Friday, December 28, 2012

Five moral mistakes we make

Could a "normal person" like you or me embrace evil? John Hawkins writes at PJ Media that we could. He highlights this quote from Roy Baumeister

To understand evil, we must set aside the comfortable belief that we would never do anything wrong. Instead, we must begin to ask ourselves, what would it take for me to do such things? Assume that it would be possible.

He also quotes C.S. Lewis,

The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

One of the things we do is objectify other people. Do your bosses see you as someone to be manipulated in any way that benefits them? Or do they see you as a fellow human being with feelings?

Another thing to avoid is an end-justifies-the-means morality.

Utopianism and a willingness to use any means to achieve a predetermined “good” end can devastate the lives of other human beings — and even that assumes the “good” outcome is really good.

A third thing to avoid is that feeling of victimization, I have written about quite a bit here. Hawkins notes that

many folks walk around nursing grievances the size of asteroids when their legitimate complaints amount to a pebble.

A fourth thing to avoid is escalation and line crossing. Hawkins writes,

Evil begins with fantasies, poor choices, and small steps and ends in sin, degeneracy and cruelty.

Hawkins' final thing to avoid is refusal to accept moral absolutes. Hawkins:

Without any real moral lines in the sand, where everything floats in a grey area justifiable under the right circumstances, then we can very easily slide into levels of depravity most people haven’t even imagined possible.

Read how Hawkins fills in each of these five points here:

1 comment:

Terri Wagner said...

I follow a simple rule about this kind of stuff. If a friend or family member tells me something about myself and I react with anger, then I probably need to examine that one, ha. Fool proof trust me.