Morality Begins with Us

“Trust cannot be restored by the market or the state, because these are arenas of competition, not cooperation. It cannot be restored by smartphones and social media, precisely because these are not face to face. When I use social media, I am presenting myself, not encountering you in your full and distinctive otherness. When I use them to acquire information about the world, I have no immediate way of knowing whether the message I receive is true or false, objective or manipulative. When I use wealth or power to achieve my purposes, I am advancing my interests as an individual, not our interests as a moral community. This does not help the cause of trust. It further damages it. The beautiful thing about morality, though, is that it begins with us. We do not need to wait for a great political leader, or an upturn in the economy, or a new mood in society, or an unexpected technological breakthrough, to begin to change the moral climate within which we live and move and have our being.”

Morality, Chapter 22, p. 310