Do truth, integrity, compassion, understanding, and love matter to you as much as they do to me? Or are those just arcane concepts people wrap with words, but not with thoughts?
An interesting idea that receives a great deal of attention in literature is the concept of doing wrong for the right reasons. I like interesting concepts because they allow me to weigh them in the balance scales within my mind. I wonder if you have similar scales within yours? You know, those two opposing voices that argue the merits of everything you encounter? Those voices are your inner scale of justice, and they aren’t blind.
Doing wrong for the right reasons… Is it okay to do something morally repugnant if the end result seems attractive? Is it okay to do something wrong to get something right? Is it okay to be a little bad to ensure something good? Let us investigate this by considering three examples.
- You haven’t studied, it is crunch time, and you’re about to fail your final exams. If you fail, your parents will have to pay money they don’t have for you to redo the semester or you’ll have to drop out and take a minimum wage job. Is it okay to cheat?
- Military Intelligence has caught a suspected terrorist, they believe a brutal attack is imminent, but the suspect isn’t talking. Is it okay to torture the suspect?
- You know your boss is a liar who has been defrauding the company with something he shrugs off as “creative accounting”, but he promised you a raise if you remain silent, and without the raise you can’t afford to pay your rent. Is it okay to keep quiet?
- It isn’t okay to cheat.
- It isn’t okay to torture anyone, for any reason, ever.
Yes, those little voices in our head can come up with some pretty convincing arguments to justify something we know is wrong. Indeed, we are able to justify almost anything. However the thing about justifications is that if a matter is truly just, there is never a need to justify it.
Oh, and lest you think I forgot the conclusion to the third scenario, I didn’t. In actuality that third scenario is the purpose of this entire post.
It is not okay to keep quiet when you know someone is a liar, a cheater, a thief and worse. Donald Trump is a liar, that isn’t an opinion it is an irrefutable fact. He has cheated countless people by refusing to pay them. He claims to be billionaire who, by his own admission, does not pay Federal tax. Your silence in the upcoming election is not okay. Your failure to vote in order to ensure this repugnant lying bigot is kept out of the highest office in the United States is not okay – no matter how you try and justify it to yourself.
So you’re a dedicated, lifelong Republican? Who cares? Conformity is the ultimate abdication of personal responsibility. Just. Don’t. Do. It.