Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cottingham on Trust...

I've been reading a lot of Hegel lately, as I continue work on my dissertation.  But Hegel hasn't inspired me to post anything on this blog yet (assuming I even understand what he's saying!). Rather, here is a quote from another book I'm reading, "The Spiritual Dimension" by John Cottingham. I like this one, and it's fairly straightforward. :-)

"The unavoidable nature of our human predicament is that we can only learn through a certain degree of receptivity, by to some extent letting go, by reaching out in trust. This, after all, is how we began to learn anything as children, and this, though we may struggle to resist it, is how we have to be, as adults, if we are to continue growing towards the knowledge and love that are the most precious of human goods. The necessary trust, sadly, may be abused, for there are no guarantees. Just as the individual moral development of a child may go astray, as a result of trust given to those who promised love but delivered only selfishness, so in any other sphere (including that of organized religion) one will find many cases where trust is misplaced. But the primacy of praxis is in some sense a feature of the whole human condition: we learn to be virtuous, said Aristotle, by being trained in virtuous action before we reach the age of rational reflection. We learn how to grow morally by being immersed in a community before we fully understand what morality means. And we learn to trust by trusting. But in human life, there is no other way."

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