“Morality has had a hard time of it in the past half-century. It has come to represent everything we believe ourselves to have been liberated from: authority, repression, the delay of instant gratification, all that went with the religious, puritanical, Victorian culture of our grandparents. Virtues once thought admirable – modesty, humility, discretion, restraint – are now dusty exhibits in a museum of the cultural curiosities. Words like ‘duty’, ‘obligation’, ‘judgement’, ‘wisdom’ either carry a negative charge or no meaning at all. What I have never seen clearly stated is the simple fact that systems of morality were (not always, but sometimes) an attempt to fight despair in the name of hope, and recover human dignity by reinstating us as subjects not objects, the authors of our deeds and of our lives. ”
“Morality is civilization’s greatest attempt to humanize fate ”
“Morality is integral to the ecology of hope because it locates social change at a level at which we can make a difference through the acts we do, the principles by which we live, and the relationships we create. ”
“What morality restores to an increasingly uncertain world is the idea of responsibility – that what we do, severally and collectively, makes a difference, and that the future lies in our hands. ”
“Morality belongs no less in the boardroom than in the bedroom, in the market-place as much as in a house of prayer ”