Friday, December 21, 2007

Reasons, God and doing the right thing

More sanity from Norm:

"A.C. Grayling tells us that Tony Blair 'practically said' the following:

I believe in God and he told me to go to war in Iraq.
"Practically said, because in fact Blair didn't say that. Grayling is referring to the former prime minister's remarks as reported here or here or here. And it's an obviously prejudicial way of representing his decision; as if Blair had no reasons for going to war but just listened to the Big Guy and bing, that was it - He commanded and Blair obeyed. Others, likewise, make much of the fact that Blair sometimes says he did what he thought was right. The scandal! You might imagine that other people, in acting, don't do what they think is right, or that Tony Blair arrived at his decision about what he thought was right independently of the reasons he had for thinking so. Of course, Blair did have reasons for going to war in Iraq, reasons which he set out before parliament and the country. Doing what one thinks is right, and (for a person of faith) communing with God in coming to a decision, these are not necessarily processes above all reasoning; they can be, respectively, the outcome of and an aid to weighing reasons.

"All the wise souls, so many liberals amongst them, who wilfully misconstrue what Blair has said on this score reveal only their own failure to accept that there might have been reasons on the other side from the one they took. That is one measure of their liberalism."

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