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Moral Beings

Moral Beings

Hello and good day!

It is striking to read the King Arthur stories and then a book about Nigerian tribal life back-to-back.

Throw in some passages from the Old Testament, or any other ancient religious texts, and then read the Iliad by Homer, and then turn on the current news cycle, and you will find that human nature hasn't changed in thousands of years.

What has changed is technology. Technology has made the world look different. In some cases, it has dramatically improved our material standard of living. Our ability to travel, communicate, and spread information is all brand new and more efficient than ever.

There have been many important medical breakthroughs. Diseases and infections that used to be an automatic death sentence have been cured.

ll that being the case, it would be easy to conclude that technology is the answer to most human problems.

However, this is simply not true.

And I think that this misconception is one of the fundamental miscalculations of the modern age. At some point a few hundred years ago, the scientific method started to produce exponential technological advancement. Humans figured out an effective method for discovering and utilizing the physical laws that govern the material world. The result of this methodology has been advanced technology.

Because technology has been so good at solving certain problems, specifically problems that exist in the physical environment, many people have assumed that it would also cure mental and spiritual problems.

But it doesn't.

Consider the following.

A man has a good job and works hard to support his wife and two children. He and his wife have a good marriage in the beginning. But as time goes on, the man chases career advancement and starts traveling all the time.

He and his wife grow apart. She complains that he isn't around enough and starts to resent him for it. The resentment grows so strong that she starts drinking to numb her anguish. What starts out as a once a week or once a month foray develops into a full-blown addiction.

The kids see this.

Since the dad isn't around very much, and the mother doesn't want to take responsibility for her actions, she starts poisoning the well by blaming all of her problems on the dad. This influences the kids, and they start having hard feelings against the dad. The dad doesn't even know all this is happening because he is gone so much.

His family lives in a big, beautiful house. They have all the latest technology. He thinks he is providing a good and comfortable life for his family. When he comes back from business trips, it hurts him deeply that nobody seems to be happy.

The kids give him the cold shoulder. His wife wakes up hungover most days and the recycling bin is filled up with empty wine bottles. After a few years, the man gets fed up with the poor treatment that he doesn't feel he deserves, and he starts having affairs while he is on the road.

This exacerbates the problem, the whole family becomes dysfunctional, and everybody is miserable. Go ahead and switch the man and the woman in this scenario if you want. Or make it a same sex marriage.It could happen to any family.

And it could have happened to any family three thousand years ago too. I just made this scenario up off the top of my head, but I know of families that have gone through something very similar to this. Also, there are an unlimited number of scenes that I could cook up that are examples of poor human behavior.

I could fill up several pages off the top of my head listing times when one country invaded another on grounds that nobody with common sense would find acceptable.

Technology doesn't solve these problems. They require morality.

Knowing how to act in a given situation requires that you have a developed set of principles that guide your decision making. If principles aren't developed in advance and well-grounded through constant repetition and meditation, events are likely to sweep us away.

War fever. Manipulation by demagogues. Propaganda. Puppy dog eyes from your children. Pressure from friends. Opportunities to cheat on your spouse. Eating food that damages your health.

It has all been around forever, and it isn't going anywhere. These things are a part of the human condition. Solid morality is the antidote to these ever-present problems and always has been.

But here are several issues that we face.

First, technology tricks us into thinking it is solving morality issues. It isn't. It solves problems in the physical realm.

Second, there isn't widespread agreement on which rules are good and which are bad and how to distinguish good from bad.

Third, most people would like to impose their rules onto others, and this creates conflict rather than resolving it.

Since I can feel myself on the verge of going very long on this topic, I am going to cut to the chase. It seems to me that the best principles are those that promote peace, harmony, and unity.

Essentially, the Golden Rule.

And the best way to propagate the Golden Rule is to make yourself a walking, living, breathing example of what it looks like. Others will see you and follow suit.

Technology won't make this happen.

You have to intentionally bring it about in yourself and that requires effort. Excessive technology will very likely make the effort even harder than it otherwise would have been.

Sorry if I was overly philosophical today. It is just so fascinating that humans have been struggling with this issue for so long and there is still no universally accepted solution.

Thank you so much for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!