Consider Compassion

Morality is about doing the right thing, not finding the best way to do the wrong thing. This may sound obvious, but the behavior of the world shows otherwise. People support and vote for cruel things. They might recite a humanitarian quote, and then go against the humanitarian agenda. It’s what some do every Sunday in church, while simultaneously voting to deport and kill people.

When reading something about morality and ethics, don’t just read the words and move on. Think about them. These philosophies are shortcuts to understanding large concepts. Simple sayings and aphorisms should make you think, and if you disagree with them, they should make you write (or express your critical thinking in some other productive way). Think about your principles in depth. You may find you don’t agree with yourself on some matters.

There are two things people never forget; cruelty and compassion. Considering our own interest, which would we rather be remembered for?

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  11 comments for “Consider Compassion

  1. August 11, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Where does morality come from? Are there universal standards that distinguish compassionate behavior from cruel behavior?

    • August 11, 2014 at 2:34 am

      It comes from us. And I’d have to answer yes and no to the second question.

      There is no objective morality, but there are good and bad answers to questions of well being. I can objectively say giving this person food is good for well being and that taking their food supply is bad for their well being. The universe has not ordained one over the other though, it is up to us to interpret these things.

      • August 11, 2014 at 3:52 am

        Here here. I too believe there simply is no objective morality.

  2. August 11, 2014 at 2:35 am

    I would argue that it is innate. I don’t think the majority of people out there need a universal standard to know right from wrong in the most general sense, like knowing not to be cruel or not to kill.

    • August 11, 2014 at 2:40 am

      I agree and scientific studies support this claim. I can’t find the article but I’ve read that in war, many soldiers don’t actually aim for the enemy, they fire at a point near the enemy. The average human would have a very difficult time bringing themselves to kill someone.

  3. August 11, 2014 at 2:47 am

    So to me, it sounds like you are saying that there is no objective morality, but that there are certain issues in which there are obkective standards of right conduct. This sounds a little contradictory to me, although it does make sense. Giving or taking away food is something that is objectively moral/immoral. It gets tricky when you start debating the morality of the death penalty, gay marriage, and other hotly contested issues.

    • August 11, 2014 at 2:59 am

      I’m saying within our made up system of morality, we can make claims as to what the best way to bring about a certain goal is.

      If I am concerned with human well being, I can objectively say that it would be bad to torture people and good to help people. It’s not an objective morality though. Do you see what I mean? Either way the universe doesn’t condone or condemn the action.

      And the fact morality gets tricky shows how non objective it is. Why do we still debate over the death penalty? Because no one has found an answer that satisfies everybody. We made up morality and now we have a situation in reality that is difficult to find an answer to. Just like when an author writes a story and readers discover plot holes.

      Thank you for reading btw!

  4. August 11, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I’ve been thinking a lot about objective and subjective moral values lately, and I’ve come to the realization that I don’t think everyone uses the term in the same way. I know that some religious people use the term “objective moral value” as in “a moral value applying to all of humanity or the entire moral universe.” Other people (like myself) may use it as in applying to a subset of people only (i.e. most people, a community, a geographical region, an ethnic group).

    Personally I think as secular thought revisits the question of morality they’ll find that the word “objective” can be used in a positive manner, mostly because the rules for morality will shift from an artificial underpinning of deity.

  5. August 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Morality is a very interesting topic. It has depths that many people don’t think about.

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