It is obvious to the whole world that a service is better than an injury, that gentleness is preferable to ange

It is obvious to the whole world that a service is better than an injury, that gentleness is preferable to anger. It only remains, therefore, to use our reason to discern the shades of goodness and badness.

Voltaire, in his Philosophical Dictionary (vol.6, 327), in, Voltaire’s Bastards, John Ralston Saul, p.31

It seems obvious to many that ‘gentleness is preferable to anger’ but it is less obvious that ‘reason’ makes us cognisent of this. It isn’t clear, for example, that reason places others before self, or even that it should. ‘Which Rationality?’ to quote Alasdair MacIntyre’s book title.

The sense of morality is because humans bear the image of a Moral Being to whom they are ultimately accountable. This Being, revealed in Scripture has stamped man with his image and a conscience that now accuses and now defends man’s own actions. The Enlightenment project failed to deliver the freedom and tolerance men like Voltaire hoped for.

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