Pseudo Morality

Morals, as passed down from one generation to another, are usually crap. Not just because they aren’t worth standing by – though that’s often the case – but because they’re simply inherited. It’s the same way with those normalcy’s that come about through imitating one’s peers. I think that they go unexamined in a persons life all to often, and are even used in some ways to gain respect within a given community for upholding certain ‘proper’ morals; which, you would do well to note, vary from one social environment to another. What is deemed acceptable in one group becomes deplorable in another. I would like to think that this alone could convince people that there are no universal morals, but that just isn’t the case, in spite of how easy it is to see.

People tend to see what they want to see, sacrificing perceptiveness, awareness, and useful information in favor of pleasant ignorance; to a frightening degree, both in intensity on an individual level and as a widespread approach on a societal level. It seems a prevalent phenomenon to flash your ‘morals’ at others to feel accepted, or to validate them. It especially reminds me of lesser known spiritualities and religions, because a lot of those people seem to need or want others to validate their personal beliefs; it isn’t restricted to obscure spiritual movements either though, plenty of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or whatever else – when meeting new people – act as though they’re compelled to announce their religious affiliation.

In my eyes this is all silliness, and it all misses the point of morality. It isn’t for showing off, it isn’t something an individual should conform to in order to satisfy peers or parents, and there are no morals that should be lived by without evaluating your own values for yourself. The attempts to manipulate other people into validating one’s beliefs, the affiliation with beliefs for the sake of acceptance, and other similar behaviors are part of a sad facade, speaking to a lack of self-awareness… and a warped, tamed spirit. If morals are to be adhered to in any sense at all, then they should be practical and functional, geared towards a certain purpose or ideal.

To condense and simplify what I’m saying… pseudo morals are fake morals, unexamined, untested or otherwise inadequate. A striking comparison would be to articles of a Halloween costume, the more realistic and impressive the costume, the better. It’s more for show than anything else though, and usually uncomfortable to run around in all day.

To be fair, I think most – if not all – people start the earlier parts of their lives under the guise their parents, friends, and siblings have given them, and which they’ve accepted without knowing any better alternative. I’m not really calling for any rebellion either; that’s not necessarily what I mean. But learn about what you value and how you exercise those values in your world through experience and introspection, don’t just take what you’ve been taught or assimilated through imitation and live by it. Pseudo morality works real well for the weak, but if you’re anything like me then that’s not going be good enough for you. Get some firsthand experience, become more aware of what you value, and listen to your heart.

(Originally Written: 8-28-11)

Notes to the Reader: This is something I wrote a few years ago under another name. I was reminded of it because of a comment by Tame SheWolf on a post here centering around maturity (as it’s conventionally looked at) and it’s potential costs to the individual and his or her dreams. Rereading this older bit of writing, it seemed to relate so I thought I’d share it. Since then my own outlook on morality has been open to change, but I haven’t seen anything to convince me that I was (or am) wrong. I think if I were to rewrite this again the only thing that might change is the ‘style’ of it, the way I come across, but the essence of it remains more or less true to my perspective.

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15 thoughts on “Pseudo Morality

  1. I agree with this to a point. Provided the exercise of one’s morals does not infringe or impede anyone else’s free exercise of theirs. Life cannot be a free-for-all. Some things are public and some private, but all equally relevant and valid. Morals are guidelines, a path. Not a hard rules. When they are forced upon us, they become rules and that is not good. Not sure if we agree or disagree, but I like the “argument”. Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading 😀 .

      I’d have to say we disagree, ever so slightly. The way I look at it, it’s already a free-for-all; the only thing that prevents it from being blatant and in your face is that people have their morals (individual or otherwise)… but they’re malleable, and sme have fewer than others (or none at all). I can’t help but think of what Billy Bob Thornton’s (Lorne Malvo) character said in the latest episode of “Fargo”:

      Calamity Joe: Zombie Kit. Shotgun, machete, some Bactine. It’s a side business. I make up these knapsacks for the zombie apocalypse. You know, in case the undead come back to life and the world gets all dog-eat-dog.
      Lorne Malvo: It’s already dog-eat-dog, friend. Not sure what worse a bunch a zombies could do.

      Something he said earlier than that (now that I’m looking up Malvo quotes anyways)…

      “The problem is you spent your whole life thinking there are rules. And there are not.”

      I think I’d say something more along the lines of “there are rules, but they’re decided be each and every person, and they’re not something you can rely on or trust.” Not much of a difference though, because the way I look at it basically amounts to the same thing.

      Still, I don’t think we have a big difference of opinion 🙂 . I just happen to be a bit more of a believer in the idea (or, imo, the *observation*) that at the end of the day, “might makes right”.

      Like

      • I guess, but if might makes right where does that leave the weaker people? And if “morality” and “rules” are relative where would be if Charlie Manson or Jeffery Dahmer types became the majority? Zombies!!! I think rules, norms and morals are important. I also believe they should be constantly challenged, tested and justified. And changed when needed. That’s the beauty of this venue. We can disagree or not and still be cool with each other as people. Great post!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • “That’s the beauty of this venue. We can disagree or not and still be cool with each other as people.”

      Most definitely 😉 . Hopefully my response didn’t give you the wrong idea about that; your comment just stirred up some thought on the subject, but I didn’t mean to imply that I felt disagreement between us was a bad thing.

      (Sorry if my replying to your original comment instead of your last one is confusing; the comments are set to go 3 comments deep and generally I don’t find it to be restrictive, but I just wanted to make sure you knew we’re *mutually* cool with each other as people.)

      Like

      • Absolutely. 🙂 I teach my own children to question authority and the rules (except mine of course. LOL), but to do it in respectful, cogent and logical way. As I said, great post. Anything that gets people thinking is a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually pretty much agree with you. Morality brainwashing and cloning is often a waste of time – morality instilled and understood and applied thoughtfully and logically in the individual state is far more valuable and productive and conducive to a keener sense of the cycles and functioning of humanity. Something like that yeah! Really enjoyed this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one of the issues [just one – I have many] that I have with Christianity or I should say with the more fundamentalist style Christians. Now the 10 commandments etc are a good guide as to how to live a moral life but being told to blindly accept this information and that if you follow all the rules like checking of boxes in a quizz you will get a window seat in heaven. It doesn’t require you to, it in fact discourages it, question the rules to come to internal understanding within one self of right, wrong, good, bad and the whole spectrum of gray that comes with it. It’s spiritually lazy from my perspective to not question the validity of beliefs and moral questions. If we do not come to a true understanding within ourselves how then do we grow or learn as people. It is the same for most aspects of life I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

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