One day after one of my Philosophy classes, bored, I sat down at my computer and typed this out. It had nothing to do with any class assignment. Call it an exercise of the mind if you will. Enjoy!
Theory of Moral Neutrality
In this day and age there are many theories of morality out there that try to dictate what is right and what is wrong, how we should live our lives, all of which try to place themselves on a pedestal as the highest form of what is good. All of which make the judgment as to what is good and what is bad. It will be my attempt to show that trying to label what is good and what is bad is in itself without any true basis as there is no true morality.
There is no “Good” or “Bad”
Only the “Favorable, Unfavorable, and the Status Quo”
As human beings who can think and reason, we have the propensity to place ourselves above everything else as if we are better, and that everything else is a lesser entity to ourselves, that ours is a higher evolution. We must admit that we are in fact animals, living things, nothing makes our existence any “better” than anything else. Our evolutionary path does not make us better than anything else; all it really did is make us more successful, the initial success being surviving at all with failing to succeed leading to extinction. Our thinking and reasoning was developed and maintained because it has been successful, it does not impart any imperative prerogative for morality. We only think that there “should” be morality, which is in itself a judgment.
So what of there being “Good” and “Bad”; “Right” and “Wrong”? These are the wrong labels for which to describe something. Allow me to illustrate with a few examples. Let us take the act of killing, generally we all agree that killing another human is “Bad” and “Wrong”, but what of killing an animal for consumption, for food. Can we say that killing a cow is Good or Right? If killing is indeed “Wrong” and that we are indeed a living thing just like a cow, what makes killing a cow any less wrong than killing a human? What if someone was attempting to take your life and there are only two outcomes, your death or the death of the one attacking you, is it wrong for you to defend your life if it means committing the wrongful act of killing? So what of stealing, we generally agree that stealing itself is wrong, that stealing is bad. However, what if one is stealing because they are starving and they require the food to survive, is the stealing then bad or wrong? It is these contradictions that we often make and for these reasons that I say labeling things as “Good” or “Bad”, “Right” or “Wrong” is faulty. For a situation we might decide is wrong, we could possibly think of another situation where that distinction is not so clear.
In response to this I put forth the labels of “Favorable” and “Unfavorable”. Let me replace the previous labels in the examples I put forth and replace them with these. We would say that killing a cow is favorable, and that killing a human is unfavorable, but in the situation of someone attempting to take the life of another, we would consider it favorable for the person being attacked to kill the other. Stealing in general is unfavorable, but stealing food to stave off starvation would be favorable.
Then what makes something favorable or unfavorable? This is perceived through the “Status Quo”. Certainly the environment would be unfavorable if everyone was going around killing each other. It would be much more favorable if we didn’t kill each other. It is from this that begins a Status Quo. Certainly it would be unfavorable if we didn’t kill for food, thus we kill and starts another Status Quo. Through these Status Quos is generally how we develop what our morals are. If one were to be attacked, one would strive to maintain the Status Quo of ones own life. Certainly some Status Quos are more important than others, but that is in a way dependent on how strictly they are enforced.
Lawful Neutrality and Chaotic Neutrality
The Balance In-between
So what kind of acts are there? As established previously there are favorable and unfavorable acts. How do acts relate to the Status Quo? Those acts which tend to follow the Status Quo are Lawful in nature, while those acts which go against the Status Quo are Chaotic in nature. Certainly while stealing to stave off starvation might be considered Chaotic, it is also considered favorable and could be considered Lawful to the Status Quo of survival.
This world is made up of the clash between the Law and Chaos of Status Quos. Generally speaking we adapt Status Quos that advance our natural success, but at the same time we are also reluctant to adapt new Status Quos too quickly even if they would be greatly favorable. What reason would we have for this? A “New Status Quo” would be Chaotic to the “Current Status Quo”, for we have a Status Quo to, well, Maintain the Status Quo. A “New Status Quo” must overcome two separate things, it must be more favorable than the old Status Quo, but also overcome the Maintenance of the Status Quo. This comes back again to the how strictly Status Quos are enforced. Having a Status Quo enforced against oneself is unfavorable. However, if the favorability of the “New Status Quo” is not only more favorable than the old status quo, but also offsets the unfavorabilty of the enforcement of the old status Quo, then the “New Status Quo” will be adopted. Once Chaos has overrun Law, a new Law is born.
The Inconsequence of Moral Theories
There is nothing actually good or bad about killing, there is nothing actually good or bad about stealing, there is nothing actually good or bad about lying, there is nothing good or bad about helping others, and there is nothing good or bad in this world. There are no universal laws, happiness is not always favorable, there are no true moral duties. These are all things we assign to ourselves and choose to follow. Moral Theories are most often used at one’s convenience which is favorable to oneself. They tell us what we should do but they don’t really give a sufficient reason for why we should do them, or to do one over another one. The reason is that in the end they all rely on judgments, and to justify a judgment, you must ultimately make another judgment.
It might sound as if judgments are unfavorable. Certainly judgments can be favorable as well as unfavorable. Judgments are one of the reasons we are successful, as they seem to have been more favorable than unfavorable. However, there is nothing about judgments that in of themselves justify an absolute moral code.
One might say that saying something is favorable or unfavorable is in itself a judgment, to an extent they would be correct, but only to the extent of where to apply the labels of favorable and unfavorable. Surely there would be no dispute that in something favorable things can happen and unfavorable things can happen (One cannot say there is absolutely no favorability or unfavorablity), judgment only comes into play when actually trying to apply those labels to something. One cannot say the same of good and bad, right and wrong, which are in of themselves judgments. To say they are within something is to be making a judgment about that thing, to say they happen as a result of something is to again make a judgment. True morality is merely an illusion, and there are no reasons to prefer one moral theory over another, since there is nothing that does not end up relying on judgments within these theories.