Liz S (ixwin) wrote,
Liz S
ixwin

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Morality

Christmas tree has been bought and decorated. Wedding photographer has been seen & will be booked (once I've got round to sending out a cheque for his deposit).


I tend to hold with the Aristotelian(?) view that the best moral state to be in is one where doing bad things simply isn't tempting (rather than one where bad things are tempting, but you have the strength to resist). I was well into my teens before I finally accepted that it was right that, if I had spent ages working on a problem (in schoolwork etc.), by making it more difficult than it needed to be, I didn't deserve any more credit (in fact arguably deserved less) than someone who had found a quick & easy way to achieve the same thing. Which isn't to say that the complicated approach didn't sometimes have incidental benefits, but it wasn't the point of the exercise. In the same way, it's the actual "being good" which is the point of morality, not how you get there.

This ties in loosely with my previous spiritual entry, as I believe that, if you're feeling good in yourself, it's much easier to be good to others, and brave, and determined and generally virtuous. Reciprocally, one of the best ways of feeling good about yourself is to do good deeds. And conversely, one of the quickest ways of feeling bad about yourself is do do things you know are weak, lazy, selfish etc.

In fact, insofar as I have a conception of sin (as distinct from behaving badly), it is this sense of spiritual degradation caused by (for most people) lots of small things that make you feel just a little bit worse about yourself as a person - lies, broken promises, petty selfishness...It doesn't have to be something that hurts other people, indeed some of the most corroding stuff is the stuff which only hurts you - the lust/sloth/gluttony end of the deadly sin spectrum.

I'm not headed for any conclusion here - it's just that I realised a while ago that my previous entry was spiritually incomplete, as it was entirely selfish, so thought I'd rectify that.
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