Universal Meaning

Friday, May 8, 2009

If we assume there is no God or supernatural force outside of ourselves, we are faced with the idea that morality is simply a sham of human behavioural code dressed up as a higher law. What then is the goal of such subterfuge? One might be a true believer in one’s cause. Sincere, but wrong. No shame in that. One might also seek to regulate the behaviour of people. But to what end? To produce the most monogamous way to live? People have differing ideas of what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’, but this is simply presenting a false dichotomy, when everything a person values or believes in is literally their own ‘way’ in life.

Morality then becomes the debate of satisfying the most number of people at any given situation.  A mass agreement of human values. That becomes a mess of a circumstance when the group that believes in ‘might makes right’ rules the world, no? Ah, but we are speaking of actions among humans. There is no objective right and wrong, since all these values simply deal with human-to-human interaction. The popular values simply become the only values, and all else is vilified.

If you look at language and its relation to morality, we find that it is used to convey intent. Our thoughts are more shallow emanations of our reactions to feelings, which are firstly made to be fit for use in accordance with our social culture, and then formed into words which are given flight. We dress up our base thoughts into a social art form known as ‘politeness’ or ‘appropriateness’. Words themselves are able to invoke feelings and reactions, so we find that skill at words to be a desirable social trait, as we navigate the ever-dangerous landscape of human communication.

Framed against the backdrop of a vast empty space, our morality and languages carry little weight other than amongst our own kind. We mill about like ants believing we are giants, and that ours is the universe. Depressing.

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