Morals, as passed down from one generation to another, are usually crap. Not because they aren’t worth standing by, 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 reminds me of Jediism, because a lot of those people apparently need 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 arguably an immature spirit.
To simplify my rambling… pseudo morals are fake morals, unexamined, untested or otherwise inadequate. A striking comparison would be of pseudo morals 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; 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 imatation and live by it; get some firsthand experience, become more aware, and listen to your heart.
(Written August 25th, 2011)