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Striving To be Humanexamines what our moral values are, how we came to have them, and how we can add a spiritual dimension to them.
Westerners live in liberal, secular democracies. The religious and moral certainties of the past have lost their influence on us, replaced by liberal freedoms that have led to a culture of moral relativism. The plus about this is that it gives each of us the freedom to decide what is right and wrong. But if moral relativism considers all moral choices to be equal, as a culture what moral values do we end up collectively sharing? Is our morality no more than a grab-bag of values taken from consumerism, power politics, and self-interested ambition that justifies the view that we deserve whatever we can get, all softened by traditional religious ideas that it is good to be nice to others? Or is there is an objective scale of right and wrong that transcends our own individually-centred thoughts and feelings and that can definitely tell us what is moral and what is not?
This book is a search for a moral yardstick that we can use to decide what is truly right and wrong, and that offers us a guide to living together in contemporary Western secular democracies, while we remain true to our individual sense of spirituality and to our shared humanity.