chapter
INTRODUCTION
Pages 20

It is hardly an exaggeration to say that we do not live in an age of moral certainty. In the so-called multi-cultural and pluralist societies which characterise much of the modern world it has become standard practice to submit traditional moral, religious and social beliefs or values to rigorous scrutiny; a particular attitude of rational scepticism appears to have become the order of the day. It is also sensible to concede, moreover, that there is much about this modern scepticism which is reasonable enough and that we should be foolish to regret the passing of precisely some of the moral certainties of earlier human societies and epochs. The cruel and oppressive fanaticisms which, it will be said, have stained the childhood and adolescence of human evolution with the blood of innocents and martyrs are no longer to be tolerated at the coming of age of civilised man. Thus a degree – even a large degree – of healthy scepticism about traditional moral, religious and social beliefs is the most valuable weapon we have in the fight against the exploitation, injustice and oppression that some of those beliefs have endorsed.