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Spiritual Meme Question Twenty-Six

26--Have you ever morally contradicted yourself?

Unlike New Year's resolutions, moral codes are instilled early, without our permission, and presented to us as truth, maybe "God's truth."  Take the "Ten Commandments:" i know i have violated eight of them, and some people would argue with me about the other two (and i would argue with myself about "Thou shalt not kill."  Some would say that if i ever even thought about killing someone (like a serial killer or a Republicn politician) i have already committed murder in my heart.

In a world of illusion whose underlying reality is  incomprehensible, morality is  bount be inconsistent by its very nature.  Furthermore, morality , which once had a very broad meaning (moral is from mores, the sacred rules of a culture) has come to refer mainly to sexual behavior-- which itself is subject to some of the most stupid, unjust, and  hurtful rules ever thought up by human beings.

So i have come to think more in  terms of an ethical code than a moral code, and i am thinking here of human ethics or life ethics as opposed to professional ethics.  But the first rule fo me is "Do no harm."

So now we come to the question of a person's right to control how his or her body is used (volunteering for dangerous duty. nullifying an unwanted pregnancy, etc.) versus the right of others to call on a  person to make sacrifices for the "greater good." (Military draft, pro-life, etc.).  In terms of war, i am a pacifist and have been since age 13.  I refused to register for the draft at age 171/2 and finally succumbed to mother's tears and registered as a consciencious objector.  But i have had relatives who were drafted. who volunteered or semi-volunteered (the military  or prison, take your pick)  I can't help but wish for their lives and their safety which means i am willing to see others die so they won't.

I am both pro-choice and anti-abortion.  But i solve the problem this way:. a woman has no moral right to abort a child and the govenment has no ethical right to deprive her of safe and legal means  to do so.  As a male i tend to stay  out of the abortion arguement, but as a citizen i can't avoid the politics involved in imposing rules that make second class people out of half the population.  Earlier in life, i did take a moral position on abortion.  I felt that the welfare of a pregnant woman far outweighed the (debatable) welfare of the (arguably) human being inside her.  I was preparing to address a pro-choice group when Dianne said, if you do i will not be here when you get back.  I did not go, and that began a long process of reconsideration and ultimate change in my position.

Whether moral, ethical, or legal, rules in the material world are always problematic.  Every rule benefits some and injures others.  I can only hope that  the rules i make up for me to  follow will "do no harm," or at least the very minimum of  damage to others.

Writing prompts: only ones that would be hard for you to answer please! {FULL!} - the eclectic ecstasy of an ecphorizing eccentric


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2016 02:40 am (UTC)

Wow, to Dianne. How many years ago was that? More on that subject?

When I was 18 I worked for a summer canvassing door-to-door with NOW (National Organization for Women). Although it was a membership canvas, not a pro-life issue canvas, one of my teammates was motivated to be there for NOW in defense of abortion rights. She was also unshakably (by me, anyway) convinced that a woman could not get pregnant without simultaneous orgasms. !!!!!!  I was party-line pro-choice at the time, and am not sure when or how I became both pro-choice and anti-abortion, except that it had something to do with my sister's (wanted) pregnancy and learning about fetal development through her*, and also something very undefined to do with becoming Catholic. And maybe with not being a teenager any more, and becoming capable of seeing complexities in previously black-and-white questions.

I remember an article in the Washington City Paper -- not a conservative rag by any stretch, I'd call it "indie" if I thought I knew what "indie" meant, lol, but anyway -- The author had in the course of her research been to an abortion clinic at which a patient had said she didn't believe the fetus was human, or alive, or something -- that it wasn't a separate person -- until it had a beating heart, within hearing of the abortion "counselor", who did not tell her that by the stage she was at in her pregnancy her baby DID have a beating heart. I have ever since felt the anguish of the woman who found out by reading the City Paper that she had, by her own definition, killed a living human being, and her own child at that. I mean, how can you be pro-choice, with real respect for women, and against informed consent? I.e., explaining to women seeking abortion exactly what it is that they are seeking to have done? What it is that they are seeking to kill? Let us choose, by all means, but damn it all, give us the respect to let us choose with eyes open! The abortion debate is so stupidly polarized it is effectively as sexist and patronizing on "my" side (toujours la gauche, and all that) as it is on the other side.

Mar. 6th, 2016 03:47 pm (UTC)
I don't think there is any more i can say about that incident.
Dianne's opinion was possibly influenced by her religious views, though i suspect that they were basic to her philosophy of life long before her conversion. Mormons also are anti abortion. My view was strongly influenced by Dianne, though in this case i thing her view was closer to my basic philosophy than my own view was ans she simply displayed the position i should have taken all along. I still think i am a feminist as i understand feminism. We had been married for about 5 years, so i was about 30 and she was still in her 20s.

Later in life (age 64) i had occasion to reflect on my own conception which resulted from my 15? year old mother being raped by a slightly older relative. I doubt that she ever considered abortion but she appropriately gave me up at the moment of birth. She would have been a very good mother, certainly better than the one who adopted me. But i could easily understand how someone in her position might have chosen abortion, as dangerous as that would have been for her in 1933. If i had been capable of thought, i might have thought, "go ahead Mommy, its probably best for both of us.
In the strict community which was their family heritage, she was already regarded as a sinner while her rapist was on his way to becoming an outstanding member of the community. My presence there would have made things much worse for her and would not have been good for me either.
Mar. 6th, 2016 03:50 pm (UTC)
Did Dianne convert from Mormonism? I didn't know that. How old was she?
Mar. 6th, 2016 04:02 pm (UTC)
She started to seriously question her religion at age 12 or maybe earlier. She wanted to become a Roman Catholic at about 16 but complied with her families wishes. She was 20 or 21 when she joined the Catholic Church. I met her three years later.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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