Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Flow of Conscious About Morality

The notion of the existence of a disinterested G-d that created the world but does not care about the affairs of behavior of man is incredibly alluring, and that is the basis of a view of evolution that guided the creation of life but is uninterested. It is freeing to believe that nothing “up there,” or anywhere, cares about what you think, say, or do; you are able to do whatever you want, but then anybody is able to do whatever they want to you as well. Those who speak of universal morality fail to realize that there is no universal morality if there is no G-d. They try to replace universal and absolute morality with other social systems that might benefit the current situation, but once the current situation ends, then the need for that specific social system also ends, and we are met again with relativism and chaos. They want to believe in G-d in order to establish a universal and absolute notion of morality, but when they realize that if that same G-d were to really exist, then it would limit the amount of “fun” they are allowed to have; they would gain an unchanging notion of morality that would protect them, but they would also limit themselves to regulations that took their fun away, and in the end, many people choose fun over morality.

Most people do not consciously realize the philosophical, theological, and ethical implications of evolution, but subconsciously they realize that it is a philosophy of agnostic freedom, and even though they may speak of morality and justice, a world of agnostic freedom can never achieve those things, it can never achieve peace. This is double talk, they want their cake and to eat it too, they want morality but not a complete system of morality that would affect all sectors of life but might limit them.

It is hypocritical to want morality and justice but to say that G-d does not exist, for they want morality and justice just as long as those things sound romantic, but when those things begin to limit their freedom then they abandon them for freedom. They preach morality loudly but only so that it defends their rights and therefore they speak in the name of morality in order to justify their doing whatever they want and to protect their rights to do those things. This is selfish morality, it is a corruption of morality, it is the right thing for the wrong reason, at which point it becomes the wrong thing. It is not based in a concern for the whole of mankind; they do not defend the rights of homosexual union, for example, because they genuinely believe that homosexuals have that right, but they defend it because as long as they do, then they too have the right to engage in any sexual behavior that they desire. As long as homosexuality is acceptable -- the sexual union of two people of the same sex -- they might rationalize, so is any sort of sexual “immorality” that I choose today so as long as it is heterosexual. There are plenty of wrongs committed in heterosexual union and those cannot be left alone simply because there is something less acceptable. It is a call for justice that is based in defending ones own rights to do as he or she pleases, and is not based in fixing the world. The perversion of justice in the name of justice in order to gain freedom.

It is a society of rights then, and not a society of obligation; it is my right to be free and therefore to do anything that I want and this is more important than my obligation. In fact, even smart people who understand and loudly proclaim that the world functions as a whole will refrain from criticizing something immoral, a thing that they are aware is detrimental to the whole, because in doing that they risk appearing bigoted and immoral. They are more influenced by the times than by an unchanging notion of morality; they care more about what the times dictate is proper than what they know to be proper. Didn’t Mom always say, “If all your friends jumped off the bridge, would you?” The five-year-old knows the correct answer.

The “moralists” shout about transcendent, cosmic morality but they protect their reputation before protecting morality. They speak about universal morality and that an immoral act on one person is an immoral act on the whole world, but they will refrain from criticizing an immoral act because they fear that it requires them to become moral, and they are right. The “anti-Holocaust” rhetoric goes as follows, “I will stand up against any evil thing so long that it does not become more evil and so that it does not spread.” Today, that ethos has been replaced by one that says, “I will not stand up to any evil thing in order that I too will be allowed to do it.” This is Nazi logic, this is death, this is dangerous, this is horrible. G-d is not causing this, we are. It is proof that we can live but be dead. Wrong things bring on more wrong things, like a bowl of fruit where one is starting to mold; soon all the fruit will be molded. It is harsh, but either the molded piece must be cut from the fruit, or the molded fruit must be removed. A type of mold gives spread to a more aggressive type of mold. Unfortunately, we cannot see the mold but only its effect, it is everywhere and closely linked to our most positive desires; evil is not personified as a person – we must see that the person acts wrongly but that the wrongness is separate from his or her being. Luckily, thank G-d, a human can be rehabilitated, unlike a molding fruit, and unlike the fruit, we have free will; we can resist the mold for we were molded in G-d’s image.

This type of “morality” is like lust compared to love: lust commands no regulations and no limits, but true love does. Lust is holy in the context of love, while love is trash in the context of lust. Lust is romantic, and many people who love someone find that lust is a part of their relationship more than actual love, and lust has a short half-life, but when one finds true love, the notion of romance is entirely altered; love becomes the pillar of the relationship and lust becomes an added bonus in the context of that love. In the end, lust falls apart and love remains strong; a lust with the world will cause the world to break apart, but a love for the world will cause it to remain together. Love is mature and discerning and daring, lust is foolish and silly and cowardly. The commandment is to “love your neighbor as (you love) yourself” and not “lust after your neighbor as you lust after yourself,” in both cases the latter is easy (or easier) to do once the first is accomplished. Once the latter is accomplished (love/lust yourself), the former (love/lust your neighbor) is almost hard to stop. That is why love is the relationship between G-d and humanity; any relationship between G-d and humanity that frees humanity in any way is not love, it is lust, and it is not G-d.

No comments: