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Thursday, January 24, 2013

MORALITY IS CONTEXTUAL


What an hypocrisy? Are we going to teach the morals of Kapil Sibal and P.Chidambaram beating innocent unprotected sleeping women and children to death the post independence Jallian walla bagh? What is moral and what are values? How are they going to determine it?
I published a PDF titled ‘Morality is just Contextual.
On morality I read a research book by Dennis Krebs, The Origins of Morality: An Evolutionary Account but then it was as usual too much of dry academic theory, concepts churning based on previous similar works. Then I made an assessment based on  certain studies that I had already made out of the works of some  great souls and found that yes indeed morality is purely situational and contextual  irrespective of all the religious and social edict to the contrary.
Morality is merely the appropriate behavior or attitude adopted by the soul at a given situation or context. Though this sounds very simple it involves many factors. From the inner perspective the physical age, mental and emotional maturity, ability to receive and perceive a given situation as it is, before acting or reacting to it. From the external perspective there is a whole gamut of relevant as well as irrelevant things.
Is morality a product of genetic determinism or cultural indoctrination or religiously enforced codes of conduct, or socially accepted modes of contract or ethically enforced nodes of contact or toeing the traditionally laid roads of behavior. What it is? Could morality be relativized, democratized and trivialized against the socially allowed and approved consensus?
When we think of morality , we start immediately toying with too many concepts and rules imposed by various institutions and the dilemma of choice at any given situation as to whether to follow those concepts and rules for the sake of whatever they are worth or just do whatever deems fit or serves our purpose at hand.
There are too many types of morals, broadly classified may be as religious, theological, social, cultural, national etc. Primarily and predominantly morality has been an obsession of religions, politics and cultures as all these three needed human beings to be controlled though herdish instincts and instructions. Most moral values are perceived values and are highly arbitrary. That’s why there were moral values even in slave-holding ancient Rome or of a cannibal Melanesian society 200 years ago. Friedrich Nietzche nailed it correctly when he   declared that ‘Morality is herd instinct in the individual.”
As most of the concepts of morality were laid down by religion, politics and culture, logic and scientific truths were overlooked by justifications pronounced by these three areas.
Moral philosophy involves three broad categories of ethics: meta-ethics, normative ethics and applied ethics.
Meta-ethics is the study of where our moral principles originate---God or our own emotional reactions.
Normative ethics involves value ethics, deontology and consequentialism where as per value ethics a person's character determines his morality rather than the actions he performs. Deontological refers to what people should do to fulfill their moral obligations regardless of consequences. Consequentialism the morality of a behavior is determined by its eventual consequences.
Applied ethics addresses the morality of controversial social issues, such as abortion or animal rights By Neil Bryant
Morality became so much sex-oriented that it lost all other dimensions-which are far more important. Sex should not really be so much of a concern for moral thinking –Osho
Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)
"Morality is not a ritualistic obedience to a code of behavior imposed by an external authority.  It is rather a healthy habit pattern that you have consciously and voluntarily chosen to impose upon yourself because you recognize its superiority to your present behavior."
Henepola Gunaratana
In Vedic times importance  was given rather to a human being’s ultimate goal of spiritual realization and there were many prompts for appropriate behavior at various stages in this process and there were codes of preferable conduct for anyone who wanted to attain that in the various institutions through which a person’s life had to meander through like his duties to family and in family, in society, to his masters, towards  his  elders etc
Vedic Hinduism had certain moral principles
10 Yamas(Vedic restraints
Ahimsa[non-injury],
Satya[truthfulness]
 Asteya[nonstealing]
 Brahmacharya (divine conduct),
 Kshma (patience), 
 Dhriti (steadfastedness), 
 Daya (compassion),
 Arjava  (honesty),
Mitahara[moderateappetite]
  and
Saucha(purity).
10 Niyamas (Vedic practices).

hri[remorse],
santosha[contentment]
dana[giving] ,
astikya[faith],
ishwara-pujana[worship] ,
Siddhantha shravana [scriptutal listening] ,
mati[cognition],
vrata[sacred vows],
japa[recitation]
and
tapas[austerity]
A ‘moral commandment’ is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational , and  reason accepts no commandments-Ayn Rand
My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists - and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason - Purpose - Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge - Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve - Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worth of happiness, which means: is worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man's virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982)
            Mother Mira Alfassa
Morality is the shield that men flourish to protect themselves from the Truth.  Moral laws have only a very relative value from the point of view of Truth. Besides, they vary considerably according to country, climate and period.  What is moral in one country is immoral in another.
Morality is not divine or of the Divine; it is of man and human. Morality takes for its basic element a fixed division into the good and the bad; but this is an arbitrary notion. It takes things that are relative and tries to impose them as absolutes;
True morality consists, not in following the beaten track, but in finding out the true path for ourselves and in fearlessly following it.-M.K.Gandhi
Morality springs out of love and not out of any motive of profit, of achievement, of place in the hierarchy. There cannot be this love if you belong to a society in which you want to find fame, recognition, a position. Since there is no love in this, its morality is immorality. When you deny all this from the very bottom of your heart, then there is a virtue that is encompassed by love.For us, in the modern world, morality is relative, and that relativism is nearly destroying us –J.Krishnamurthy
Behavior is the currency of human interaction. Beliefs about What God Wants gives value to the behavioral choices of humans, just as gold gives value to the pieces of paper called money.
Thus, in most human societies it’s not an individual’s actual experience, but the society’s definition of it, that determines its morality. This is the case with homosexuality. It’s also the case with a great many other behaviors, such as prostitution, premarital sex, depictions of explicit sexual activity, the use of peyote, marijuana, and other plants and stimulants, or even the experience of ecstasy not induced by any outside stimulant.
For instance, if one says one has had an ecstatic experience of God, but if the experience does not fall within what humanity currently defines as “natural,” it’s considered immoral and to be warned against and, if it’s continued, to be condemned, and, if it’s still continued, to be punished.
In previous times it was often punishable by torture or death. More than one saint claiming and describing such ecstasies has been martyred in humanity’s long history, using such guidelines.
Those saints were killed because the people killing them were convinced that they were doing What God Wants.
 God has a great deal to say about organized religion in Conversations With God, Book Two, pg. 247: "Your soul came here for the richest experience. Return to spirituality. Forget about religion because religion is not good for you. In order for organized religion to succeed, it has to make people believe they need it. In order for people to put faith in something else, they must first lose faith in themselves. So the first task of organized religion is to make you lose faith in yourself."  -Neale  Donald  Walsch



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