reply to post by NiNjABackflip
To me, trying to tyrannize over someone else's conduct, merely because one doesn't agree with how it's performed, is immoral.
You're talking about a different situation than I am I think. If the issue is criticizing someone for a a way
in which they performed
something, than it doesn't sound like a very obvious case of immoral behavior.
Let me give you an example of where I think moralizing applies and where it doesn't. I already mentioned that it's important with whom youre speaking
to; so for instance, between my sister and myself, sometimes she'll criticize me for over-swearing, and I respect and accept the criticism because she
knows I find swearing too much to be a lack of self control; at some times, I allow myself to swear, but when every other word coming out is swearing,
I accept and recognize the rebuke as valid. With her, if I find her to be acting irrationally or unfair in any situation, I'll tell her because I know
she strives for moral clarity in herself and in her action; but this advice is expressed in love and maturity, between two people fairly mature in
regards to their spiritual lives, so it doesn't get lost.
Now, say I have a fairly good idea at what kind of person you are. Unless you did something that was outright wrong, for example, we went to a
restaurant and you chewed out the waiter in an unfair and humiliating manner, I would speak up and tell that acquaintance of mine that it wasn't fair
or nice for him to do that. This situation definitely deserves a recognition of the immorality of that action. But, if it's a personal question, for
example, my cousin is gay and I personally disagree, for metaphysical reasons, with his choice to live a gay lifestyle, have gay sex, I restrict my
moralizing to areas which will benefit him as a person. He and I are close, so he'll appreciate advice from like "be a good person, help your mom, be
there for your niece and nephew", but he will completely come to disdain me if I start telling him "your lifestyle is completely opposed to natural
law - you should strive to come to a deeper understanding of yourself in order to overcome this emotional imbalance" - I know absolutely NOTHING good
would come of it, and this would thus be a case of misplaced moralizing; you may have a point, but the worldview of the the person you're speaking
with is completely incompatible with that perspective. Here, morality requires you to understand whats of greater value: the principle, or the person?
Should I sacrifice the individual, my cousin whom I love, to the principle, or should I make a little compromise by ignoring this issue in my
relationship with my cousin, because love, and peace, surely take precedence to brandishing the sword of righteousness before him. So, i never bring
it up, and he only vaguely knows I'm more conservative minded in this respect than he is. It doesn't detract from other parts of him, his incredible
altruism, his relationship with his nephew and niece etc. He's a good person, therefore, I consider the proper moral to be curtailing my perspective
in order to make room for a strong relationship. If he ever needs advice, I give it to him in the context of his worldview.
forcefully or by threat of damnation
Don't get me wrong, I don't like people throwing 'you're going to go to hell' threats either. It's stupid and its entirely meaningless to the person
who hears it.
I think we've all felt a slight contempt for those who moralize over us
That's a generalization I can't agree with.
I agree that when you WANT to do something else, that emotion in you can make you think some stupid things about the person who issues the moral,
however, there are genuine examples where the moralizer deserves our respect and appreciation, and not contempt.
Those who provoke contempt are those evangelical christian types who moralize in the manner you describe. Their heart may be in the right place, but
their hectoring is thoroughly annoying. I for one will admit that I get very irritated with the Jesus people who interrogate me about what I believe,
and when they're told that I don't believe in "jesus", but rather, God, they find it unbelievable, and from their perspective, they must continue
hammering in the point of how important it is for me to find salvation.
What's contemptuous - and that might still be too harsh a word - is the completely exoteric nature of their approach. They talk to me as if Im a dummy
that needs convincing. They ignore my perspective, they ignore basic facts of human psychology, and when they give their advice, you sense a 'im
lesser' insinuation in their tone. In other words, there's a very superficial awareness of the human condition. This is why I always take the
existentialist approach towards morality, in the sense that I don't take my perspective as something obvious, but rather, I am approaching an entirely
different being with his own set of perceptions, attitudes and instincts; my resistance to offering moral advice along a philosophical nature emanates
from this perspective.
This is why the threat of an all-knowing, all-powerful authority watching over us at all times has worked for so long, because otherwise, the masses
would realize the tyranny in such an act, and would rebel against it if there was something there to rebel against.
There needn't be anything 'tyrannical' is accepting the notion of a supreme being who is omniscient, omnipotent etc.
For example, do you find the law of gravity 'tyrannical'? Of course not. It is what it is and it would be idiotic to attach an idea like 'tyrannical'
to it; it's for your over all well being that you respect the law of gravity.
So, lets say, the God of the Bible condemns murder, and theft, and adultery - these are all things which are inimical to the individual and society;
in adultery, which is less obvious, whats being condemned if the break in trust and faithfulness that is fostered when one honors the covenant of
marriage. Long term, according to this biblical metaphysics, it is worse that society not foster attitudes of faithfulness than to let people go about
having their fun, uncontrolled. Just take a look at the divorce rates in our age of over-sexualization, and cumulative consequences on the up and
coming generations. When you have parents who arent honorable, who don't strive to live in accord with a supernal idea like faithfulness to your
spouse, which attempts to parallel the sympathy and connectivity between the Hidden God and his creation, than you aren't likely to follow the same
I will never forget at 15, when my cousin showed me a picture of his dad at a strip club with a strippers breasts in his mouth; he showed me this
despite the fact that his parents were married. I felt incredible grief at this image, but what especially perturbed me was his complete lack of shame
in this image; he seemed almost proud of his dads bravado and his 'manliness'. To me, on the other hand, I only thought of how angry I'd be at my own
father if he ever acted that way. Later on I learned that despite my uncles 'virtues' hes more or less a very bad man; he rips off people who do him
services, sometimes in the tens of thousands; and just 5 months ago, to my astonishment, he put his dog down because he 'didnt want him anymore'. This
dog was 3 years old! He killed him because he simply didn't like him. And my stupid aunt went along with it. My own cousin described his parents as
"evil" for doing that.
I still havent said anything to him because he's an intimidating, mafia-esque guy. But I've told my cousin that what his dad did was reprehensible.
What makes it even more upsetting is that they bought another dog to replace the 'bad' dog they killed.
edit on 10-10-2012 by dontreally
because: (no reason given)