Damian Niolet


Posts tagged with "self"

Thought Provoking Stuff

Life is painful.  We learn from a very early age, before we are ever aware of ourselves, to avoid pain and seek comfort.  Thus, it could be said that life is a spectrum of sensations, an axis on which we attempt to find a comfortable spot between fearfulness and fearlessness of those sensations.  We come to a point in our lives when we begin to perceive, specifically ourselves, most especially by perceiving that we are not everything else around us.  We affirm the separation between ourselves and all else through perception, thus creating another axis on which we try to find a comfortable place between selfishness and selflessness.  Our actions, therefore, reside in regions made up of a mixture of fearfulness or fearlessness and/or selfishness or selflessness.  More often than not, avoiding pain and/or suffering and remaining separate from all else, thus surviving, remains the utmost concern.

Morality is the final result of classifying into areas of right/good or wrong/evil what one or many should or should not do in order to avoid pain and/or suffering for themselves alone and remain separate from all else, thus to survive.  Does this then entail the occupancy in neither area - an absolute zero point - by anyone who is undaunted by the incurrence of, but does not actively pursue, pain and/or suffering, even at risk of death and is comfortable identifying themselves as a collective?  Certainly.  Does this also then entail the transcendence past moral standards - beyond good and evil - by anyone who actively pursues pain and/or suffering, even at the risk of death, and makes no claims of selfhood by denying any distinctiveness apart from everything else in order to ensure all others avoid pain and/or suffering and further solidify their identities as exclusive to themselves, thus to survive?  Definitively, yes!

In conclusion, morality is the choosing on an individual level, and because we all make a choice in the same manner, a societal level, whether to live a life constantly acting on fearfulness and/or selfishness or fearlessness and/or selflessness.  If you choose to act on fearfulness AND selfishness, you are acting immorally.  If you choose to act on fearlessness AND selflessness, you are acting morally.  However, because the axes create four quadrants in which to live out our actions, there do exist those shades of grey.  All of this indicates that morality is simultaneously objective and subjective - we are all confined within the boundaries of the axes, but we all chose to dwell in the realm most conducive to our survival - making morality perfectly definable.

So the question is not, “What is morality?”  The question or questions then become, “What does survival really involve?  How do we know when we have achieved it?”  More important, “Why must we survive in the first place?”

Eat your heart out Nietzsche.