- Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
- Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
- Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
- Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
Morals are part and parcel of our lives. We function through the lens of our principles and values.
Some are fairly clear lens- explored and based on well-reasoned grounds
E.g. “It is immoral because the child is too young to understand the meaning of consent. The power is unbalanced and incidents in reality has shown that consequences are deleterious.”
Some are milky lens- semi-explored with superficial reasoning.
E.g. “It is immoral because it is unnatural and what is unnatural is not good.”
Some are opaque lens- unexplored.
E.g. “It is immoral because so-and-so said so.”
Morals- a powerful tool wielded in politics. Beneath the convenient patina of traditional values and playing on humans’ natural aversion to the unfamiliar. It appears that most reasoning employed by the government fall into the milky lens category.
In the 19th century in Bengal, cultural nationalists insisted on child marriages. At this time, women were considered as part of the private sphere and men (as well as religious authorities) had absolute power over them. Children were betrothed from infancy especially among the Brahmins. The sexual abuse and premature deaths of these female child-brides from violent sexual penetration were overlooked- in the name of upholding tradition. Hindu scriptures were reinterpreted to glamourize the burning of widows together with the corpses of their husbands- conveniently for male relatives who stand to gain for the widow was left the property of the husband. Needless to say, many were drugged and hurled into the flames.
Their rhetoric at that time:
1. Girls who do not have sex at the first sign of their blood flow will have polluted wombs.
2. The virtuous woman will burn herself willingly at the pyre of her dead husband.
3. An educated woman is immoral, subject to divorce by her husband.
Coming back to more recent times and to the local government. When Singapore first became a nation, the population growth was worrisome. What did the government do? They encouraged abortion. Where do you think pro-lifers were at this point- would they have been granted a voice? The campaign was so successful that, eventually, for every child that was born, one was aborted. The figures, alarmingly high, then ceased to be reported.
However, pro-lifers are in full force today. Women who wanted to go through with an abortion have to view a video on the horrors of abortion- alluding it to murder. This is done despite probable pre-existing anxieties that women who are in that situation feel. Once again, population checks by the government influenced what reasoning is used and what cannot be used.
Sometimes morals are tied in with traditions.
Cofucianism is hailed as the roots of Chinese. Give birth- for it’s your duty to the family; your duty to the nation.
As women today, would you once again allow your identity to be determined by external factors- the man who fathered you; the man who married you; the man you bore?
Morals- selected, adapted and reinterpreted to suit the agenda of those in power.
The gay people in society are resented by many because of unfamilarity, misconceptions and blind faith. Building on the anxieties in this uninformed majority, those in power wield the naturalistic fallacy- whatever that is unnatural is unacceptable morally.
Why is it immoral when:
1. Gay people, like straights, have been shown to be capable of maintaining monogamous long-lasting relationships? The till-death-do-us-part sort.
2. Gay people, like their straight counterparts, are capable of being good parents- their children are well-adjusted.
3. Sexual orientation is not a factor of promiscuity, sexual diseases etc.
Show me a list of negative societal outcomes that is solely and exclusively caused by one’s sexual orientation- being gay.
It appears that morality in the realm of politics is employed solely to maintain or enhance the position of those in power.
So much for morality.