BRYCE ON MORALITY
– What is the effect of the decline of morality?
In Part 6 we considered some Moral problems as an exercise. Here, in Part 7, we will discuss simplifying complex moral problems and make some more observations about the properties of Morality.
In other words, moral situations may very well be complicated requiring some thought to dissect them to their most fundamental form before recognizing a moral solution. What situations may be simple for some, may be complicated to others. Perhaps the most difficult situations to interpret are those involving sex, violence, drugs and alcohol. Again, it is necessary to break the problem into its fundamental components and determine its morality. For such situations, it is necessary to be mindful of the formal laws, rules and regulations pertaining to a subject, and understanding its effect on others. It also helps to operate from a standard base of moral values.
To illustrate the point, many years ago I happened to be in Cincinnati during a severe winter storm. The city was experiencing blizzard conditions on a work day and the roads were icy. Nonetheless, I was charged with driving to the bank to make a deposit for our company. There were few people on the roads as most had been warned of the road conditions. The route to the bank involved passing through a major four-way intersection which was normally very congested. On this day though, there were but two cars in one lane waiting at the intersection for the light to change. As I approached them from behind I suddenly realized how slippery the roads were. So much so, I quickly realized if I applied my brakes I would surely begin to slide, possibly moving sideways and hitting the other cars. It wasn’t that I was traveling too fast (I was going no faster than 20mph), as much as the driving conditions were simply too treacherous. My options were to obey the law and stop at the traffic light, whereby I would have certainly begun to slide and likely hit the other cars, or pass through the red light thereby causing no injury to anyone. In the flash of an eye, I made the decision to disobey the law and travel through the intersection. Had a police patrol car spotted me, I would have likely been charged with a moving violation. Nonetheless, I made the decision based on my perception of the harmful effect I would have caused others as opposed to adhering to the letter of the law. I tend to believe I made the right decision under these extraordinary circumstances.
WE LIVE IN AN IMMORAL WORLD. Morality is a human invention. If everyone practiced morality in a uniform manner, we would live in a moral world. However, because of the inconsistency by which morality is applied in the world, there will always be discrepancies and omissions. As such, realizing a 100% moral world is unrealistic.
WE CANNOT BE MORALISTIC 100% OF THE TIME. There will always be an indiscretion, large or small, we will overlook, perhaps because it does nothing more than inconvenience us. Regardless, we should strive for self-improvement and seek perfection. This brings up a a point, PRACTICING MORALITY REQUIRES EFFORT. A person must make a concerted effort to practice morality, not just in their actions but also in their decision-making process.
LEADING A MORALISTIC LIFE IS NOT EASY. In addition to effort, the moral person may be ridiculed, chided, criticized, or ostracized for doing so (it’s not necessarily “Cool”). Nonetheless, you must live with yourself and look at yourself in the mirror. It is your conscience.
What is the effect of the decline of morality? It represents a decline in courtesy, law, the loss of respect of others (their rights and freedoms), and a decline of our civilization. WITHOUT MORALITY, WE WOULD LIVE IN A PRIMITIVE/BARBARIC CULTURE.
NEXT TIME: In Part 8, we will wrap-up our series with a discussion on “Where do we go from here?”
Mr. Bryce is available to speak on this subject
Keep the Faith!
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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
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