Monday, June 13, 2005

On Morality

I was recently reading Ty's blog, and read this post about American morality. I started to reply, but it got kinda long, preachy and full of clichés, so I figured I'd just post my response here.
I also have a question for any of you out there who might have an answer. Why is American morality only extending into sexuality and family? I mean we as a nation have no regard for life because we applaud a senseless war, but we will be outraged if an official figure gets head from an intern. Morality apparently isn’t about helping others, or protecting freedom, or even caring for the underlying principals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It seems to me that this is because those in power don’t want the masses to care about things that matter; they want the population outraged at thing that has no bearing on their life so that they will be blind to anything that might affect them.
We can't all agree on what's BEST for America. So why not just create special rules, so we know what to do when we face a difficult choice? Morality is the easy answer; judgement is unnecessary when one has a code to follow.

The absence of morality isn't immorality. It's free choice. Just because one doesn't believe in the rules doesn't mean they will strive to break them. I've met plenty of pro-choice folks, but not many who are pro-abortion. There are some who never matured past their teenage years and still rebel against the status quo because they like being the "bad guy", but for the most part, adults believe in morality, choice, or something in between. I'm not going to go so far as to argue a Kantian "good will", but there is no "bad will" built into human nature.

The worst of what we see in the news aren't people who are evil inside because they don't ascribe to your moral code. The worst are the people who ascribe too strongly to their own warped ethics. In Hitler's mind, the Jews were immoral. In Bin Laden's mind, we are immoral. Maybe if everyone were moral like you, the world would be better.

I don't have any dogmatic solution to replace morality in the public use. Sometimes I have to make hard choices, but I don't make them based on anyone else's rules, and I don't make rules for myself. I make my choices individually, with no action or inaction that is always preferable. Sometimes I'm wrong. Because of this, my method cannot replace morals, which are always right. No matter how wise I become, I will still do the wrong thing sometimes. And I will have nothing to comfort me when I do. My way is painful and extremely undesirable to most people.

Ty is right. Morality is used as a tool. He and I might argue as to whether or not morality IS a tool, but regardless of its true nature, it has always been used to manipulate masses. The moment you fall into league with someone else's morality, a part of you belongs to them, and they will use that part to control the rest of you.

If you're the moral sort, I might be a monster to you. And who knows, maybe I am... I certainly can't prove that I'm a good person to you if I don't believe in intrinsically good and bad people myself. If you want to judge me, fine. If you think God will judge me and I will go to Hell, that's your right to believe too. I'd kill to protect your right to believe it, and killing is pretty damn immoral. But it's a choice I've made myself.

Since this post is mostly a downer and has no pictures yet:


Post a Comment

<< Home