The ground of morality

I believe our moral judgement is just another expression of our preferential judgement.

There are those in existence who believe murder to be good ie they have no sense of revulsion towards it. When a “normal” person witnesses a murder they feel revulsion and that is the inner reality pointed to with the statement “I believe Murder is bad”. When such a person says that then they are expressing that inner reality.

When someone who doesn’t experience that revulsion (and they do exist) says that statement then they are lying. Just as when someone who does not like the taste of sprouts would be lying if they said “These sprouts taste good”.

Murder (and any other atrocity you care to mention) are, whether we like it or not, perfectly natural. Look at a lion’s pride. When a new male kills the old leader he kills all the kids and shags all the women.

This to me is disgusting; but it is natural. It is an expression of what is, the totality. If it wasn’t, then it wouldn’t be.

Simple as.

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I know what I should do but I don’t do it!

We know what we should do but we don’t do it it.

By should I don’t mean a moralistic should. I don’t mean a social norm.

I don’t mean by this that we know we should help the little old lady cross the road but don’t.

Sure there are some who feel that should. It can be a should.

What I mean is we know what we should do to be more content.

Or at least we think we do and that’s all I need for my point.

For instance personally I know I should practice mindfulness and meditation in the sense that eckhart tolle teaches it.

Not because I want to gain a special insight or to get enlightened but simply because I know it makes life incredibly pleasant for me.

I don’t know if it would for you. I would certainly suggest anyone give it a go.

But I do know from past experience that it propels me into a state of almost constant, peaceful ecstasy.

A bit like drugs except you have all the pros of sobriety and all the pros of inebriation. It really is quite fantastic.

So saying this why don’t I practice it?

Why am I not doing it Now?

To get at my reason maybe I could come at it unawares so to speak.

There may be some among you who if I said “You should try meditation” would look at me, see that I don’t practice (Well always) what I preach and decide on that basis to not bother.

You could be very unhappy and want to he happy.

Now then even if I don’t practise what I preach why should you not try it?

I mean it might work and the cost if it doesn’t is a couple of minutes out of your day.

Really you use the fact that I don’t practice what I preach as an excuse for you not to bother and the reason you use it as an excuse is the exact same reason why I don’t practice what I preach.

We’re lazy. We say we want something yet we do not do the very things that will or might bring us that thing.

In a sense this is a kind of ground.

When asked why we are like this we are left with nothing else to say but other ways of saying the same thing.

I don’t do what I know I should because I am lazy; laziness is just another way of saying you don’t do what you know you should.

There’s only one answer and it’s really quite simple.

How do we stop not doing what we know we should?

Just do it silly.

Why don’t we do it?

Because we don’t haha.

It’s incredibly simple.

To avoid this. To avoid getting what we want we come up with all sorts of crazy schemes. The craziest of all is this blame game!

A Well Intentioned god.

A well intentioned god came along and made people. He meant to be the hero but couldn’t stop being the villain.

He thought people were “good” (deep down and naturally) but just didn’t know what “good” was. He reasoned to himself that ignorance thwarted their desperate attempts at being “good”.

“A ha” he said with a light bulb above his head “I’ll teach them what “good” is!”

So he went to start and just before the first word left his mouth he realized that he didn’t know what “good” was.

What was he to do?

“A ha” he said again “I’ll find the “good”

So he searched and he searched.

He criss crossed a basket weave over all of existence and at the end of his trials he stood empty handed because “What is” when asked concerning the “good” said nothing.

“A ha” he said yet again “I know what I shall do. I shall make the “good””

With nothing to base the “good” on except his own preference he based it on that.

Of course he was more coy about that fact to both himself and the people he’d made.

He would sometimes say when asked “oh that’s good because, er, because it allows you to harvest more, or stops you being sick” but mostly he just said “it’s good because it’s good”

Once the good was set up (the people called them laws) he thought to himself “my work is done. Now they have been told what to do they can carry on without being told anymore”

Many generations of the people were born and died when he thought “I’m going to go check in on those “good” people. It will be “good” to bask in my prior accomplishments.”

So he went back and discovered it was somehow worse than he left it.

What had gone wrong?

He wiped the people out.

“Start from scratch.” he said.

So he made the people again and gave them the “good” he had made again. Now though he stayed to see what would happen.

Silently he watched from the ether. He watched and he saw.

He saw that it had nothing to do with the content of the “good”; nothing to do with what the particular laws said.

There was a surface and a depth to the application of “good”.

On the surface the “good” worked. It told people what they could or couldn’t do and what they could do to the people who did what they couldn’t.

Below that though the law had taken on another function unpredicted by him.

The “good” became synomous with trust. People trusted “good” people and they knew who was “good”and who wasn’t by looking at the law.

“All well and good, ” mumbled our protagonist “or at least it would be if some people didn’t have the cheek to disregard my “good”.

“Now there are people who want to harm other people or exploit them and I’ve given them the perfect disguise!

“They can hide behind the “good”. If I hadn’t made the good in the first place they’d have nowhere to hide and everyone would see their rapacity.

“And that’s not all! Their sacrilege knows no bounds because those very men who want to bind others to their own interests have re-fashioned the “good” as they see fit.”

He stared around him at the mess he’d made. He was about to wipe the people out again but then thought better.

“That’s enough meddling for me don’t you think?” He said through the 4th wall.

Retributive Justice makes me sad.

“But what use is vengeance to me, what use to me is hell for torturers, what can hell put right again, when those children have been tortured to death?” Fyodor Dostoyevsky “The Brothers Karamazov”

I don’t care for retributive justice!

What purpose does it serve?

Take for instance an extreme case:

A child has been brutally raped and then murdered.

I feel sickened at the thought of such a thing.

Imagine what it must have been like for that poor, innocent and powerless child to undergo such trauma.

If I was a witness to the event I would do all in my power to stop it.

I would kill the man if that was what it took to rescue that child, hold her in my arms and whisper in her ear:

“It’s OK. It’s over now. Don’t worry. You’re safe. Where do you live? I’ll carry you home.”

But let’s imagine the event is already over.

What is the use of retributive justice?

Let us even suppose that free-will is true; in the metaphysical “all things being the same you could have done differently” sense.

Still what purpose does retributive justice serve; what purpose does vengeance serve?

It won’t un-rape and un-murder the child!

I can understand the anger of the parents.

I can understand their desire to hurt the one who took their dear one away from them.

It comes from a strong urge to do something to bring their child back; but there’s nothing they can do to achieve that; but they feel they can’t just do nothing!

But all vengeance will do is give a brief fix to their grief and once their thirst for vengeance has been satisfied their grief will come back; screaming stronger than before because their grief can only be allayed by two things: getting their child back and time.

In a sense a parent in such a situation is at war with grief; by seeking and gaining vengeance they delay the inevitable.

The longer you delay facing your grief the stronger the hold it will have on you; it will drive you insane; it drove my aunt insane and ruined her life because she went to the bottle instead of facing the pain.

“There is no avoiding war, it can only be postponed to the advantage of your enemy” Niccolo Machiavelli

The pain of the perpetrator is just a paltry, pale shadow compared to what the parents really want.

Doesn’t retributive justice in the end just mean an increase in suffering.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t punish the criminal; I’m saying we shouldn’t do so out of vengeance.