Monday, August 15, 2011

"What hope is made of..."

"A dissenter might argue ... that the concept of obligations to the future makes no sense at all. The future does not exist. How can we have a responsibility to nothing at all? Or even if future beings can be imagined to exist, how can we know what their interests are, or what they might ask of us? How can there be obligations to abstractions?

"... people show strong loyalty to abstractions every time they act in ways that honor conceptual ideals such as freedom, liberty, and prosperity. Loyalty to abstractions is the stuff of this world. Arguments about responsibility to the future do indeed require us to imagine a world that does not yet exist. They further require us to be morally moved by that imagined vision. Loyalty to what we can only imagine is what hope is made of."