It is taken for granted that the way to achieve certain important collective goods, like tolerance and mutual respect, lies in a code of behavior, like the “speech codes” which some campuses have put in place. The contours of disrespect are codified, so that they can be forbidden, and if necessary sanctioned. Thus will our society march forward.
The “code fetishism,” or nomolatry, of modern liberal society is potentially very damaging. It tends to forget the background which makes sense of any code, the variety of goods which the rules and norms are meant to realize, and it tends to make us insensitive, even blind, to the vertical dimension. It also encourages a “one size fits all” approach: a rule is a rule. One might even say that modern nomolatry dumbs us down, morally and spiritually.
Charles Taylor, A Secular Age