Gods and Angels - download pdf or read online

By David Park

"He writes prose of gravity and grace" - Guardian

"One of the shrewdest observers of ways we are living now" - Independent

A seventeen-year-old boy visits his estranged mom on Boxing Day in a gray beach city; a school lecturer falls in with a bunch of older males who inhabit a really assorted global whereas attempting to methods to swim; a detective breaks into his former domestic to secret agent on his estranged relatives; a pair think about twenty-five years of marriage below the Northern lighting fixtures; and an outdated guy volunteering in a charity store kinds a young bond with a tender unmarried mother.

Bringing jointly deeply affecting tales exploring masculinity, loneliness, isolation and longing, Gods and Angels is a masterful assortment from one in all Ireland's most interesting author.

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Example text

Affiliation of this sort does not subordinate the individual to the group (with respect to the individual’s legal capacities and obligations). Rather, it operates in terms of relational symmetry: to each person it grants opportunities to lead an autonomous life. And to each it offers conditions for interaction with others on an equal basis. This approach allows political community to accord each person’s life a specific weight all its own. Community could do so by constructing individuals as possessing intrinsic value – rather than by appealing to some metaphysically intrinsic value.

19 It regards the universe, which humans can observe and understand in terms of natural causes and effects, as characterized exclusively by natural forces (such as mass and energy) and without inherent purpose or meaning. Such naturalism is as old as the pre-Socratic philosopher Thales. Subsequently it found support among some late medieval scholastics (including Jean Buridan and Nicole Oresme). In the modern age, Galileo and Voltaire, among many others, championed it. But unlike anyone from Thales to Voltaire and beyond, I extend this conception to an account of human rights by regarding human nature as it is biologically understood.

To be sure, this common insight, even with its prudential underpinnings of mutual benefit, hardly entails that all groups and individuals will always refrain from doing unto others what they would not want done unto themselves. But this insight may entail as much for some groups and some persons at least some of the time, and if so, it offers a basis for advocating human rights. It also allows that people may be prudentially motivated to embrace human rights. This prudential logic of mutual benefit is (a) universalistic along one dimension and (b) relativistic along another.

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