Is any morality better than no morality at all?

March 3, 2017

 

 

Morality, at its most essential, is, basically, a map which attempts to show the right and the wrong way, up from down, good from evil. It is akin to what I've once referred to as worldview. Without it, we're lost. And, left to our own devices, we piece together scraps from here and there in order to build a way of sorting out our finite, limited selves from the overwhelming unknown of the infinite. It is, in its most pragmatic sense, a blueprint on how to negotiate our lives in the midst of other lives with whom we're forced by necessity to mingle. That is why, with the utmost respect and in the purest academic fashion, I am forced to kindly invite Foucault, Derrida & Co. to fuck themselves. Moral relativism is lazy, at best, and irresponsible, at worst.

 

Heidegger categorizes existence in three realms, i.e. the objective world, the subjective world, and our own being, or the subject experiencing it. In the objective world you have empirically demonstrable things, tangible ones, which are there whether you like it or not. In the social world, intersubjective things are created by the interaction/friction between beings, and they are not tangibly there but we have agreed that they are and in fact shape our lives; and then, like a cherry on top, there is the being. Or the Being. The entity sucking it all up and assigning meaning as it goes by in search for meaning. When it's all gravy, it is quite easy to say that everything is socially constructed and that there is no universal morality. But let me tell you something. When the shit hits the fan, we may not know what is moral but the hell we know what immoral is. Anytime a madman has gone berserk and wiped out millions of people, all cultural divides blur and you get things like the Nuremberg trials, where we all agree that throwing 6 million people into the oven is not cool. Kiss my ass "culturally dependent values."

 

The icing on the cake is made of biology and the millenarian layers of culture which, one on top of the other, have passed certain universal values in the forms of narratives. Can I categorize them? Not really, but I'm still searching for an ancient cultural narrative that says it is kosher to slap one's mother or to pay for Netflix when you can get the films for free. Moreover, after thousands of years of existence, our bodies have adapted to certain realities which can't be avoided. Do you know why mothers have to take care of those little bundles of poop and tears for ages? Because with the massive brain we have, which we have developed in order to survive, it takes forever to materialize in a self-sufficient being. Examples abide, but who we are is not socially constructed, it is the result of a culture built upon a foundation of biology.

 

The funniest thing about Nietzsche is that everybody remembers him as the dude who said "God is dead". What people seem to forget is that those words where not uttered in isolation. The guy with the lamp telling everyone about the passing of the deity is surrounded by questions of what the hell are we going to do without God? How are we going to know up from down? And that, my friend, is the world we're living in at the moment. Devoid of an ironclad morality which, with all its misreadings and shortcomings, helped us to know up from down, we are like blind people without a cane walking around a crystal shop, orientating ourselves by the sounds of the least strident crash of things with which we stumble. And, do you want drama? Like, real, soap opera-level drama? That explains the utter moral disarray in which the West is in right now. Without a tried and tested morality to replace the guidance needed after God's funeral, we're like amateur scrapbook fans piecing together inherited values and new political correctness to make sense and face the chaos which is engulfing our societies. 

 

Technological progress is cool. For sure. It has cured diseases but it has also created bomb-raining drones. A purely objective worldview has created a monster without a heart to regulate its might. And that monster is shagging everyone, including itself, in an orgy or blindness. Immense power without immense introspection leaves you, in the category of Heidegger, with a worship of the objective world, a chaotic subjective world, and a being who has absolutely no meaning. And a meaningless existence can only end in extermination or tyranny. So, is any morality better than no morality? There is no such thing as "no morality". The morality of nihilism or authoritarianism will always be there to fill the void we leave by our comfortably numb existence.

 

 

 

 

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