Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Higher Values

It is both dangerous and justificationist to aim for 'higher values' and seek to attain them. That way lies tyranny. One risks an imbalanced understanding of morality—those who do not also either seek or possess said higher values become evil, rather than no longer useful to you.

It is not moral to live one's life in incessant condemnation of evil. Disregard it, disrespect it and focus on improving yourself. One is not required to spit acid in order to demonstrate a thing as evil as it is, if that is what concerns you. "If a thing is truly good, it can be shown to be so" works in reverse. Bitterness and hatred are emotions, and they do not add anything to a good explanation of either the rationality of a good thing or the irrationality of an evil thing.

If one were to focus, not on attaining a given higher ideal, but on improving piecemeal and with no guide but reason, one would no longer be required to spend one's days in paroxyms of condemnation. One would no longer tend towards the tyranny of infallibilism. One's understanding and reason of an idea at a given moment in time—which is all we really have to guide us, anyway—may be used freely now to inform us of the most moral decisions to make.