h3><OL TYPE="1"><li><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li></OL><BR> <center><BR><HR><BR><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD><TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD><TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T17:26" pubdate>02/08/2018 17:26:25</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD><TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD></TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR></BODY></HTML>