Even good values have their limitations
Michael De Dora
Posted on November 19, 2012
Remember the axiom “too much of a good thing can actually be bad”? Well, that doesn’t just go for material things like food and sex. It also goes for immaterial things like our beliefs. Or so says, Tauriq Moosa who in a thought-provoking post on his blog Against the New Taboo warns us from becoming too obsessed with specific moral values:
We have a tendency to fetishize moral virtues: respect, tolerance, love, etc., are generally regarded as good things. It is good to respect and be respected, it is good to tolerate and be tolerated, and so on. However, being human, we have tendency to mistake tools for walls. Thus, when you respect something or love someone too much, it becomes obsession, a kind of deification; the object and/or value becomes something inviolable, beyond criticism or dissent from outside perspectives. This gives it a property of absolutism, of one kind or another, and therefore distorts it.