Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Thoughts and clarity
I must thank Marvin and Paulie, for commenting on my previous post. As usual, they have what to say in a clear and cogent way.
I happen to agree with both their comments, fully.
I am among the first that would say that morality is itself, an absolute-- and should be. As such, I take no issue with their remarks.
Still, I do wonder if morality can be triaged. Sooner or later, we are all faced with a situation where we have to make a choice between the lesser of two evils or the greater of two goods.
I look at capital punishment, and I have doubts. Not because of the immorality of the state imposing sentence, but rather, because it is more moral to be 'our brothers keeper.' Being our brothers keeper is easy when it's easy- the test is when it is not so easy.
The proponents of capital punishment often refer to the costs of incarceration. Is that reason enough to impose a death sentence?
What I'm trying to say is, there can be opposing moral standards, with equal merit.
Paulie, you were right to say "That abortion is such a contentious political issue means that the eugenics crowd has been successful at making moral ambiguity seem like moral certitude: it's not a choice, it's a life..."
That has been what has haunted me. Believe me, Paulie-- you of all people know I'm not a moral relativist. I abhor moral relativism with a passion.
Still, there are some things that remain a struggle for me and some issues that I regret- and have learned from. I am glad that you never had to face those questions. It is a cold, dark and lonely place.
The question however remains. Was it my choice? I'm not discounting my responsibility-- but was it ever really my choice? I don't know. I just don't know.
Marvin, you too, had a point, "...while living a moral life is a constant struggle, the moral absolutes, to me, are firm. It is my understanding and comprehension, or lack of, that waivers and occasionally fails me."
That is exactly where I stand.
Abortion is indeed a contentious issue, but there are other, related ones.
As I mentioned, should organ donation, for example, be mandatory? Isn't that a moral issue too?
At what point do we allow death to occur? At what point are heroic measures abandoned? Even theologians struggle with those issues.
These are things I struggle with.
I'm glad to have such thoughtful input to help me consider these issues.