The Moral Knowledge Initiative
What does the disappearance of moral knowledge mean for our lives? It means the loss of moral guidance concerning good and evil, praiseworthy and blameworthy actions and characters, honorable and dishonorable lives and institutions—both for the individual trying to find his or her way and for groups trying to live together in the way that is best. Without moral knowledge, individual and group life is left to drift at the behest of desire, force, and chance.
- Dallas Willard, The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge, p. 347
Day after day we read news stories that underscore the dark impact of the fading of moral knowledge from public view. The 2018 publication of Dallas’s The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge has inspired us to take action toward restoring moral knowledge to our culture and to those institutions responsible for our flourishing and well being. “The Moral Knowledge Initiative” embodies our desire and intention to recapture and advance this vital part of our lives and culture so that goodness and virtue can be passed down to future generations.
In The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge, Dallas details how moral knowledge “disappeared” and outlines the beginning steps needed to bring that knowledge back into the realm of public and social institutions long responsible for modeling and teaching it. (To see how Dallas described “moral knowledge” and its progressive disappearance to an audience of non-philosophers in 2007, please read Where is Moral Knowledge?) We are committed to pursuing the “Steps Forward” to restoring moral knowledge that Dallas identified in the final chapter of this revolutionary book.
The initiative leadership team includes the co-editors of The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge, the Willard family, and Dallas Willard Ministries. We are joining forces with a number of Dallas’s ministry partners, colleagues and friends to pursue the vision embodied in his book. (Pictured: Jane Willard with DMK co-editors Aaron Preston, Gregg Ten Elshof and Steve Porter.)
The stewards and leaders of ideas and institutions need guidance and assistance to address the destructive fallout caused by the radical cultural shift that occurred in the early 20th century regarding the public availability of moral knowledge. Our Initiative is moving toward the development of tools to assist in revitalizing the heart of moral goodness and knowledge within these institutions and our culture at large.
What WE are doing:
Meeting with leading scholars and institutional leaders across various cultural sectors and industries to identify and address the impact of the ‘disappearance’ of moral knowledge, its implications, and the means for its restoration. This will be a multi-year project with a diagnostic as well as solution-driven approach. Our efforts will include:
What YOU can do:
John Ortberg said, “We simply cannot live or choose or raise children or have a political society or navigate through life without moral knowledge. Knowing right from wrong is essential to our humanity.”
Will you help us work to restore moral knowledge?
The Moral Knowledge Initiative Team