If the source is polluted

Anthony Grayling on sin and pollution – always very interesting ideas.

Much of the traditional idea of sin persists in our contemporary attitudes to moral failure. We somehow export the idea of a stain, an enduring flaw of character, to the case of people who do not live up to ideals, especially those they themselves proclaim…[I]n a sin culture even the suspicion of hypocrisy in the messenger is enough to harm the message: if the source of the claim is polluted, the claim itself must be questionable…Throughout history earnest moralisers have stood in the way of the good by accepting nothing less than the utmost. Human beings are a mixed alloy: the same person is capable of being good and terribly bad at different times or in different respects.

Yeh. I’m very interested in ideas of purity and stain, sin and pollution – how both compelling and dangerous they can be.

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