I Think, Therefore I am Amoral

This is not a rambling dedicated to René Descartes, not even in passing, not even a glancing at his Cogito ergo sum. This is a pondering of the validity of alleged moral truths for a sentient being capable of independent critical thinking.

Morality, that sense of behavioural conduct differentiating intentions, decisions, actions, and even judgement between ‘good’ or ‘right’ and ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. Its observation and practice is normatively in accordance to any given culture, philosophy, or religion; morality offers comprehendible and precise absolutes in exchange for arduous and zealous adherence – prerogative for questioning need not apply.

The curious inherent dismissal of interrogative approach to morality is the focus of this particular ramble.
Perhaps this is not entirely the fault of the general population. The majority of human history coincides with living under divine authority – that is, the legal powers of the church or temple surpassing that of the state or crown (in many cases the crown was divine). An autocratic authority based on the information relayed from an invisible source could mandate just about anything, and to question such authority was tantamount to blasphemy.

Such times have passed for most of the world, at least formally, but the learned response to accept decrees written in times gone rather than to critique lingers, even for morals that are ethically sound.
For example, abstaining from homicide is instantaneously identified as a virtue, but not instantaneously and articulately rationalised. In modern culture, a simple “killing is wrong” tends to suffice. To think, three words spare the lives of billions every day.

With scientific advances continuously discrediting widely accepted facts of centuries gone by, such as geocentrism, and the decline and fall of divine authorities, the need to challenge or reaffirm morals with logic and rationale is of utmost necessity.
Ethics is the branch of philosophy for addressing questions about morals, rejecting the acceptance of morals at face value, and endeavouring to analyse the implications of morals.

To abstain from homicide is considered moral almost universally amongst the world’s religions. Interestingly, abstaining from homicide is supposed to be absolute morality, and yet the moral is greatly contextual and subject to relativism, with religious text justifying the blood on their pantheon’s hands.
With the exception to the rule applying to the worshipped deity, it hardly comes as a surprise that religious conflict finds a way around the moral of abstaining from homicide.
It is easier for the masses to act on behalf of what they don’t entirely understand than it is for them to act against a firm and versed grasp on the concept.

In these modern times where the audiences to an invisible, yet supposedly omnipotent, dictator are diminishing, perhaps it is only appropriate that morality is superseded by ethicality. Perhaps, in this age of reason, the practice of accepting normality ought cease and desist and adopting the routine of fundamentally questioning our conduct take its stead.
Perhaps it is time to think and embrace amorality.

 

From my cold quill,
Erebus Nekromantia


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