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Thoughts On Morality and Truth in Today's World
How curious it is that in seeking to make the world better, by which is meant conforming it to the mores, pleasures, and sensibilities of today's culture, truth and morality are discarded as being inconvenient, and the more perfect is surrendered to the imperfect in the name of progress. This we celebrate even as those that will save us, morality and truth, go unbidden and largely silent.
The rejection of morality and truth
Society has declared there can be no such thing as moral truth anymore, lest my moral truth run afoul of your moral truth, and thus the stated aim must be no moral truth. Achieved, no moral truth must by definition be anarchy, in which each person determines their own truth in real time without regard for their own truth in past time and certainly without regard for the moral truth of the neighbor at their elbow. We are all free now to do whatever, however, whenever, wherever as we please, apparently without qualm. Or at least so says the madding crowd.
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There are some things that still hold, of course. Laws are still laws and crime is still crime. Until they aren't. The current direction of truthless morality cannot sustain itself with such contradiction. Taken to logical extension, this new code must eradicate all restraint. If morality cannot be upheld against it, why would legality not follow? The systems we depend upon to protect us will become as perverted as the society they serve and which decides its compass bearing.
We are not the first
Our condition is not new, the world has always been divided on matters of right and wrong. We are no different except possibly in scale. Scale, it turns out, is important. In the past, there was a middle ground and a segment of people willing to meet there, a place where people who cared enough could meet to find and nurture pragmatic compromise. Today, no one is interested in compromise. We live in an all or nothing world. No one is interested in the kind of progress that includes those not aligned with a specific agenda or creed. It is a "my way or the highway" environment where winning is the only measure and all sides are fully invested in the enterprise, not in living or governing with balance. Our current culture wars deny that there is a real right and wrong. Truth is a real thing, not malleable and ever changing as we may desire but fixed and solid, always standing as a lighthouse to guide those who wish to navigate safely. No, the earth is not flat. Yes, the sun does rise in the east. No, truth does not change based on our desires. Yes, Truth remains true, even when we deny it.
Morality and truth cannot be separated
What is moral is not ours to decide. Our only choice is to live morally or to reject morality in the name of self-gratification. Living the truth is morality in action. The same sort of granite exists for most of the things we contend over today. We choose to discard truth at will, as if our choice can change what is true. The real is still the real and always will be. Where we are now, what we are doing to ourselves, and what we are experiencing now isn't that. We debate absolutes, demonize anyone who dares disagree, and line up in battle lines with colors flying to announce our brand. What we are doing to ourselves is evil, it is tribal cannibalism.
We are where we are because of the desires and intents of our hearts, that anyone should be able to be and do anything that seems right to them regardless of its morality, effects on others, consequences, or the "real real" that is Truth. We've placed our foot over the edge of the cliff and it is a very, very long way down.
A light amid the darkness
This age we are in is dark, very dark. But there is a light. The thing about lighthouses is this: They don't make any noise. Their light shines regardless of clear skies or stormy weather. They are immovable objects, even when the storm rages against them. Their light never goes out. Truth is a lighthouse, and it is still shining. Here is the clincher: the biggest truth of all is love. Because of it we have hope. With it, we have faith and reason to care. From these grow solutions, respect, and honor among our many different opinions. When we understand how to love first and live in the light of Truth, then our differences become less important and the things that unite us more important. When we love truth, the real real, it leads the way forward, always.
Be serious, bluntly critical, and honest with yourself. Start there first. Ask yourself: What truth am I denying in my life and actions? Where is my life immoral as a result? Who do I need to apologize to? Who do I need to forgive? How can I contribute to the restoration of truth as something we honor?
Don't worry about the world. Solve your own problems first. Start there. Be a lighthouse for someone else.