Moral Flexibility  

revelinthedance 34M
44 posts
4/5/2006 8:38 pm

Last Read:
10/17/2006 7:14 pm

Moral Flexibility

I've been stewing about the concepts of good/bad/evil/morality a lot lately. Actually, I've been mulling those concepts over since I was about 14. So, after ten years in the works, I still haven't nailed them down, but continually test the boundaries of my own sense of right and wrong to the point where I'm not sure that they exist anymore. I'm almost certain that the sense of right and wrong are moral concepts invented by a ruling power to instill some semblance of order in the masses. It is the most ingenious process, though. Whomever came up with it should be given a nobel prize. Whether through mythology or simple ethics, somehow these concepts were instilled so widely that, at some point, nobody needed to manage or attend to their creation anymore. It is simply self-maintaining in that it has been so firmly implanted not only in everything we do, but also in our thought processes that we simply govern ourselves by these ideals that someone created a long time ago. I attribute this to the nebulous "someone" because I have no certain proposed source as of yet. Wherever one goes in the world, people have a certain sense of a universal right and wrong. While these seem to follow the same basic tenets, there are far too many variations to assume that there is any universality to right and wrong. Still, I recently had a conversation with one of my acquaintances and gave voice to my own personal moral flexibility. What I found odd is that she found this to be purely a contradiction in terms. It seems that, if one espouses no specific moral code, but rather does what seems right or in their own best interest at the time, then that would be the exact definition of "moral flexibility". The idea of something being appropriate at one point in time and not another is the result of placing the particular value or quality of an action on a subjectively sliding scale. While it is not appropriate to kill someone simply because you didn't like their jeans when they were walking down a street, it would be perfectly appropriate and in the interest of your own self-preservation to do so if that same person attempted to kill you. So, what is it that gives this country such an obsession with morality that we seem to largely think that it is grounded in stone? What is it about the human psyche that moves us to adopt the idea of absolutes?

The idea of "god" as it is largely held in our culture is based very much on the ideas of totality. Morals often come in the same kind of packaging because they are too quickly connected with the big man in the sky theory. Certain things are absolutely right and certain things are absolutely wrong, unless of course they no longer serve the best interest of the person who formerly supported the idea. It's all self-serving. This mere concept, transparent and flimsy in and of itself, has been given so much power in our minds that it motivates us to do things that are directly contrary to our wellbeing in order to serve some "higher" moral order. We do these things as a nation, as communities, and as individuals, but wy? What is it that creates the need to have this sense that he subjectivity spectrum never ends; that we there is always a beginning and end to it that we can use to judge everything else? Why are beginnings and ends so important to all of those that suggest such things?

There is an inherent sense of irony in this. Those that judge things by the beginning and the end of the spectrum, life, the universe, etc. that they suppose, for one reason or another, exists, have withing themselves an inherent contradiction. In the western version of what is the dominant religion in this country (this encompasses Catholicism, all forms of Protestantism, Mormonism, and any other religion based on the analogous monotheistic god figure because, yes, essentially they are all the same) The foundations of which are built upon beginning and ending blocks, the purported beliefs base themselves, even so much as they depend on the finiteness of things to define themselves, on something that is infinite and without beginning or end. Also, the people who run around tossing the "g" word in everyone's face seem to be the same people who most often turn out to be hypocrites. Funny, isn't it. "The more people talk about jesus, the less they think they have to act like him." Keep in mind that I only put "Jesus" as a subject in this sentence because it is a direct quote. One could just as easily replace it with whatever moral or religious figure they wish and it would still hold true in regards to the systems of belief that we espouse most frequently in this nation.

Of course, to digress a little bit, the things so contrary to our own wellbeing that we do in the name of morality and, even worse, religion, are the most evident in this society as well. The line is much clearer in many other societies, perhaps because we are on the outside looking in and can therefore discern things more easily. Still, as a result, we do things like fight one another to ban abortion, outlaw gay marriage, make sodomy illegal (no longer the case, thank god ), stop giving aid to programs in Africa that are working on the AIDs epidemic if they purport any mode of prevention other than abstinence, combine church and state, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on and on and on and on... Still we cheer as a society. Hands uplifted towards the heavens we cheer as the men on the tower piss on us and we call it ambrosia. We exacerbate the population problem, spur hate crimes that we pretend to condemn, fan the flames of the diseases spreading throughout the world, in the names of our forefathers combine two things that they in their wisdom said never should be, and for what; faith, morality, right and wrong, our own piece of mind.....? WHAT?

I'm sure this is preaching to the quire anyway, and I've got other things to do. Added to that, this could go on FOREVER if I really wanted to put that much time into it, as I'm sure any of you have noticed with my other blogs. It's just something that popped into my head and, like most of the other posts, I just spat it out, stream of consciousness, unrefined, and babbling. Oh well.

PS: On a completely unrelated topic, I started working on my novel again today. HOORAY! Hopefully I can keep my momentum going this time and perhaps even get it published.

rm_bigboy_now_ 29M
1 post
4/9/2006 12:51 am

Liked the blog, but that's great about the book. I didn't know you stopped. I thought you were going strong. By the way you were right! The first thing everyone asks when they hear that you're writing a book, is what's it about. I find it ridiculous! Why do people think it's so easy to answer that question?

revelinthedance 34M

4/10/2006 12:27 pm

I'm always "working" on it, but, sometimes that is simply a musing kind of thing. I haven't been able to make what I would call progress on it for a while now, primarily due to my work/gym schedule. But now I've actually progressed in quite a positive way in actaul word count. HOORAY!

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