Monochromes and Morality

     Morality is informed by philosophy. Faith comes with a set of philosophies derived from an external source.

     Many claim the philosophy that there is no right or wrong. Yet, if someone beat, raped, murdered, or stole from either these individuals or their loved ones, I’d wager that they’d consider themselves or their loved ones wronged. But how can they be wronged if there is no wrong? Can wrong exist without right? Is everything black and white, or shades of gray?

     I would say that the last question is a false division. What is black, but the darkest gray?    What is white, but the absence thereof? It stands to reason that the existence of gray does not preclude the existence of black, nor of white. Yes, there are many moral lines that are blurry to us. But are they really gray? Perhaps we are just in need of moral lenses.

In any case, absolute right and absolute wrong exist. It would be ignorance to assume otherwise. Right is what we should do, and wrong what we should not. We should not fail to do what we should and we should avoid doing what we should not. Take a moment and have fun untangling that last sentence. When you are done doing that, you will see why right and wrong are a codependent pair of concepts. The concept of wrong cannot exist without the concept of right, and vice versa.

     This is not to be confused with good and evil. Right and wrong are the concept, good and evil the execution. The concept of wrong can exist without evil, for a concept can exist even if none practice it. Likewise, the concept of right can exist in a world devoid of good. Right cannot exist without wrong, but good can exist without evil. I find that evil cannot exist for long without good.

       With good, no harm is done and all are built up. Good without evil is known as perfection. Unlike in the Infinity Gauntlet epilogue or Serenity, a world without sin would not simply die. In Serenity, the pax did not attack sin, but merely ambition. Ambition is not evil until it grows into greed. The pax wouldn’t have removed the motivation for just evil, but the motivation to do anything. The world would function quite well were we perfect. But we are not perfect. Not a single person. Evil and good can coexist, but they don’t have to.

     Evil is predatory in nature. Evil cannot create, but pervert and exploit. Rape is a perversion of sex. Murder is an exploitation of the limitations of flesh. Evil could not exist without good to prey upon. Without good, evil would implode. A world without even the slightest hint of good would be a paradox akin to a snake eating its own tail.

     Dealing with the moral gray is tricky, and I have no easy answers. However you deal with the gray, regardless of how the gray is composed, seek to do the good you can where you can. Do right. Avoid wrong. These absolutes exist as ends of the spectrum of gray, if nothing else.

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