Friday, February 13, 2015

Progressing Personal Liberty - A case for moral relativism

In the acceptance or creation of a moray, one needs to begin contemplation with the presence or absence of harm and or the presence or absence of goodly outcome.

Morality finds our minds mostly as memes from our parents, cultural influences and is extracted from the Meta narrative in which our development is steeped. The innate human morality that exists, such as the almost universally recognised morality of reciprocity (or as it found in the Christian world – the golden rule), is augmented by the aforementioned. There is a tendency for many to grip morality in an unconscious manner, given the nature of its introduction to our beings, morality is absent of a rationale, it just is. Yet morals come to us both tacitly and explicitly, sometimes in accord and sometimes in discord. Often the Meta Christian narrative ascribes moral conduct that challenges fundamental human inclination. It is from these realities that much inner and outer conflict occurs under the influence of morality, often effecting “moral action” that results in pain. It is this paradox where morals intended to manage human behaviour for good can distort human action with the most inhuman results. The ability to discern morality is innate and "god" given, it is in this context humanity must take the liberty to examine its conduct in the context of morality and revise morality under an umbrella of more complete knowledge. The best place to begin to consider morality is to ask, does this belief and my application of it, result in good outcomes or in pain for others. Strict and fervent adherence to unclear and tacitly transmitted moral structure is the source of outright evil. There have been actual cases of mothers out casting their own daughters as the result of the daughter’s unwanted pregnancy. What could cause such behaviour, the meeting of a child’s error with absolute immoral neglect? Extreme travesties happen as societal moral pressure contort the human psyche to the point where moral code promotes inhumane action.

As many such moral precepts transfer as memes from one generation to another and where little thought is given to their origin or purpose, contemplation is required to ensure good action. Morality when considered in the context of rational purpose and good outcome takes on a healthier character. Much biblical morality comes to us in this fashion from our parents and or the Meta narrative of society at large. Biblical morality was committed to paper thousands of years ago when the mastery of biology and other related science was undiscovered. People learned from life experience that sexuality out of wedlock caused social strife; exposure to illness and that caused conflict. What is necessary for Christianity to keep pace with an informed society is the recognition that knowledge and technology has offered the neutralization of threats that precipitated the necessity for the moray in the first place. In the absence of a rational basis for the assertion of a given moray, people begin to challenge the validity of that moray and more damaging, they then begin to challenge the morays carrying contemporary pertinence. It is a better circumstance to allow the examination of morays in the context of good outcome and contemporary knowledge, and provide latitude on morays that can safely be allowed to pass from the collective consciousness.              

When one sets about the task of rationally examining the collection of morals that determine our life action, it becomes a cumbersome task, as they reside so deeply in our psyche and morph with every life exposure, the multitude, variability and transient nature of morals make them almost impossible to list and make explicit. A young boy is schooled by his mother to extend kindness to others and yet is later in life asked to find a moral reprieve from acts of war. So, even a moral tenet in Christ’s teachings as fundamental as respecting the life of another, finds societal circumstance justifying its psychological circumvention. Was St. Augustine’s just war theory an act of moral relativism, or a practical moral adjustment, to what is at its roots, a passive theology.  The precedent for the adjustment of morality in the light of circumstance is hardly new, only now it has a new handle, moral relativism. Moral relativism is merely a means to rationalise moral conduct to new knowledge or circumstance. Moral action, is action that is absent harm and promotes good, and good is like the beauty of the sun’s rays across rolling countryside in the early morning, you'll know it when you see it. Goodness resides innately in humans and evil arises from circumstance. Morals are a code to promote circumstance absent evil and an environment where good can flourish.    

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