The Concept of “Morality” Revisited

Posted: June 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Readers (assuming there are any left at the moment), I don’t know about you but I am DONE with finals and may I say, HELL YEAH! The one troubling thing about reincarnation is the idea that someday, if my soul is reincarnated into the body of a robust young boy or girl, I’d have to re-endure all the years of schooling and when finals roll about, my future self will stop for a second and say, “hmm, yes, this seemingly endless torture is not entirely unfamiliar to me.”
For all you football fans, I’d like to make leave a comment on yesterday’s match between Italy and Paraguay:

I WISH I HAD F@!#ING RECORDED IT. My God, that game was VIOLENT. Legs flying here and there, people jumping so high, the altitude must have given them killer headaches, not to mention the Fates decided to make it rain (possibly for dramatic effect)! With all of that in mind, it looked like this should have been playing the entire game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mjUe4vYbVA

Anyway, let’s get back to the real topic today and that is precisely what the title suggests it is. I’ve been very interested in morality and why people choose a “good life” to be rewarded in the next. This thought actually came about today when in the middle of my philosophy final exam. Out of four topic questions, I chose one to write a short essay about. The question was: “is there any point in being moral?” For most of you out there, convention has taught you that there is a very big point in being moral but the major part of that reason happens to be religion. It teaches us that every person has the free will to determine how he/she will live his/her life…but at the same time, it tells us that God has determined all of our fates. Interesting little paradox, huh?
To answer the essay question, I had to put both religion and tradition aside and think about the true nature of the human being. As mentioned in an earlier post, human infants are born selfish; that’s a psychological fact. Humans have no idea what “morality” is when they first enter the world. Through extensive schooling and subjection to society, we learn what is proper from what is improper and yet as we grow up, we find ourselves going back to our basic instinctual desires: to kill those who offend us, to steal things that we want, to mate and have several mates, to deceive when we don’t want to share, for example. The list can go on forever. But because we are emotional creatures (due to “blind evolutionary drift” as John Gray, author of Straw Dogs, puts is) we must live with illusions. The illusion that the “truth will set us free”, the illusion of “morality” and the reward we will receive for acting morally in the allegedly-existing spiritual realm. Humans don’t want to believe that death is the end because it would be too terrifying to think of life without an after-life to follow it.
Some of you might read this and wonder if I’m encouraging you to be “immoral” because morality makes no sense. No, that’s not what I’m doing. I don’t believe in “morality” or “immorality”. To me, there’s only what benefits you and what doesn’t. In society today, acting more socially acceptable is what is expected of you and therefore, it is what benefits you. But let’s say you pass by a homeless person asking for money. You give the person money and feel good about yourself the rest of the day. That’s great but the key word here? “Yourself”. Come on, let’s face it, how many times have you given money to the poor without thinking “yes, that will grant me a few more points in the eyes of God”? It’s inevitable for humans to have a moment of selfish gratification for doing “good deeds”.
So now that we have some idea of the illusion of “morality”, can we really apply it to reincarnation? How does this work? If you’re good in this life, you live a better life next time around? There’s still the illusion that we will be rewarded for being “moral”. There are traces of selfishness, minute or not. This brings up another one of religion’s paradoxes:

Being selfish is “immoral”…but act “morally” to save your own ass come doomsday? Hmm. Why doesn’t that register with me very well? Oh but lest you forget that the “Lord works in mysterious ways”. *Sighs*

I can’t say for sure how the universe works and if there is a God or not. This is just my point of view. I would rather do what my nature demands of me than have to suppress it for selfish reasons supporting a faith I don’t even know is rational. It’s a lifestyle I have chosen for myself and as always I respect the chosen lives of others, religious or not. So in return, I’d like others to respect my point of view and debate like MATURE adults i.e. no calling me “pathetic”. You know who you are.

Hope finals are going well for you! Don’t forget to take a peek at the first chapter of my novel, The Newborn. Let me know what you think.

– The Sandman

P.S. Gonna need some more questions, guys. Need to know what you all want to read about. A writer’s muse is the reader. 😉

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