philosophisch-ethische-rezensionen auf Facebook

Philosophisch-ethische Rezensionen
(Erscheinungsdatum der rezensierten Bücher: 20. und 21. Jahrhundert)

Jonathan Sacks, Morality. Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times, London 2020

Sacks states that we are living in times with divisive politics, a more and more divided society, growing inequalities, increasing loneliness, a public with less regard for truth and a tendency to ban and demonise voices which one disagrees. He criticizes the growing influence of the market and the state on personal life. He wants to restore the trust and civility of public life and private relationships. As a efficacious cure he suggests a shift from "I" to "We". Social dislocation shall be answered by social reintegration, a society more equal, more cohesive and more focused on responsibilities than rights. We shall perform a constant mental workout on ourselves by concerning with the welfare of others no less than with our own. Thus we, Sacks thinks, will change the world bit by bit. The perpetual task is to act morally, to be someone people can trust, to be generous and caring. The outcome will also be on behalf of our own physical and psychological health. And that is because altruism is deeply embeded in our nature. He assailes our world of self-esteem, self-satisfaction and self-preocupation which leads to an underusing of the previous mentioned good and deeply engraved social instincts. He upholds traditional family values and condemns the uplift oft he 1960's as a meander. A further opponent of him is the extensive growing and abusive use of the internet instead of facial communication.

Sacks does perform much to create a good atmosphere for conservative readers, but little to start a profound discussion. My feeling is that he is not demonising voices which he disagrees, they simply are not mentioned. Of course, almost everyone will agree with him that our social nature is precious and important, but his presentation is, to my opinion, only half of the truth. It is also important that our younger generation generally is not so forced to live one's others life than the generation before the 60's was. I myself do not want to go back in that time. In fact I do favour to reach a healthy balance of "I" and "We" rather than I see a coarse opposition of the both. This impression the author, unfortunately, imparts far in excess. Moreover Sacks strucks the reader with dozens of study results with doubtful relevance. Always his aim is to show how unsocial we act in our times to our own harm. I think we are not as bad as that, but we can improve.

Jürgen Czogalla, 25.04.2020