Morals, Ethics and Rights
Moral: standards of behaviour; principles of right and wrong.
Ethics: moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity.
Our sense of morals and ethics play a paramount role in our society. Throughout history it has acted as a fundamental foundation from which we derive our sense of right and wrong. Our sense of morals and ethics come almost instinctively, yet we rarely ask the hard questions. Do we truly understand what we can and cannot do? Everyone goes on and on about rights; I have the right to this, you have the right to that, no one has the right to do that etc. But where have these rights come from? The reality is that rights were made up by humans; animals don't live their lives by rights, and different cultures don't live by the same rights. You may argue that everyone has basic rights whether they are acknowledged or not because that is what is morally correct. No one deserves to be mistreated or taken advantage of.
But who decides what is right and what is wrong?
There is no such thing as right and wrong - and perhaps you wish to dismiss it - after all, we shouldn't just let people do whatever we want, that's not how society works. And you would be absolutely correct for saying so. Morality is something that we have enforced in society as a measure of control, to prevent chaos and create order. This moral compass is absolutely necessary for us to work as a community. It helps us develop a sense of compassion and empathy - allowing us to value one another rather than blatantly survive without consequence. But breaking down these matters is important nonetheless.
Commonly psychopaths, sociopaths or notorious criminals are considered to lack a sense of morals, ethics or empathy, which is completely false. Everyone grows up with their own set of rules and standards - simply because their set of morals is different from yours does not mean that their morals are less correct or that they don’t exist at all. We need to understand how morals and ethics work because we ultimately punish and reward people according to a common set of morals. What decides which set of rules is correct and what actions are flawed?
Why is it that we go with the majority, and exclude the minority? Why do we act as if the majority is always correct, and enforce rules due to a popularity of morals rather than what makes the most sense? Because throughout history, the majority have been very wrong and at times it was the minority that were the most logical. For example, just a few decades ago it was a crime to be homosexual or a homosexual supporter - this was what the majority deemed to be a morally correct law to enforce, despite the outcry of minority groups. Now we see that figure swapped around, with a large majority viewing such laws as immoral and unethical.
What we deem as correct or immoral should not be seen as an ultimate or universal rule. Rather we should look to develop, improve and evolve our personal set of ethics and morals. Right and wrong is subjective and people rarely act out against their own set of morals. Often these extreme actions are justified by a unique set of ethics that is personal to them. It’s important to recognize that the ethics or morals of a majority should not invalidate those of a minority.
George Carlin - You have no rights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9-R8T1SuG4
Written by: MidniteAngel
Edited by: Amelia
Recently a friend was in a puzzling situation. She began to fall in love with a longtime friend of ours. They got closer, sparks flew in both directions, and deep appreciation was expressed. Pleasurable travel plans were made.
I was a listening ear for both friends. This gave me many new insights about mixed messages. On Monday, I heard from Steph that Ron called Stephanie to say, "Our new way of connecting is just what I needed. Let's be close again as soon as possible. I am really excited about our travel plans. Let's keep being in touch daily." He repeated this several times to Steph, emphasizing how happy he felt about their new sharing. Stephanie was joyous. Each time he repeated himself, her heart filled with joyous desire.
On Monday I heard from Ron that Stephanie expressed her love and appreciation for the new opening in their relating. I heard that the two had become quite close in recent months. I heard that their closeness went beyond time and space. I heard they were pillars of strength for one another.
Tuesday I heard similar joys from both of them. Ron’s encouragement continued. Steph’s warmth continued. Travel plans developed more firmly.
Wednesday came around. Ron told Stephanie he was connecting with a woman named Sheila, who she might like to befriend too. He asked if Sheila could come on the trip with them. He was clearly in initiation stages of romance with Sheila. This I heard from Stephanie.
Stephanie was deeply hurt, but more so shocked. Ron and Steph had been close friends for two years. He was one person she counted on for in depth honesty, support, care, and availability in both directions. It made no sense. When she questioned Ron on his conflicting communications, he had no clue about what she was discussing. This side of Ron was nothing she experienced during the platonic friendship phase.
Thursday she told Ron she must have fully misunderstood his intentions. He then turned one hundred and eighty degrees, saying she didn't. He emphasized how Steph and he had become quite close. For the next twenty four hours the game continued like this. If she was yes, he was no. If she pulled away, he was in. She became exhausted, calling me in despair. Her need was a safe, committed, sacred space to nurture the new born sharing. She could not decipher what his need was. She was perplexed.
I realized that Ron did not know what he wanted! His mixed messages to Stephanie (and Sheila) were to himself. A desire on Steph’s part to get clarity was responded to with more confusion.
The bottom line is that someone who is confused will create confusion for others…but only if others let them.
Stephanie came to a similar conclusion. Having loved Ron in friendship, she was able to tenderly forgive him for this side of himself. Although she could have spent time entangling with him, waiting for clarity that was not in the mix, she exited. "Ron, I love our friendship, but mixed messages in dating are not a good way for me to engage. I prefer to go back to being friends."
He understood. He was not able to offer anything else. He could have said, “Wow. I am so sorry. That must have really hurt. What was I thinking? I will call it off with Sheila. I will give 100% to this if you are still available. That was cruel of me. I was confused but I am ready to be honoring now. It won’t happen again.” But that was not his truth.
So they agreed to go back to the friendship as before. After a few weeks to recalibrate, while feeling waves of disappointment, grief, and anger, they did re-find the joy of friendship. After time to digest what occurred, Stephanie had no more interest in anything but platonic friendship with Ron! Ron frequently tells me how much he appreciates Stephanie.
I learned that a person who gives mixed messages isn’t necessarily trying to hurt or harm others. S/he is genuinely uncertain of his or her own needs, desires, and commitment capacities. When someone gives a mixed message 1) Ask for clarity. Sometimes people just need help with structure. If that, too, is responded to with a mixed message, 2) assume that person has unresolved situations to attend to within him/herself. At this point 3) make a boundary for your own wellbeing which may be fully parting ways or may be a modification in how you relate. When you honor yourself, gratitude for what is good comes back.
Laurie A Moore
Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, Certified Hypnotherapist, PhD Expressive Arts Psychology, Author (Find her books on Amazon by googling Dr. Laurie Moore bio Amazon).
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