When Our Morals May Be Immoral
Daily Post Challenge – Morality Play, June 24th 2013
We might prefer to believe our morals come from within ourselves, from our own inner sources of inspiration, however, this is only part of the story of where our morals may come from.
Many people seem to want their morals to be engraved in stone; many people appear to want their morals to be obeyed by everyone. We strongly suspect that this sort of wishful thinking may represent an uglier side of morality; on this uglier side our morals may sometimes appear to descend into fascism.
Is there any comfortable middle ground between these extremes of an inspirational source for our morality and origins for our morality that may be dictated to us by our societies?
Many people resolve the tensions created by not knowing where their morals should come from by claiming their morals come from god. Doctrines claiming divine origins for their moral codes often appear to assume that because their rules claim to be divine inspirations that everyone must therefor obey them.
The tension of not knowing where our morals should come from is something that helps build human character; resolving that tension by dictating where morals must come from and what they must be may make some people weaker in their hearts and minds if they fail to challenge the reasoning or justice underlying their socially derived senses of their morality.
For instance, slavery was entirely moral according to the mores of the times among plantation owners in the 18th century. It required moral reasoning and a higher sense of social justice to enable the emergence of the abolitionist movement. Few people today would suggest repealing the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and yet, it can still be maintained that the Thirteenth Amendment was a weapon used by the North in an economic war against the South.
The highest morality can sometimes also seem to be immoral, depending on your chosen points of view.
We suspect that all people need to explore their morality for themselves. We suspect each person must come to their own conclusions regarding their morality as independently as possible in order to build the strong characters required to enable them to make their own lives’ toughest decisions on their own.
All social institutions depend upon both moral behavior, and immoral behavior. It is the tension between these two extremes that makes publically accepted notions regarding morality a more profitable enterprise for churches or governments.
When we hear other people espouse their morals we often wonder just what is in it for them.
In part, morals are personal tools whereby each individual governs their own behavior between two extremes that may either place more emphasis upon the good of the individual or upon the good of society.
There must always be balance between these two extremes or social unrest may arise that may threaten to change whatever established rules any given group of people have theretofore agreed to live by.
Whatever our morals may be, perhaps one of the biggest mistakes we may make with them is to try to indoctrinate our children with our own morality.
Perhaps we might explain our own moral choices to our children, but we think that the moment we try to impose our moral ideals upon anyone, even our own children, we risk becoming an immoral person.
This is not a paradox, this is just what we believe to be true.
In part, we believe our morality comes from our socially derived senses of justice, respect, compassion, community, and love. However, we recognize that many people’s life experiences teach them different values with different social or cultural contexts that may guide them to conclusions about what their morals should be that may be very different from our own ideals.
We cannot find fault with anyone for choosing any path different from our own.
We do not believe we should dictate our own morality to anyone, but neither can we agree that anyone has arrived at a universal set of morals that we ourselves must discover and obey.
The best we might do may be to follow our own heart and pray we fail to offend anyone who might condemn us for our choices.
We are nearly certain that there can be no universal moral code.
Possibly, a universal set of morals would make itself immoral on the grounds that anyone who disagrees might be punished simply for disagreeing.
Morals are ideas that represent our ideals. However, we suspect that any individual’s idealism must really be a private matter because no two people can ever agree on everything.
Therefor, to attempt to establish a universal morality may, at best, be folly; however, at its very worst, attempting to establish a universal code of morals may result in witch-hunts, political imprisonment, murder, or genocide.
We think most people have a heritage in which there were times when their people were unjustly persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, or even murdered for their beliefs.
Morality attracts corruption by concentrating power in the hands of a few people who decide for everyone else what their morals must be.
This is still not another paradox, but it is, perhaps unjustly, how things really are.
We are mostly reasonably happy with our personal ethics and morals. We are sometimes sorry when our personal sense of fair play is challenged.
We usually mean no offense, however we know we will offend people even when we do not consciously intend to offend them.
Sometimes we choose to be offensive in order to make our own positions clearer, consequently we believe we must accept that some people will sometimes choose to say or do things we may possibly find offensive in order to preserve their own sense of what may really be fair, right, or wrong.
Our nation, the good ole USA, has some serious problems with morality. We have more laws and more law-breakers than any other nation on earth.
Perhaps we should be the very last nation to lead the way into the emerging morality of the new millennium.
Love, Grigori Rho Gharveyn,
aka Greg Gourdian, Falcon, Chameleon, Roger Holler, etc., et. al…