Thursday, February 12, 2015

Moral Ambiguity

 A large percentage of my blog deals in morality.  It's a large part of my life and affects my decisions.  I'm not unique; most people use their scruples all the time.  Last night my husband got into a long, long, long discussion about morality.  At the end I promised him I wouldn't do that again, but that doesn't mean I won't keep putting on the pressure, turning up the heat, (insert another analogy here) about the topic.

The discussion started like this...."Why are you opposed to abortions?"  My husband falls into the wishy washy camp of being personally opposed, but can't say the same for others.  This brand of thinking is actually how he views all moral situations. 

His answers were thus: "I believe it's murder.
Me:  "Okay.  Why?"
Him: "I don't know why....I know you so I can't really answer that well.  I was just raised that way.  It's part of my culture."
We go off on a tangent about where his abortion issue lies and come to the conclusion that yes, they are humans.  It would be dumb to say otherwise, but personhood is odd.  He agrees that the arguments are murky grey areas that aren't sufficient.  I'm talking about the arguments for cognition for example. 
Him:  "Are angel people persons? I don't know.  I personally think so but I can see why someone would disagree."
Me: "So you think that areas of morals are ambiguous?" 
Him: "No, not really.  About 90% percent of people believe that murder is wrong."
Me:  "Uh, no.  You have define what murder is and that's going to change based on who you are talking to which is why we're having this discussion about abortion.  Because some people believe it's murder and others don't."
Me:  "And you have to stand firm in your beliefs because if you don't, you are essentially passively colluding.  Think about it.  If it's murder you are paying the abortionist.  You aren't doing the murder yourself, no, but you are in fact cooperating with it against your belief that it is wrong.  You aren't holding a firms stance even on your own scruples.  It creates moral ambiguity."
Me:  "What if it affected you more closely?  Let's say a member of ISIS came in and chopped off our children's and mine heads.  ISIS says it's perfectly fine morally.  And according to your purview, it's fine too because ISIS has it's own moral compass.  They believe you have to convert or be killed.  You can't even prosecute them for murdering your family by your logic because that would be imposing your morality on theirs.  I think I'll leave you with that to think about."

*please note that this is not the exact conversation we had.  This has been condensed and isn't verbatim.

You can't be wishy washy when it comes to morality.  You can't say "Well, I don't like abortion, but it doesn't affect me so let them do what they want."  Not only is it entirely uncharitable to allow a person to violate morality, but it's not really having any morality at all.  Morals should be universally applied.  Otherwise they aren't really morals; they are personal codes.  Without some basic moral values society becomes chaos and people do whatever they want without regard to any persons.  Having personal freedom doesn't mean doing whatever you want regardless of whether or not it violates someone's view of what personal freedom is.  We would all become persons and non-persons at the same time.

And this is the logic of fence sitting, which is to say eventually the fence is gonna poke you in the behind so you better choose which side you are on and why.  Trying to sit there perfectly perched and trying to appease everyone, won't work.  At some point you have to say ISIS doesn't have the right to kill Christians just like abortionists have no true moral grey area in which to murder the unborn.  Morality has be, generally speaking, unilaterally applied for the protection of all persons. 

And just so Hubby knows, if he wants to thoroughly enjoy this weekend, he better get off the fence and stop being so morally wishy washy.  I want to go see Jupiter Uprising btw but I hear Padington is just as good.  :P

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!