Words carry with them values that are often unspoken and in our post-Modern world seldom thought about. Postmoderns, particularly in America tend to speak and feel out of raw emotion and cultural catch-phrases.  Thought is not something they like to get involved with. The quote below is just such an example:  

[…] By the same token, I do believe an individual has a right to choose what is right for them. It may not be what I agree with and I may find immoral, even. But until I’m in that person’s shoes, what right do I have to tell someone what is moral for them? Should not morality come from within and not be imposed? [emphasis added, ed.] There are people and societies out there that want to do just that– impose a set of values on us that we disagree with. That imposition of morality goes against everything we believe in. […]

The person  (referred to hereafter as The Writer) who made this statement is highly educated and I presume has a Doctorate in one discipline or another.  I don’t believe I have ever read anything by him before and after reading this I will not return to his blog.

Morality is a communally agreed upon set of rules by which the community agrees to abide. Often these rules are religious in nature, IE: “love thy neighbor,” or “thou shalt not kill.”  The Islamic community abides by a different moral code in which “honor killing,” is believed to be the moral action to take if a female member of the family is violated sexually, whether by rape or because she chose to give up her virginity: Two different communities; two different sets of MORAL rules.

The Writer has made a philosophically fatal error in espousing the argument “…until I’m in that person’s shoes, what right do I have to tell someone what is moral….” It goes without saying The Writer does this very thing all day, everyday, just by existing in a society any society.

For example, if I cut him off in traffic he will certainly tell me what the rules of the road are and that I ought to obey them. If he is on line waiting for the next cashier at Wal-Mart and I cut in front of him, we all know I will be told that my actions are abhorrent, wrong, and that I have violated an unspoken, unwritten,  rule of conduct.  He will have, of course, judged me without knowing a thing about me. You see, he lives by an unwritten moral code that he uses to look out for himself. You can bet he will want to force payment from me if I refuse to pay what I believe to be an immoral charge for service.

To repeat: Morals are nothing more than the principles of right and wrong agreed upon within a particular community. Apparently, The Writer never learned that or has gotten so caught up in jargon he can no longer think. I would suggest he move to an Islamic society ruled by Sharia law. There he will find out about judging, morality, and the necessary restrictions of living communally whether or not one happens to like those restrictions.  

If I were to witness him getting shot by some street thug and I did nothing to either prevent that action or to rectify it by trying to help him you can bet I would get a lecture from him, his friends, the police and the courts about my responsibility to assist in that situation. 

 The Writer says “…(I)have a right to choose what is right for (me)…”  Who is he to judge me? Therefore, I say let him lay on that sidewalk and bleed to death. I don’t want to get involved. Besides I might miss my bus.

That’s my opinion,

Dr. Jim

ps: any guesses on how I get judged concerning this post?

Advertisements