Published on September 1, 2007 By pseudosoldier In Ethics
While waiting to pick up a delivery yesterday, I meditated a bit on some things I had recently read. I have two thought fragments that I'll attempt to reproduce here and in the Religion sub-topic in a bit.

The first:

"If one is taught as system of right/wrong that hinges upon an eternal carrot/stick system (heaven/hell), how can one say that he acts out of conscience? Is it morality or consequence which drives his behavior?"

That's what I jotted down yesterday on the back of an old operations order that was in my car. What I was really driving at was, what makes a moral system? Do people choose not to speed because it is "right" (against the law) or because of the consequence (the punishment that the law provides for)? I like to think myself a moral person, but my idealism has grown faded and worn over the years. I find myself more often doing a risk/reward (or more properly risk/punishment) assesment of a situtaion before acting, instead of just "knowing" what the right thing is to do.

Comments
on Sep 01, 2007
Is it morality or consequence which drives his behavior?"


It's both, but not the only things which drive behavior. Natural or Moral Law and reason comes into it as well.

See if this makes sense to you.

Where do we get our basis of morality?

It's from God, right? ...who according to the Bible has written His moral Law in our heart and given us the light of reason to discover the moral Law that He has revealed.

Morality severed from the natural or moral Law is like a branch cut from a tree. It may be here or there from accidental causes, even retain its greeness for a while, but its chances of vigorous life is a very slender one. What this means is it's not possible to honestly deal with motives and acts of morality apart from the natural or moral law.

No doubt you know that many in our day attempt to frame morality independent of religion and against the natural or moral Law. That would put utility as the basis of morality, right? What happens when pleasure the moral criterion? Does virtue become vice?
You know, people taste the forbidden fruit and judge moral actions for themselves.

Is the inner sanction of conscience sufficient? That depends on how one's conscience is formed, right? There is such a thing as ill-formed consciences. An ill-formed conscience is deadened by the constant rejection the promptings to do what is right according to natural or moral Law and then calls evil good and good evil.

Do people choose not to speed because it is "right" (against the law) or because of the consequence (the punishment that the law provides for)?


Are legal sanctions effective? I'd answer they cannot touch one's inner motives and thoughts as we witness daily open defiance of every which kind of laws.

Will public opinion be our guide? Ha! It certainly is for some. I'm thinking of some public officials who take a poll before they make a decision. How often does the good that men do get backburnered while the evil seems to get rewarded by front page news?

Our conscience is what determines what is right or wrong in our actions and thoughts. But it's not infallible..it can lead us astray.

If one divorces morality from religion and deny that God is the basis and sanction of the moral Law, even reason becomes a blind guide, subject to public opinion, passion, caprice, prejudice to name some.

on Sep 08, 2007

How the fuck did I miss this, 'miah?  I can't believe I didn't see it.

I'm formulating an opinion (the UFC fights are on right now or I'd stay here and give it to you - my opinion, that is )and I'll be back either later or I'll email it to you. 

It's been too long, 'miah.  You know what I mean.

on Sep 24, 2007
How the fuck did I miss this, 'miah? I can't believe I didn't see it.


I'm so hit-and-miss nowadays, it's easy to assume that I'm dead, literaturely speaking.

Might write more soon, but the kernels of inspiration keep getting trod under the foot of too-much-to-do.
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