Social Morality: Image and Ideal

by NateB11

People try to create security with moral codes but instead create pretense and confusion.

Humanity has sought to deal with its chaos, the violence and destructiveness of the world, by inventing rules and ideals around morality, believing that if right conduct can be forced, then the chaos will end. But the question arises whether a person subjugated and forced into a certain pattern of conduct is actually a moral person or simply taking on a certain pretense to feel safe.

With social morality we attempt to place a doctrine on reality, which is illusory because doctrine is static and reality is living and changing moment to moment; therefore, use of doctrine is a distortion of reality, a looking away from and barrier to direct perception.

Featured image: Danny Sillada [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Ideal, Ideology, Doctrine

Image, identity, and ideals are illusions which cloud perception and prevent clarity.
Image, identity, and ideals are illusions which cloud perception and prevent clarity.
VinothChandar, Flickr Creative Commons

Image, Identity, Division, Hypocrisy, Pretense

Along these lines, and in other ways, we label ourselves, and others, according to a moral gauge. This, inevitably, is a comparative process. That person is bad, so I now can identify myself with that which is good. However, any moralist is essentially a hypocrite: One can see this with the issue of violence, understanding that violence is first a psychological phenomenon, created by inward division and conflict: Basically, a person who is violent, wants to be non-violent. Rather than look at their own violence and understand it, they try to be non-violent. A person trying to be what he or she is not is a hypocrite, uses pretense to substitute for actuality.

A person trying to be moral or trying to be "more" moral means implicitly that the person is not moral. You can only try to be what you are not already. Comparison is a way of avoiding what actually is, drawing one's own attention away from a fact. Even inwardly, when observing oneself, the movement to the moral ideal is an avoidance of the difficult fact of what is actually happening inwardly. It would only be in deeply seeing and understanding a fact that a problem might be dispelled. It is understanding which sheds the weight of ignorance.

Image, Identity, Division, Hypocrisy, Pretense

Along these lines, and in other ways, we label ourselves, and others, according to a moral gauge. This, inevitably, is a comparative process. That person is bad, so I now can identify myself with that which is good. However, any moralist is essentially a hypocrite: One can see this with the issue of violence, understanding that violence is first a psychological phenomenon, created by inward division and conflict: Basically, a person who is violent, wants to be non-violent. Rather than look at their own violence and understand it, they try to be non-violent. A person trying to be what he or she is not is a hypocrite, uses pretense to substitute for actuality.

A person trying to be moral or trying to be "more" moral means implicitly that the person is not moral. You can only try to be what you are not already. Comparison is a way of avoiding what actually is, drawing one's own attention away from a fact. Even inwardly, when observing oneself, the movement to the moral ideal is an avoidance of the difficult fact of what is actually happening inwardly. It would only be in deeply seeing and understanding a fact that a problem might be dispelled. It is understanding which sheds the weight of ignorance.

nward division creates confusion, fear, and violence
nward division creates confusion, fear, and violence
hipea, Flickr Creative Commons

Coercion, Fear, Confusion, Separation, Control, Violence to Freedom, Understanding, Clarity

Now, the imposition of morality always involves coercion, which means it involves trying to create fear, using manipulation. Imposition of morality involves censure, creating a need for approval or safety. It has an alienating effect, which exacerbates the inward conflict which is the very source of violence and destructiveness. It creates fear, which distorts the mind, hindering clarity; clarity being the only true intelligent action that brings understanding. It hinders freedom, and for clear perception, there must be freedom to observe oneself and one's environment, unfettered and not distracted by dogma and ideas. Without freedom to look at yourself and the world, can you understand yourself and the world? Learning requires freedom to see, observe. If you are fearful, you are worried about your imaginings, what others think, what will happen to you; therefore, you are not observing what is really there at all. You are centered in fear. And you are only observing an image of yourself. And image and ideal cannot bring clear insight into any problem of morality, violence, ignorance, and conflict; for this to happen, one must be completely free of idea, dogma, image, and ideal.

 

Updated: 07/01/2020, NateB11
 
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frankbeswick on 07/03/2020

There is a vitally important distinction between the psychology of morality, which this article addresses, and morality itself, which is unlike psychology in that it is not a science. Morality derives from philosophy and religion.you overlook this point.

Your discussion of doctrine rejects unchanging truths.But some truths are unchanging. While it was no longer true that Britain has an empire, that it was once true is changeless. Moreover, while some scientific truths change [and theories certainly do] others may be unchanging. Religion is not science of any kind, and it attempts to discover timeless truths about God and his will.

Take an example, it is a timeless truth of religion that Christ died on the cross, but our understanding of the doctrine of the crucifixion is incomplete and subject to development. As Cardinal Newman observed, doctrine is ever developing. While it can be static, it ought not be. The most important point is to find the blend between timeless truths and necessary developments in belief.Your article misses out on Newman's key point.

My criticism of your article is that it tries to do too much in a small space. You have distilled what should have been book length into too short a space. But on the positive side, it is a serious article, and that is always a positive contribution to Wizzley. Keep on writing.

blackspanielgallery on 07/02/2020

Morality of s spiritual origin might include fear, but that is only one factor. Pleasing God does not necessarily mean fear. A positive reason might also be the rational.

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