Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Do Feelings Make Any Significance to Moral Judgments?

I have been thinking about "moral values" and what determines how we judge moral values. How are our feelings directive of morality, or are they?

The reason I bring this up is that I have a repulsion over "do-gooders". I know that my repulsion is not reasonable, but it is rational. Why? I think that my repulsion over "do-gooders" has a lot to do with my needs as a child. These needs were not met, and yet, I saw those around me "doing good", baking the cake to take to the sick, visiting the nursing home, etc. What message did it send to me as a child? I wasn't important or valued enough to commend anyone's attention. My value was diminished, and my needs were secondary to what was gauged as important. Others needs came first. (Many Christians think that family responsibility isn't of value because of the command that one should "love God first". Family can stand in the way of loyalty to one's first priority. One's family is only "natural love", therefore, what one does outside of family, in fact, for one's enemy, is deemed of more value in the Christian community. It is a sign of "Christian discipleship!)

I wonder if my reaction today to such "do-good" projects and my evaluation of them as being self-interested is judged in a universal way. What I mean is:  given my situation and circumstances would others judge "do gooders" in a similar fashion? Or would there be another response to the same conditions? Does personality have anything to do with how we "cope" with unmet needs?

This is the problem with "social justice" claims, I believe. Because whenever we set out to "do good", there is someone left inevitably behind. It is much better to leave the individual to be the "cause" of his own choices, and goals, otherwise, we might set up "projects", though well-meaning that have unintentional, but devastating consequences.

Reality based therapy means that the individual takes responsibility and owns his own life, as to choices of value. There is no "ideal" to be pursued, but goals that are desired outcomes of personal values. This is the only rational way to live, otherwise, rationality and reasonablness is left "outside" to die in the night of another's oppressive shadow, whether it be Man or God's!

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