Friday, November 11, 2011

Moral Fiber

Okay, so I lied a little bit. I said earlier that I wasn’t going to write anything on the Penn state scandal because it’s painfully obvious what opinion any reasonable and decent human being should have. This isn’t quite in that vein, but it is partially related.

I want to talk about morality. People keep saying how disappointed they are because of Penn State’s high moral standards, and though I don’t know anything about the university, I think the claim is complete bullshit solely because it invokes the word ‘morality.’ Morality has, for a while, been a word most often used to excuse something that a lot of people generally find reprehensible. It’s what bigots use when they want to denigrate a group of people because their religion (or their perversion of their religion)tells them to. I don’t know that the word has any meaning any more, and the more I think about it, I don’t know that it ever did.

Morality, as we can see, is a completely arbitrary set of rules that decent people are supposed to live by. You shouldn’t kill anyone…but wars are okay, and so is self defense. You should spread love and peace interculturally…unless those other guys worship a different invisible man in the sky. You should be civil and treat others the way you’d like to be treated…but we can’t even manage to agree on how to go about doing that. So I don’t put much stock into Penn State’s, or even anyone’s moral values.

As Maude says in Harold and Maude, “Vice, virtue, it’s best not to be too moral, you cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality.” I’m not sure that’s anything in particular other than a random collection of words meant to sound profound, but I think the lesson is that we need to free ourselves of the rules that don’t seem to have any purpose or backbone. I like the Wiccan ideology, “If it harms none, do as you will.” That sounds perfect.

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