ascent/descent, Bruce Cockburn, conservatism, Eric Voegelin, intimacy/integrity, Justin Whitaker, Lucretius, Mencius, Simone Weil, Voltaire
Last week’s post explored how my views have begun moving from integrity toward intimacy. To me the key appeal of the intimacy approach, as I discussed there, is the way it can lead to satisficing over maximizing. Last week I focused on the implications of this distinction for happiness.
But there’s an additional appeal to intimacy’s satisficing, one which I have also begun to explore only recently. I have often been curious about the tendency for philosophies to be either supernatural or political (or both) in orientation, and as an explanation I have repeatedly returned to Simone Weil’s quote: “Atheist materialism is necessarily revolutionary, because to orient oneself toward an absolute good down here, one must place it in the future.” The question then is: why do we need to orient ourselves to an absolute good, in the future or up there? Why not just set our eyes lower? Continue reading