Milton's allegory is not just a portrait of our kind; it is an invitation to kindness. It shows us what we are and what we must live up to. And it sets a standard for art. Take away religion, however, take away philosophy, take away the higher aims of art, and you deprive ordinary people of the ways in which they can represent their apartness. Human nature, once something to live up to, becomes something to live down to instead. Biological reductionism nurtures this "living down," which is why people so readily fall for it. It makes cynicism respectable and degeneracy chic. It abolishes our kind—and with it our kindness.
-Roger Scruton, On Human Nature