John on September 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm
Mary Warnock is a well known “moral philosopher”, considered Britains best by some. In December of 2000, the Guardian published a list of Mary Warnock’s favorite books. Her list includes works by Hume, Aristotle and Mill. She also includes a book by her husband in the list:
9. The Object of Morality by GJ Warnock
I make no apology for choosing a book by GJ Warnock, though he was my husband. He was a master of style and clarity, high virtues in philosophical writing. Like Alisdair McIntyre, and like Aristotle, he invites us to look at the nature of that man-made structure, morality, and to contemplate the need we have for it if the world is not to be even more intolerable than it often is. Those who are inclined to deny that morality can exist without a religious foundation should read every word of this book. [Ed: Bold added]
Jump ahead several years. Yesterday the Telegraph published an article by Warnock in which she said:
Lady Warnock said: “If you’re demented, you’re wasting people’s lives â€“ your family’s lives â€“ and you’re wasting the resources of the National Health Service.
“I’m absolutely, fully in agreement with the argument that if pain is insufferable, then someone should be given help to die, but I feel there’s a wider argument that if somebody absolutely, desperately wants to die because they’re a burden to their family, or the state, then I think they too should be allowed to die.
“Actually I’ve just written an article called ‘A Duty to Die?’ for a Norwegian periodical. I wrote it really suggesting that there’s nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so for the sake of others as well as yourself.”
She went on: “If you’ve an advance directive, appointing someone else to act on your behalf, if you become incapacitated, then I think there is a hope that your advocate may say that you would not wish to live in this condition so please try to help her die.
“I think that’s the way the future will go, putting it rather brutally, you’d be licensing people to put others down.”
Um…okay. Suddenly, I’m inclined to deny that morality can exist without a religious foundation.
[HT: Hot Air for the Telegraph piece]