Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What is The Moral?

This republished from The Order of the Heldhigh Torch website where it was published today.

The moral in human life pertains to the life force – that force within every living thing to continue living. But in humans, it pertains to the life force in a specific way because of the nature of human consciousness.

Man’s consciousness frees him from the automaticity of survival to which all living things with a simpler form of consciousness are destined. The reason is that man’s form of consciousness is conceptual. A conceptual form of consciousness is able to categorize existents by their qualities in such a way that it allows man to recombine things and create things that do not exist in nature. E.g., if a man seeks shelter, he can build a house. Although a bird can build a nest, it does so within the confines of its instincts, a form of automatic, wired-in knowledge. Man, on the other hand, can do that by recombining what he finds in nature into some new form.

To be able to do this, he uses his capacity to choose among alternatives. So, he is, by his nature, thrust into evaluating and choosing, evaluating and choosing, until he creates the value that satisfies his need. He could choose according to what feels good or appropriate in that moment, or he can consider his choice based on what he knows about the effects of his choice on his future. “Will I satisfy my hunger if I eat this plant?” Say the answer is yes. “OK then, will the plant nourish me or poison me?” Now the man is concerned with something beyond the immediate – his future. If he can answer, nourish me, then he can eat the plant, satisfying his physical need and his mind’s need, which only his mind by using reason can answer.

The moral pertains to the needs of consciousness in service of sustaining one’s life. What are the needs of consciousness? The purpose of consciousness, metaphysically, is to perceive existence for the purpose of gaining information so that the living entity may live. The needs of consciousness are anything that supports keeping that faculty able to fulfill its purpose. That can range from making a sound financial decision to listening to a symphony. The moral is concerned with the effects of one’s choices and actions to be able to sustain one’s life over time.

Man chooses. He can commit suicide – i.e., choose to die rather than live. So how a man assesses his himself and his future is crucial to his continued living. The moral is concerned with man having a future for which he wants to live. Every fact, every principle, of morality is for this purpose.

On the other hand, the immoral is to not be concerned with having a future for which he wants to live.

There is only one thing one has to do to avail himself of this area of knowledge: choose to live. Otherwise, it is of no concern. Choosing to live means choosing to think – to ask questions, evaluate and intellectually conclude so that one can make good existential choices for one’s life. Choosing to live means to be responsible for the contents of one’s mind. Choosing to live means to know how you identify a value and question whether or not it is one that forwards your life and has you want your future. Choosing to live means being concerned with a moral code – a set of principles which you live by and which support you to make the choices that do support your continued looking forward to life.

All of these are important additional topics that fall within the domain of life we call the moral.

So, does this clear up what the moral is? What it is concerned with? Why it is important?

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