The main thing that motivates my interest in morality is compassion.
I see that in society the weakest and most miserable members are treated with disdain, made to feel ashamed and often abused all because of particular propositions of the status quo morality.
For instance I had a friend at work. He was a compassionate person and the worst I could say of him was that he was incredibly indoctrinated by the status quo and had a temper. Apart from that he was one of those decent people that make up a lot of the working class.
His attitude towards the homeless and drug addicts though was based upon the ethic of capitalism. He didn’t know this but it was.
These people didn’t work and expected hand-outs. They would steal etc…
It was a focus entirely directed towards just one aspect of the people in this class. It was a myopic perspective.
He would say that they should get a job.
He even told me a story once about how a tramp asked him for money and he replied “I wouldn’t even give you the steam of my piss”. He said this with pride and he probably had a feeling of righteousness in saying it. This is how morality makes monsters out of people.
It was sad because he was not prepared to even discuss it. To even entertain the idea that these people are deeply unhappy. That is why they seek the comfort of oblivion through narcotics to such an extent that it destroys the rest of their lifes. That causes them to break the law so as to run back into the arms of that oblivion away from their life of extreme poverty and misery.
For him it was black and white. These people were bad.
There was no inquisition into the social conditions that give rise to these people. How he is also subject to them. How the same force called capitalism that oppresses him and forces him to work the majority of his life is the force that has broken them.
That the homeless are symptoms of a society fundamentally incompatible with the human pursuit of happiness. That they indicated not a threat in themselves but a greater threat that hangs over us all. A threat with the only redeeming feature being that it should make brothers of us all.
His attitude was one of disdain and hatred to these people who in my eyes should – at the worse – be seen as people with a debilitating illness.
The same is the case with prostitutes and women in general when it comes to promiscuity. Men when they are promiscuous aren’t socially frowned upon. Sure there’ll be some old biddies in the local baptist church who would express moral outrage at them but in the main society doesn’t condemn them.
But women on the other hand…
Compare women and men in their ideal form. The man is a big, muscular, strong person who can handle stuff. The woman is the opposite. Yet who gets treated worse for sexual promiscuity?
The fact that morality is often directed against the weakest and most vulnerable elements in society shouldn’t be shocking. One of the psychological pay-offs of morality for those that make up the power-structure is that it allows them to go to sleep at night knowing that they’ve done service to absolute good by stamping on the face of the poor.