by Lake County News-Chronicle
January 30, 2013 at 5:55 am in Lake County News-Chronicle
Tags: Opinion 2 Comments »
“Now, after decades of telling people they are cosmic accidents, the products of blind time, chance and matter, nothing more than detritus of an impersonal universe, others are….acting as if is true.” —If this is true, about the development of mankind and life in general, just what about that premise precludes anyone from developing a sense of ethical respect, decency and a moral approach to life? Or, a tempering of our intellect with a little wisdom?
Is it not possible the human condition’s imperfections are such that regardless of where we came from and how, there will be a few defects we have to find ways to identify and watch out for? Isn’t that an integral part of the life process trying desperately to survive environmental change, by trying so many combinations of the life form that hopefully one will survive? Isn’t that a big part of the struggle to improve ourselves, and make society a better place for everyone? Otherwise, why even have an intellect and this seemingly built-in desire to understand ourselves and the nature of the worlds around us?
Other than this observation on an implication in your comments, thanks for a great dissertation.
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Ethics and morals have *always* been relative. Relative means that the morals and ethics are connected to the time frame and society in which the ethics or morals are observed (or ignored).
There has never been an *absolute* ethic or an *absolute* moral. By that I mean there is no ethic or moral that is correct for all humans in all societies for all of human existence. Try to think of an example of an absolute, and I will cite its exception.
If the Holy Bible is to be taken as a literal guide to what is moral or what is ethical, then we are all doomed. Compelled marriages, the need to execute one’s daughter by stoning or the rightness of selling her or yourself into slavery are not guidelines to currently correct living. The taking of multiple wives and dozens or hundreds of concubines is not lawful in this country though multiple wives are accepted in some cultures – and even by some minor factions in the U.S. claiming to be Christians. The genocidal elimination of a group of people simply because of their nature or beliefs is no longer acceptable. The list of currently unlawful things once acceptable or expected in the Holy Book is a long one.
Each society teaches its members what is moral and ethical – even the most liberal districts of the U.S. have ethical and moral standards surprisingly congruent with the most conservative regions. Further, all of its members have been exposed to and taught what is right and proper.
I agree that at least some of the mass murderers seek notoriety. The motives of others is less clear. But the one common thing among all of them is that they have been at least exposed to the mores, customs, ethics and moral standards of their respective communities. They all knew that killing was wrong in our society and decided to kill anyway. It is likely the case that none of them gave any thought whatever to their significance in the universe and had no concern for the origin of the human species… they just wanted to kill as many as possible, as quickly as possible. It is telling to note that many of these killers then took their own lives as well. Notable cases of mass murder in this country have been driven by ideology, either religious or political or a combination of the two.
There is no single answer for these killings and no easy remedy, either. Assorted laws can make the killing less efficient or less convenient, but not eliminate it. The best remedy is one in which the community gets involved with all of its members and unites them as a community. Strangers are probably easier to kill than friends and close associates. Our neighborhoods are filled with strangers. We do not know each other. We actually choose not to know each other. Closeness is avoided. I am guilty of this, myself, not knowing many of my own neighbors, and not wanting to seem “nosy”.
Mr. Hill is an honorable man, but I believe he sees the world through a very narrow window and has an incomplete view.
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