Monday, October 22, 2007

Moral Absolutes

The trouble with absolutes is they can never be agreed upon. You can take all the moral stances you like on anything from abortion to slavery and there are advocates for each side, unwilling to concede to a judgement on human actions. Reconciling the inconsistencies presented to us when we look at the big picture is a battle. Free will and choice scrap it out with fate and natural order and no matter how much time we give to these issues, this conflict ultimately goes on inside your head with life having no intention of waiting for you to choose its design. There are contexts to filter through, and we live in an age over flowing with information where the word ’fact’ has been reduced to a misnomer. We are confronted with a battle of civilisations, one of frighteningly polarised views and stark consequences, where what seems the nadir of human behaviour is justified in the mind of others as serving a greater cause. Any sanctity you can find in the idea of moral absolutes is lost the greater the number you try to group within a belief system, whether it be an a la carte Catholic neither following nor obliging the guidance set out by the Church, a young woman being primed to look an unsuspecting suicide bomber or a pan European governing body. So much disarray can offer little hope for a single guiding compass. I still can’t be a cynic in the midst of all this and choose to believe in a proportion and ideally a majority having a primordial trigger that helps us choose well and lead well. All we have is what we do. The unique eye of each beholder and the world around us leaves us construct very few absolutes, yet we can still proceed with a resolve to arm ourselves with informed views and act accordingly.


Eamonn said...

"The trouble with absolutes is they can never be agreed upon."

The trouble with sweeping generalisations is that they can undermine an otherwise legitimate agrument.

Never is a bit strong there don't you think? I agree that there are contentious issues where debate exists, abortion being a prime example as you point out. However, murder, rape, paedophilia, slavery (despite your claim) are all absolutely morally wrong and all accepted as such.

CK said...

Are there not forms of slavery in practice every day in Middle Eastern countries, with women treated as second class citizens. If you can confidently claim that rape is deemed morally wrong in these countries then you enjoy a far more benign view of the world than I do.

Murder is sanctioned through the death penalty by the elected representatives of numerous states in the United States. I of course will not make a representation that paedophilia is acceptable to anybody and do concede this point alone.

I'm glad you are countering my argument with a positive moral stance on these issues but the very point I tried to make, which could only be made by using broad strokes is that these are views that are not universally shared. I openeed with a generalisation but the point of my post was a generalisation can be made about little else.

Eamonn said...

But in that case your point is entirely moot as you will always find somebody somewhere on the planet that will disagree about anything...including paedophillia.