Thanks to Invisible Mikey for participating in a discussion of morality. I only wish that more of the readers would have joined in our discussion.

I agree and disagree with Mikey’s thoughts. I agree with him in that he does accurately reflect what most of the West accepts concerning morality today. What works? What makes sense? What will most quickly solve the question at hand? We have become a culture of “If it works, it’s moral.”

I disagree with Mikey because majority rule, or government rule, or court rule, or personal rule in the area of morality cannot work if we also apply Mikey’s philosophy that there are no absolutes. If there is not a firm base on which to establish moral conduct, then we are in a sea whose currents can take us in strange and terrible, as well as wonderful, directions.

Pragmatic thinking currently bases itself on a person’s wants and needs, as well as the wants and needs of a society’s sometimes selfish thinking. For instance, if I am in a very bad financial spot, stealing becomes moral for me because it is the quickest answer to my need. It’s practical. Most people would disagree, saying that stealing is immoral. However, if there are no absolutes, then “Who are you to judge my personal concept of morality and my acting upon it?”

On a societal level, if the nation is over-populated and under-funded does the pragmatic answer of euthanizing old sick people become a new moral answer? Star-Trek, The Next Generation took on this question in the episode, “Half A Life,” guest starring David Ogden Stiers as a highly educated man who was committed to suicide at sixty years of age, a practice on his planet for years. How did such a practice come about? Not too much is explained in the episode, but one can imagine that it included the costs of caring for the “elderly” and the added family burdens of having elderly parents to watch over, perhaps a lack of jobs for younger people, or the assumption that sixty was the age at which one’s contribution to society began a downhill journey. It was totally moral because it was totally practical.

My conclusion that morality must be based on an unchanging base is, as I’m sure Mikey suspected, related to my belief in God. God tells us that in His rule we find peace, fairness and wisdom. He has provided absolute truths by which we are to establish personal and national morality. Without absolute wisdom to guide us there is no true direction for our lives; only continually changing paths of wandering that can never reach a satisfying conclusion.

sue wilson