Thursday, 14 December 2006

Morally evolved?

by Unknown

A conversion to enlightened liberalism has attendant upon it many difficulties to overcome.

As age overtakes us we have two basic options available in terms of our moral and mental development. We can mature like seasoned oak, becoming harder and less flexible, rigid, un-bending yet strong and impervious. Or we can mellow like a fine red wine, opening and evolving as we grow, soft, fragile and easily damaged by change in our environment but friendly and rarely hurtful; never aimed at another with an eye to damage or wound. Very rarely however does a piece of oak evolve into a fine wine although I would suggest the alternative is fairly common (after all is not a conservative merely a liberal who has been mugged)?

I find myself, richer in years and poorer in wealth, disliking the moral stance that I once so keenly adopted.

My formative years included opinion-defining elements of which most will recognise at least a few. My rigorously atheistic parents carefully allowed dollops of mysticism in the form of the Santa and his cohorts but never drew a line to religion. Ferociously intelligent in a linear, academic bent they were largely conformist to the middle class ideal even to the point of the de rigueur slight racism imposed by their parents and always denied. Fostering debate and self-growth they were unthinkingly scornful of woolly thinking or illogical or poorly thought out argument.

I am my parent’s child. Some debate nature Vs nurture. I do not. (Not merely because you can never test it but because, frankly, I don’t see the point). I am the product of my parents by whatever means that has been transferred to me.

My brief rebellions at University and socially were centred around using my superior debating skills to decimate the more valid but poorly communicated ideals of my friends and acquaintances leaving them with the vague idea that they should be utilising negative eugenics to make the World a better place or possibly selling firearms from their front gardens.

Sure that every problem had a strong, defined, usually right wing solution that was always indifferent to the pleas of the masses I espoused this ‘wisdom’ at every opportunity. Pointing out the economic and technological advantages to warfare and explaining that draconian birth control is the World’s panacea.

Ah. What a hateful little creature I was.

But, and here is my slightly pointless point. Those thought processes defined the layout of my brain, my method of thought and the shape which data must adopt to be accepted as valid. My new and constantly shifting moral centre, the software, is not compatible with my brain’s processes, the hardware.

I am now, thoroughly anti-war without exception. Yesterday I trawled the anti-war sites online. After a couple of hours of reading that banal, nonsensical, non-qualitative, emotive, un-coordinated, badly written, badly drawn pap I would gladly have invaded Iraq myself just to get them to shut up. Are they wrong? No. Do I believe that this drivel is affecting cold, calculating, scientific minds? Not for one single second. Wake up guys, every word you have ever written was wasted. You have to write like (to mix my metaphors) that piece of oak to get a piece of oak to (mixing again) listen.

Where are the cost/benefit analyses taking into account post war disease and crime? Where are the lost vote analyses? Rising cost of petrol? Cost to take and hold each square metre of land against the per capita improvement there and at home. Come ON people - wake up and smell the coffee. War is bad? No shit, that cat isn’t going to swing. You have to communicate to a different species to get the point across. All you’re doing is preaching to the converts.

Anyway. My change from amoral arsehole to more moral arsehole had attendant upon it many difficulties to overcome.

Neither camp likes me now.

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An image of Pritchard Buckminster, supplied by Edwin

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