Our morals, their moralism?

The charge of ‘moralism’ or ‘moralising’ is always complicated. Nobody endorses immorality, we all know the difference between moralism and morality. Or do we? The former implies an unattractive self-righteousness; the latter is ‘the real thing’. But without righteousness, does morality have any meaning? The obvious danger with rejecting moralism is that we abandon any attempt to talk about right and wrong. Indeed, contemporary culture seems uncomfortable with the language of morality. Terms like good, bad, right, wrong, should, should not, duty and obligation are often seen as moralistic ‘tut tutting’ that unfairly stigmatises people. Filmed at the Battle of Ideas this fascinating panel tackles some big questions.

Battle of Ideas session details