Friday, May 15, 2015

His morality is false

Re-reading Daniel Trilling's article about migration in the New Statesman on 11th December 2014 I was struck once again at what a profoundly dishonest argument he makes:

Of course, he is quite right in his implicit suggestion that the plight of these people is terrible, and we could probably fit in many millions if we wanted to.

But that would not change the moral situation.

There would still remain in the world many millions (billions actually) who will not have the same standard of living as Mr Trilling and myself.

Only if we are prepared for everyone in the world to have the same standard of living can we describe the efforts made to secure our borders as immoral (for that is what Mr Trilling is doing through his emotive descriptions of sad eyed soft-voiced migrants fleeing poverty and injustice).

Unless we are willing to take migration to its ultimate logical conclusion of everyone in the world having the same standard of living (in terms of income, food consumption, energy consumption, education, sanitation, medical treatment etc) the moral position on borders will not change.

As individuals we could, at any moment, assume a genuinely moral position by giving up everything we have and giving it to the poor and living ourselves among the poorest in the world as one of the poorest in the world.

I wish I had the courage to do this, but I know that I don't.

I also know for certain (without having even met the man) that Daniel Trilling does not have the courage to do this either.

Therefore his morality is false.

Therefore he is a hypocrite.

Daniel Trilling is editor of the New Humanist magazine.

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