Sunday, October 21, 2007

My morality is more moral than your morality

My morality is more moral than your morality, and needs more protection too.

In recommending that homosexuality be criminalised, people have cited that we should protect our values and morality. Are you truly out to protect your morality and values, or is it just about protecting the pride and your socio-political legitimacy, your position as a figurehead in your respect community?

What does moral and immoral mean? Isn't it about weighing the good and harm of certain actions and behaviour? Morality, with its roots in ethics discourse, is governed by some basic principles. In deontology, it is unethical, or immoral, to steal because you wouldn't like it if people stole from you. Thus, to discriminate and make hate speech against minorities is immoral because you wouldn't like it if either you were a minority or people made hate speech against you.

The use of the morality rhetoric seems to steer attention away from the insecurity of a defensive people out there. Their views, predispositions, comfort and expectations of society have finally been challenged. As opinion leaders, they stand to lose their authority and legitimacy among their herd. With the moral rhetoric and wielding the political sword and shield that are "children", opinion leaders have created a siege mentality among their followers.

Love becomes conditional. Compassion becomes exclusive. Graciousness becomes limited.

I'm no christian. I think that the god of the Abrahamic religion, known as "God" with a capital G, did a wonderful job creating persons. Persons like you and me. But persons like you and me, in my opinion, have created an abomination, and that is 'people'. God created persons; persons create peoples.

Sorry to leave out Buddhism, which deals with transcendence and suffering. Can we minimise the suffering of our fellow human beings? If you had a choice, would you want to suffer the sexual minorities, or your pride and power?

It is fine if one finds gay people disgusting. Sometimes, the aunty on the MRT train sees the young schoolboy and schoolgirl hugging, groping and kissing, and she has every right to give her opinion of the young lovebirds. "Disgusting". But is that immoral?

Does everything that makes you feel uneasy, or questions your beliefs, or makes you toss and turn in bed at night, warrants being labelled as immoral? Is it really "immoral", or rather "a departure from the beliefs I was socialised into embracement"? If something is different from your beliefs, will you say it is immoral? Then will a Protestant say a Mormon is immoral? Will a Christian say a Muslim is immoral? Who is more moral then? What are the measures?

Faith is all about believing. Believing in things are meaningful to you. Religion is just an institution for you to share your beliefs with other persons. Religion is also there to help you see beyond yourself, open your mind, thanks to the interaction with other persons. But why has religion made us so narrow-minded and hateful? Why do religions want to grow bigger and bigger? Are non-religious people less moral, less knowledgeable?

In my opinion, no group is less moral, no group is more moral. There is no judge. You may say your "god" will be the judge. What about the non-religious, what about the polytheistic-religious? Are you trying to say that your "god" in your faith has jurisdiction over others?

There is too much pride in us. We are too unwillingly to lower ourselves to help others. We have too much pride to say "sorry" or "thank you" or even to back off. If you want to talk about values, values should be dealing with this kind of pride. Values should empower you to make moral decisions, for which you will be responsible and accountable, and the meaning of 'moral' will be subjected to its context.

Think again before you say that private consensual acts of love between gay persons are "immoral", for the very behaviour you exhibit in saying it is already immoral.


hobart said...

if the behavior of saying that something is immoral itself is immoral , then how moral is your behavior of saying that that act is immoral?

Sam Ho said...

that's critical ethics. it will go on and on, being counterweight to the counterweight. i can't answer that.

rather, we should be asking ourselves why would we want to label acts "immoral" in the first place, rather than going on and on. through labelling, are we trying to subjugate a person/group?

hobart said... seems you already presuppose or understand that there is right and wrong in this world , regardless of opinions , because it is only normal to do so (if not you weren't be arguing your point) . I also disagree with labeling ; but there is a difference between judging an act as immoral and judging a person or a group of people involved in the act . The latter is unacceptable whilst the former is essential . Thus the answer to your question is that realizing something as wrong is not to subjugate a person/group but to remember what is moral or immoral so that we do not engage in immorality . What would this world be if crime was never recognized as crime?

Sam Ho said...

thanks i see.

any way, a bulky part of our consciousness is built on predispositions, which buttress our presuppositions.

labelling an act, or labelling a person, is the same to me any way. because labelling helps us understand our realities. the very act of labelling is to create a language, a symbol, a 'techne' to represent a reality.

a language or a symbol can be foul, indecent, obscene, oppressive.

any way, i don't know what is "engage in immorality". i don't know many things, because difference peoples have difference languages and symbols. the intersection of langauges and symbols is what causes conflict amongst us human beings.

thus, in place of what we don't know, our opinions surface, our language and our very own symbols will surface.

what would this world be if the majority had a particular definition of crime?

hobart said...

We already do define what's right and wrong . That's what morality means . I mean there are not many people who will succumb to say that rape is moral or that the Holocaust was . This , however , doesn't mean that i support the idea that majority defines what is truth or what it moral . Although , to say that 'should's and 'ought's doesn't exist is to imply that moral absolutism (that we all have basic moral standards) doesn't exist and/or that it shouldn't . Morality may derive from some social conditioning , but even trans-social 'traditions' have similarities . Furthermore , if we were completely the pure products of social conditioning , it would be technically possible for the existence of a world conditioned to think that killing each other is the right thing to do yet our world is not so for a reason .

We may not know a lot of things , but i'd like to believe that we are all capable of differentiating right from wrong not because we were (are) told so but because it is part of what we are made of and that it is innate knowledge only waiting to be explored .

Is it wrong to define crime if it is a right definition?

puzzled said...

i have to admit that i can't completely follow your argument, hobart, but if i get him correctly, what sam means is that he thinks that it is morally wrong, to force your opinions on others with the intent of making them suffer. that would make sense and would be consistent as sam would not be immoral (by his own definition) by saying so as his opinion is expressed to enlighten these moral crusaders or at least make them think a bit.

Sam Ho said...

haha, you know the funny thing here. i can't remember the content of this piece without reading it again!

you see. there's this endless cycle between absolutism and relativism. the notion of absolutism is disproven by relativism, yet the notion of relativism is founded on absolutism.

planes of immanence. on which "plane" do you exist?

frames of reference. from which frame are you making your reference?

the particular differentiation of what is right and what is wrong, is informed by power relations. no matter how universal it seems, there are mechanisms to ensure its development, sustenance and longevity. this relativistic thinking may be based on an absolutist belief that relativism prevails, but abstract matters do not have a valid case against the higher levels of abstraction.

i think it is not a matter of whether we have already defined what is right or what is wrong, what matters is the differential that exists within and across peoples and societies. what is causing the inertia for full integration and cohesion?

Bluesharp said...

The one thing that I see missing from the conversation is; what is sin, and are there consequences for committing sin? First, one must believe in a Holy Creator, then one must ask what lifestyle and thoughts line up with pleasing The Creator. Second, one must ask if acts that counter nature are appropriate in any context, and would a Holy and wise Creator establish natural boundaries because they were important, or, would The Creator be confused and not adhere to natural laws because a future generation would find a new way to argue around them? If a blind man cannot see the sun, does that mean he is not subject to the desert heat or the storms that are created because of it? If he has no belief in the existence of the sun, does that mean the sun is irrelevant? Talk is cheap and in abundant supply. The natural life must be a part of the life to come to be complete. Of course, this runs counter to all my progressive friends out there who have long since abandoned the idea of God and feel no obligation to Him, but that does not discount His presence, nor His power, irregardless of one's ability to see Him. We must kneel to God, and not to man. The confusion comes when people abandon their natural relationship with God, and fill their need with unnatural affections.