Why Morality Is Not Arbitrary Or Trivial

(Cross-posted from Equinox Until Solstice)


[Trigger warning: murder, death, loss/grief]

First up, let’s get us to all agree that there are experiences which are objectively good (pleasant), and those that are objectively bad (unpleasant). You all with me there?

Next. Take murder for example: murder is objectively bad* because everyone has, to a degree, an innate drive to continue living, to survive. One cannot assume that another individual does not have this basic “will to live” – it has to be assumed to be there by default. It’s nature.

(Still with me? Good. No? Feel free to comment below explaining why.)

Even so, the above only takes into account the victim as an individual. It is far more likely than not that a murdered individual would have family and friends who love and care about them, and would be deeply saddened by their death. Murder would undoubtly cause suffering to them. The grief of losing a loved one is an undeniably terrible emotion.

Really. Experiences like physical pain, sadness, fear, etc. etc. are objectively bad. They just are. That isn’t something that’s up for debate.

*Alright, at this point I guess gotta clarify the asterisk. I am not working with the definition that bad = wrong. The former is objective reality, the latter is a human idea. Morality is what connects the two. I am simply explaining the framework under which the concept of morality is built upon, which happens to be material reality. If, objectively speaking, there is no such thing as right or wrong, then sure, causing harm isn’t objectively wrong, but it is objectivelybad.

Okay, we’ve reached the point I want to talk about: harm. What if we live in a world withoutharm? I mean, if suffering and destruction do not exist, then what good is morality for? The entire concept of morality would be obsolete, wholly inapplicable, if no harm could be done, wouldn’t it?

Time to get our heads in the clouds back to the ground, because we do not live in such a perfect fantasy paradise world. We live in a world where committing harm is always possible. That isn’t up for debate either.

It’s also why morality is going to be relevant, as long as human existence is.

(Again, these are just my two cents. Seriously, comment if you happen to disagree. Hopefully not with the points that just ~really~ aren’t up for debate, though.)


Equinox Until Solstice: A young Asian Australian feminist sharing her artwork and writing. Sometimes I blog about philosophy and politics.

One thought on “Why Morality Is Not Arbitrary Or Trivial”

  1. If I take a life under any circumstance my act states that my life is more important than the one I take. This covers judicial as well as extrajudicial murder, war, neglect, any act or refusal to act. I think it was Ghanaian who said “there are causes for which I would die but none for which I would kill”

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