Problems of business call for definite answers, to be given at once; the problem of life cannot be thus disposed of.
Human life is made to consist of a succession of temporary practical problems, each of them set and once for all given by the outcome of the last and each of them to be solved, or in some form to be disposed of, right away. "Nothing which has ever interested living men and women can wholly lose its vitality" (Offer, & Sabshin, 1984). One can hardly state the limits of what this may be taken to mean. Such, however, is the attitude of humanism; and at the lowest terms it offers a complete contrast to the attitude of pragmatism.
In connection with the pragmatic attitude it was said that the significance of any temporal moment of life, or the meaning of any present desire, might be anything you please; "the present" is a question of the present scope of imagination. The same indefinite possibility confronts us when we think to define the boundaries of human nature. Could we think of the human being simply as an organism with a definite habitat and a restricted span of life, we might then formulate a definite "science of ethics" (Offer, & Sabshin, 1984), based upon human nature as a natural fact, undisturbed by suggestions metaphysical. But such a science of ethics would hardly merit the name of moral philosophy. ...Show more