The Failure of ‘Christian’ Morality
For the most part, the Christian standard of morality has resulted in a list of things that “thou shalt not do.” This resonates with only those people who have not desire to do the things and leaves the rest of humanity in a rather uncomfortable position. Christianity was meant to be good news for the world, but it has been twisted into a religious frameworks that restricts the expression of life, humanity, and sexuality for many people. My own experience has been one of becoming nothing more than a robot who avoided doing anything interesting for the sake of not being evil.
However, not being evil is a completely different thing altogether than being good. One cannot use the absence of something to define the presence of something. Simply by right of not being the number 7 (evil), I am not necessarily an 8 (good). It is possible, but not an assumption that can be made. Simply by knowing what is evil and avoiding it, I don’t necessarily act in a way that is good. It is possible that I accidentally become a good person even though I don’t know what that means, but there are an infinite number of options. “Everybody wants to be good” is not the same statement as “nobody wants to be evil.”
But this problem is not unique to trying to define morality. Try to define goodness without resorting to “lack of badness” or truth without using “absence of lying.” The question of our culture is not one of the existence of good, but of knowing how to recognize it when we see it. All we presently know how to do is recognize when it’s opposite is there. If this seems like a rather obvious fact, look a little deeper and it may become one of the more painful facts of human existence. If the presence of goodness can only be achieved by an absence of ‘badness,’ then there is no possible way for a person to ever feel like they have achieved their standard of good. The best one can hope for is to be a little bit less evil than the other guy.
Thus attempt to be moral becomes a losing battle. The only benefits of choosing to fight are a heightened sense of shame for falling short of someone else, or a massively inflated ego for performing better than them. Neither one of these results is generally considered to be a helpful thing, so it seems that even the effort to be ‘good’ produces something that is considered to be less ‘good’ than if one had not tried at all.
The Solution…Coming Soon!
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