Postby cassandra » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:52 pm

The moral high-ground?
This is actually a low-lying area of constantly shifting sands, shrouded in mist and fog and swathed in a tracery of misleading tracks in which seemingly intelligent people are caught in a logic trap of their own making. I say seemingly intelligent because they never work out that the logic trap is the result of a misconception of the nature and function of morality. They never quite get it that morality is an ethical problem, that it is plastic and its only function is as a temporary cultural bonding agent. A social glue, the constituents of which are subject to changes according to contemporary cultural needs and the persuasive rhetoric of whomsoever advocates a change. They never quite understand that nothing is fixed in place. Life is emergent and sometimes unattractive – but they seek stasis and the comfortable rigidity of a continuum. The Elizabethan magus, alchemist and poet, John Donne, said: “There's nothing really good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Certainly, as regards morality, this is a basic truth.
In 1971 the age of sexual consent in Britain was 21. In 1975 it became 16. Morality changed accordingly. State, church and laity accommodated themselves easily enough. In Japan that age is 12. In Mexico there is no minimum age. Where does morality fit in here? Who is right and who is wrong because clearly, despite late claims to the contrary, one cannot be two things simultaneously.
To claim that the moral high-ground lies in Britain, for example, one must condemn all the others. Are we to imagine that whole countries, churches, judiciaries and populations are all immoral? Such arrogance. In terms of intelligent people caught up in the logic trap one is led inevitably to the idea that the problem is not one of morality, or even ethics – it is a problem of emotionality.
Logic is a left brain function and emotion is a right brain activity. While they remain locked in the left brain linear thought pattern they will ignore their own emotional content as the source of both the problem and the solution. Tell a woman who is carrying a handbag dog that the dog has legs, needs to use them, and that she is actually perverting the very animal she claims to love so much to satisfy her own emotional needs. She is anthropomorphising the dog, attributes human emptions, desires and preferences to it and, classically interpreted at least, is using it as a baby substitute. This is left brain communication of evidential fact, but the hypothetical lady is operating in her currently emotion-dominated right brain and never the twain shall meet. Intellect and emotion can never communicate and any attempt to do so only raises emotion further. Very high emotion is virtually indistinguishable from insanity.
Morality usually starts off as an intellectual concept, a notion of how we should live together which anyone can discuss, but when it's adopted and passes on to the next generation it takes on an emotional life of its own and, for too many of us, becomes an indisputable reality and a limiting and controlling factor in our thinking.
I don't have a morality you could identify as such - and I don't particularly want one as I am currently of the opinion that abandoning a given morality leads to a general improvement in mental health.
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