So a simple episode of “This is Us” led to a heated debate between me and my sister. Without any spoiler’s we were locking heads on whether actions can be categorised as good or bad, black or white, right or wrong, or whether they are grey areas.
[Pause for comments…guess where I stand]
My ‘misguided’ sister, who I love dearly, is of the view that there are good and bad actions separate from the context and intent but I feel that nothing can be evaluated in isolation. I can appreciate her view point as the responsible first-born with a strong sense of propriety but right and wrong is a terrible simplification for a wide range of actions.
Consequently, I began my counter-argument with self defence as violence in the defence of another life is a hot topic. Many people, myself, included all idealise good war flicks with men of grit, honour and integrity…and we can assume no country is about to decommission their entire army no matter any G7 agreement or anything. Is subduing an attacker the right thing to do? Does violence beget more violence and so it is all wrong? We all know where Jesus stands with all these…that whole other cheek thing can get really dangerous- we are only human (everybody wanna go to heaven, nobody won die.)
My next point was a kiss, is that a good action or a bad action…and that led me to think of sex…and boy did pandora’s box open up with a Siren’s scream. Because it is the same action but we call it different things under different situations (okay that far enough, keep things PG).
In conclusion, without history, intent, context and degree, I don’t think you can classify an action as good or bad but you tend not to go wrong when you act out of love: love is patient, love is kind. It does not seek its own satisfaction…”but others”
p.s. my foray into philosophy in University with Seminar in Bioethics only served to prove to me that morality is subjective but as my father says people operate on different levels: Idiocy, emotionality, instinct, rationality and spirituality…more on this tomorrow