Calvin, Aquinas and a Whopper with Cheese

"Be Your Way!" The new slogan sums up the philosophy that drives our public debate on morality

“You have a right, yea even a responsibility not to just “Have It Your Way,” but to “Be Your Way.” People “can and should live how they want anytime.” This makes the role of government and business the infinite proliferation of choices, a notion that’s in everything from our fast foods to our laws.”

 

“Have It Your Way!” You’ve heard it thousands of times. That’s because Burger King has been drumming it into our heads for forty years. But you’re not going to hear it any more. Burger King no longer wants you to “Have It Your Way!” That’s not good enough for you. From now on, “Be Your Way!”

According to Associated Press, Burger King wants to communicate that customers, “can and should live how they want anytime. It’s ok to not be perfect … Self-expression is most important and it’s our differences that make us individuals instead of robots.” It’s a matter of “making a connection with a person’s greater lifestyle.”

Yes, we’re talking validating existence with Whoppers. But, no, it’s not crazy. The new slogan sums up the prevailing philosophy that drives our choices and much of our public debate on moral questions.

In his book, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society, Notre Dame history professor Brad Gregory writes, “As [Alasdair] MacIntyre notes, the widespread default in Western societies at large is emotivism, an ethic of subjective, feelings-based, personal preference, which only exacerbates the unresolved and irresolvable [moral] disagreements. The de facto guideline for the living of human life in the Western world today seems simply to be ‘whatever makes you happy’—‘so long as you’re not hurting anyone else’—in which the criteria for happiness, too, are self-determined, self-reporting, and therefore immune to critique ….”

The result, as Gregory points out (again citing MacIntyre) is that questions of whether or not “Your Way” is good or bad, moral or immoral, acceptable in civil society or unacceptable in civil society are never resolved because they cannot be resolved. Marriage, life, immigration, education, sexuality, and anything else you can name including “Large or small fries?” are understood as nothing more than feelings-based personal preferences and, as modern psychology preaches, feelings can never be wrong.

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