Friday, August 26, 2011


I believe short answers and posts can never do justice to questions of philosophy, morality, religion, psychology…yet, I often feel lured to voice my perspectives on these subjects, hoping that it will at least be food for thought.

The question of subjective vs. objective morality/reality is a hot debate going on for at least the last 200 yrs. between philosophers, religionists, and, more recently, psychologists.  (Where would psychologists be without philosophers!)  In fact, these concepts were already discussed in ancient times.  Therefore, I don’t believe that we can find answers using only rational logical argument as things stand (as much as I would like it to).

Because we all probably come from different cultural and religious backgrounds, a good starting point might be the concept of “universal morality”.
It seems to me that the most basic of human agreements on how to behave (morality) has evolved, and continues to evolve for sociological reasons, for, not only survival, but as an attempt to reach the most enlightened, productive, and happy survival possible.

To argue from the basis of one set of religious books seems like putting on blinders.  For example, the Bible is a very slippery slope, considering the political history of its making and translation, as well as, its many contradictions.  I do not want such a flawed book that advocates sexism, racism, murder, and obedience to a jealous to God guide my life.  That is my subjective opinion.
However, a better guide might be what people have discovered over eons of time to help us get along and not wipe each other out (yet), regardless of religion, race, history, etc.:  Universal Morality.  Once we stray from those principles, we are truly in deep trouble.
Having a background in psychology, I believe, theoretically, that we can best ascertain our true needs and moral standards by bringing subjective reality in harmony with objective reality.  Without some concept of objective reality, we are truly lost.  I’m not sure how to do that, but I believe the premise is sound.
One of the keys to helping ourselves determine what is best for us and society is to remain flexible in our thinking.  (Black and white thinking is so destructive to logical thought and the pursuit of truth!)  Yes, that means wading around in the swamp of uncomfortable relative reality until we are balanced, whole, mentally healthy and strong enough to determine (for ourselves), what we believe objective reality to be.  For now, that is all we can do.
So, no, morality cannot be proven, just as relativity vs. objectivity will continue to be an ongoing debate.  Personally, after tiring of efforts to make sense of the morass of other religions, perspectives and opinions, and weighing them with mine, I agree that our code of morality is something we need to find for ourselves the best way we can, by continuing to use logic, and whatever else there is that remains inexplicable in us.

You may ask, “What about that very strong part of us that makes us human:  emotions?”  Yes, they, too are instrumental in deciphering morality.  However,  I think only when we have differentiated ourselves from our families, from society, from the mob, will we be in tune with our authentic self, our authentic emotions.  Only then can we use emotions as a tool to support reliably our conclusions on morality.
If we live only by proofs in our present evolution, we are in danger of losing abilities or parts of ourselves that may bring us to “higher ground”.  In fact, we will have stunted the possibility of our moral growth, our moral compasses.  However, if we live only by faith, we are in a similar predicament.  (I don’t like to use the word “faith”, due to its religious connotations, but prefer the word “hope”.)

I try to keep my mind cautiously open to the hope that humankind will continue its struggle to find the other “90%” of our brainpower.  I think, only then, can we hope to make ourselves whole, complete, and our world united in love and in high morality.  (I hope we still have time before we self-destruct!)
The logical conclusion of this argument seems to indicate that, knowing we use 10% of our brains, we must logically remain open to developing the power of the other 90%, or we cut ourselves off from the possibility of ultimate reasoning and morality, and proof of objective truth.


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