Moral Genius

“..Moral geniuses are willing to stand against conventional opinion, often within their own nation or community, and seek to overthrow it. That kind of individual courage, we might say, becomes the subject or the text of the moral genius’s greatness. While the specifics vary greatly, we could describe a moral genius as someone who rejects the innate caution and the hypocritical compromises of normative social morality…Gandhi opposed not just British imperialism but also Hindu nationalism; Einstein was a lifelong Zionist who opposed the notion of Israel as a Jewish state; Lincoln’s decision not to arrest or prosecute the Confederate leadership was derided by Northern radicals, and remains controversial among historians.”

From this old-but-good essay in the always fine Nautilus


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