Sunday, December 13, 2020

A Clarifying Look at Morality

Here in Flyover Country, 'morality' is something to which we pay attention.

...we’ll have two contrasting systems depending on which has the primacy: a morality of duty and a morality of rights. 

A morality of duty derives rights from duties. If you have a duty to do X, then you have a right to do X. And the government plus other people have a duty to respect your right.

 A morality of rights does it the other way around: If you have a right to do X, then the rest of us, including the government, have a duty to respect your right. 

 Over the last two millennia we in the western world have moved, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, from a morality of duty to a morality of rights.  Early Christianity (and I would add, authentic Christianity in any age) taught a morality of duty.  The rules of morality were God-created rules, and our mission in life was to live in obedience to God and his commandments. 

Preceding the emergence of Christianity in the Roman-Hellenic world, the influential Stoic school of philosophy had taught a morality of duty, according to which all humans are bound to obey a higher non-man-made law which may be described as a law of Nature, or law of Reason, or law of God; for the Stoics held that the Supreme Being may with equal propriety be called God or Reason or Nature. 

Yah, hey.  "Rights-based" morality gave us BLM.  Need we say more?

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