A person who believes in the importance of moral rules. Moralists are also known as ethical philosophers. They believe that every action should have an equal and opposite reaction.
This episode featured Thawne-as-Wells, who is the OG Big Bad of Season 1 and a large part of what made it so good. Thawne was his usual creepy self and a lot of fun to watch.
It is a philosophy
A philosophy that aims to reduce philosophic formulas to their practical meaning. It opposes Lockean empiricism, materialism and rationalism; it also tends to pantheism and reformism. It is based on Kant and Schelling’s idealism, and it is characterized by intuitionism, mystical thought, individualism and mysticism.
Moralists have a difticulty in arguing against their own enemies. They often fall into ad hoc intellectual acrobatics, such as the argument that venial sins are excused. They also often expose their flank to the sceptic by claiming that moral ideas are mere feelings and sentiments.
It doesn’t take much penetration to see that when a moralist asserts the odious thesis of ‘private vices public benefits’, he is really concerned that persons praised as social benefactors show only minimal regard for Christian morality and no real interest in the improvement of society. He is, in short, a man who cries wolf. If this is the case, it’s difficult to see why anyone should be interested in his or her opinions.
It is a movement
There is an international movement of moral conservatives, often religious, that tries to work against liberal institutions and international human rights movements. It is a growing phenomenon that has hooks into right-wing actors in Europe, like Italy’s Lega Nord or Hungary’s Fidesz. In many cases, these moralists are linked to Russia.
Moralism is a politics that refuses nuance and instead proclaims the absolute truth of its own values. Its arrogant certitude is not only aesthetically distasteful, it also blocks the real solutions to real problems. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “No one is innocent after the experience of governing.” The moral statesman can distinguish between competing moral ends; the moralist cannot.
It is a religion
Morality has its ultimate consequence in accountability. Paul in his sermon on the Areopagus tells us that God will judge man for every work that he does. This includes the covert sins of pride, lust and vanity. He also warns that the moralist will be judged as well as the obvious sinner. The only way for a man to escape the judgment of God is through Christ.
The word moralism is usually used to describe a non-religious person who lives by a code of ethics. In contrast, legalism is a religious position that emphasizes a set of laws or rules for salvation and spiritual growth. Christians may be guilty of moralism if they put obedience before faith and assume that they can earn their way into Heaven by meeting certain quotas of good works. In addition, they tend to reduce the Bible to a manual for moral behavior and focus on passages such as the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments.
It is a way of life
Nietzsche’s revaluation of values is based on the principle that something has value only if it is desired. Thus, pleasure and power are valuable for those who desire them, not those who do not (or cannot). But that does not mean that the revaluation of values is a political philosophy. In fact, Nietzsche is openly hostile to politics throughout his career, as defenders of the Anti-Politics View would point out.
Nietzche believes that a person’s moral beliefs are explained by psycho-physical facts about the person. These are what he calls “type-facts” or “affects,” which reflect certain physiological processes. These factors are what determine a person’s predispositions and prejudices.
Foot’s misunderstanding of this point is crucial. Nietzsche is not worried that people are too altruistic or egalitarian in practice, but that they are imprisoned among the concepts of altruism and equality, which thwart their flourishing as high types. That is why he argues that the only way to free ourselves from this trap is to admire the high type in others.