This week I read “Separating from Heterosexualism,” an excerpt from a paper by Sarah Hoagland. I’ve been reading feminist philosophy all semester, but this is my favorite piece so far. Hoagland wants to bring about a moral revolution in order to end oppression that exists within our civilization’s social framework. Moral reform is only an attempt to bring our actions “into greater conformity with existing ethical principles” to resolve issues of injustice. Hoagland argues that this is not enough. Hoagland calls for revolution, which would involve questioning the underlying values of our current social frameworks and potentially creating new values.
One of the first values Hoagland confronts is the idea of ‘good’ and ‘evil.’ Hoagland argues that without evil, there could be no good; “good requires evil and therefore that evil can never be eradicated if good is to prevail.” This false binary approach to morality is illogical. It would be much more rationally sound to say that there are simply things that promote well-being and discourage suffering, what most people would consider ‘good,’ and there are things that promote suffering and discourage well-being, which is what most people would consider ‘evil.’
– Laura Riess