A lot of people like to use the idea of morality to craft their value or place in the world. This is no different in politics or the political process.
Often, morality is used as a reason to make certain laws, specifically, religious morality. Now, I’ve already talked about why this is unconstitutional, and how those on the right falsely claim to be the morally superior side, but I’d like to expand on the idea of morality in politics, and in life in general.
As I’ve said in previous posts, we, as humans, dislike hearing bad news, and in order to protect ourselves from bad news, we disregard things that make us uncomfortable, specifically fiction that may be true to life.
We like things to be in neat little packages with nice pretty bows on them, and not draw parallels between anything, bad and good.
Republicans, and people in general, are masters at utilizing this to their advantage in order to push their narrative; let’s focus on the Republicans for the moment because they’re easier to sum up.
For right-leaning thinkers, the world is black and white; it’s simple. Good is good and bad is bad.
Context doesn’t matter because nothing ever changes. Everything is mutually exclusive because everything is separate.
Expanding on this fact slightly before I move on, they prefer to hold on to one part of the basis for our freedoms rather than looking at all of them as a whole.
(More on this subject in a future post.)
However, the world itself (reality, not the fake world that Republicans would like to say that we live in), isn’t black and white; it isn’t simple. The world is complicated and messy, and context matters.
Morality is subjective, not objective.
If morality wasn’t subjective, we wouldn’t have different degrees of murder or drug crimes or theft or any crimes; murder would be murder, and so on. But the world doesn’t work like that.
However, Republicans and right-leaners like to believe that it does, due in part to religion.
Religion has its place, I’ll admit. However, when you try to force that religion on others, which is unconstitutional, it oversteps its place as a personal system of beliefs, which is what religion is supposed to be: a personal system of beliefs. Yes, you and others may have the same religion/beliefs, but religion is personal.
Which is why we have religious freedom in the United States, for all religions and all people.
Getting back to the point, religion tries to force things into neat little boxes without taking context into account, which is why Republicans, right-leaners, and other strongly religious individuals don’t believe that context matters, despite ‘empathy towards your fellow man’ being a common theme in most religions.
Empathy doesn’t matter when speaking in black and white, because empathy is contextual, and, to them, context is irrelevant.
Think about the most heinous thing you can think of happening to someone you like; you feel horrible, don’t you?
Now think about that happening to some random stranger who you have no feelings towards. Do you still feel horrible?
Now think about that same thing happening to someone you hate. Still feel horrible?
If the answer is ‘yes’, or even ‘no’ to all of those with the same thoughts behind them, you need to look at context more and try to figure out why you think that; why things don’t change in your thought process.
If the answer is the same, but you have different thoughts for each of them, or vice versa, you’re on the path to knowing that morality is subjective, but you still need a bit of work.
If the answer is different for each of those with different thoughts behind them, congratulations. You’ve made it. You already know morality is subjective.
And of course, all of these explanations and descriptions are subjective, because context matters.
I didn’t use a specific example to begin with because morality is subjective. What I believe is wrong may not be what you think is wrong, and vice versa. Because, contextually, we all live different lives, have different experiences; our worlds are different.
That’s not to say there aren’t objective truths or objective wrongs and rights; there are.
But, for the most part, morality is subjective because context matters.