On Objective Morality and Christmas Eve
Do you believe that killing without necessity is morally unjustifiable? If not, how do you personally explain why it is acceptable to kill when you don’t need to?
Does your God say it’s okay to kill anyone you want to because the world was put here for your use? Does your God say it’s okay to kill nonhumans because the world was put here for your use? If so, how or when did your God say that? What is your source? Do you do everything else your God tells you to do in your source?
Do you believe that I have my beliefs, and they are right for me, and you have yours and they are right for you, and the two sets of beliefs can be completely at odds? Do you believe that morality is subjective? If so, maybe Hitler was right. But he couldn’t have been, right? So (some of) the world let him know and stopped him (grave oversimplification, but you get the idea). Hmmmmm.
Does your spiritual tradition tell you what you can and should do in your life, or do you have an internal moral compass that tells you? If you have a spiritual tradition, do you use it to justify all of your actions or only some of them (because they cannot be justified)? Just how reliant are you on the texts or practices of your spiritual tradition, and where did those texts and practices come from? Who made them and why? What was the historical context?
If you believe that killing without necessity is unjustifiable, what do you then do with that notion in your daily life? Do you believe causing suffering without necessity is unjustifiable, what do you do with that notion in your daily life?
Do you have a beloved companion animal of any kind? Is there anything you do to other animals that you wouldn’t do to "your" dog, cat, ferret, horse, or pot-bellied pig (ahem, Mr. Clooney)? If so, what does that tell the world about your sense of morality?
Are you kind and compassionate only to people whom you know by name? Are you kind and compassionate only to nonhuman animals whom you know by name, and the others are called "lunch," "dinner," and "clothing?"
Do you have a coherent set of objective morals that you live by? If not, precisely how do you make decisions involving the suffering of another?
If I could give the world just one gift on this Christmas Eve, it would be the above list of questions. I’m not sure if I consider this good news or bad news, but I think that our problem as a culture is that we’re simply not thinking about the ramifications of what we do. I guess it’s good news, because the other option is that we think, we realize we are causing harm, and we don’t care.
Where do you stand?