Morality

I’ve been trying to upload a post since Tuesday but WordPress for Blackberry is being a bitch and I couldn’t find my USB to send the pictures to the laptop and upload it but I’ll upload it soon sha.

Today’s post is by @Salliness
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This topic was inspired by the book ‘A Time to Kill’ by John Grisham. Well, actually it was the title of the book that inspired this topic.

Morality simply means ‘good’ or ‘right’ while immorality means ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. The question though is ‘what is right?’ What defines right and what defines wrong? Or is it who defines right and wrong? It has been argued that man is born with an innate knowledge of right and wrong while another group says that man was born a clean slate (tabula raza); I subscribe to this school of thought.

While growing up and generally living our lives, our family, friends, religion, school, experiences help shape our mindset as to what is good and what is bad. For example, in my village it’s a taboo to eat water-yam; like it’s so serious that a man would abandon his farm if he got there one morning and found water-yam growing in his there (don’t ask). However other cultures have wonderful delicacies made from water-yam. Also in my village, the caste system is still being practiced; you know where you can not marry someone because their family has been labelled ‘osu’. You get my point?

First of all, the people I know that eat water-yam have not died from water-yam related deaths (whatever that means) and outcasts live a very successful life, get married, have children, make money…

Another thing I find very annoying in this whole issue is the ’judgementality’ of people. Okay I understand that you don’t smoke and you do not like people smoking around you but labelling smokers ‘bad people’? We see these things everyday and sometimes sub-consciously we judge people either based on what they wear or what they say or how they talk. Like just concluding a girl is a ‘ho’ because she has a tattoo, wears beads on her waist and has an ankle chain. You might be conservative and then the next person isn’t, does that make them terrible?

In sociology class, we learnt about a tribe among the Eskimos who would present their wives to visitors for them to sleep with and would even be very offended if you refused. In this part of the world, that just screams wrong on so many levels. Does it make it wrong? As far as the Eskimos are concerned it’s the way they grew up, it signifies hospitality. So does it mean they are right?

People would say that something is bad if it hurts someone else. You know like someone does something ‘wrong’ and says ‘but it’s not like anybody died’. Let’s even address that for a minute. In the book ‘A Time to Kill’ John Grisham tells the story of a man who kills two men that brutally raped his daughter. In the eye of the law what he did was wrong. Kill and be killed. End of! To the families of the men that were killed? It was just callous. But what of the little girl that was raped and would never have children? Her mother and brothers who would always lose sleep because she was plagued with nightmares? To them death was too easy for those men. In the end Carl Lee walked free from the law which states that if you kill, you will be killed. Even in the same book, Carl Lee’s brother was acquitted of a murder charge because the person he killed ‘deserved to die’ really? Which raises questions like; are we permitted to do bad things some times? Shouldn’t we be allowed to be bad people at some point? Are there times bad things are supposed to happen to us?

The general perception is that something is said to be bad if it does more harm than good. Others say something is bad if your conscience cannot bear it. We could argue forever about this issue however one thing is certain, there is no clear division point between good and evil. One man’s bread is another man’s poison and so on. What we all need is tolerance and having an open mind so that when we are confronted with issues we are not quick to judge others. Maybe if we all were, there would be no Boko Haram or Adolf Hitler as we know of.

Cheers!

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