Navigating A Moral Universe

Ok, no more introductions, or weak displays of verbal gymnastics, let’s get to the heart of the matter. The root of the question, the final conundrum.  The causeless cause. The unvarnished, unsung, impersonal truth. “Morals”. Do they matter? I must pause here, flounder if you will:  shuffle awkwardly on the pavement. Grin in weak admission at the Bank Manager because, ‘ I do not know’. You heard it here first, ” I do not know”. “I’ve lived for a significant number of years , with a curriculum  vitae  less populated in triumphs than I would like,   but this is all I can say to myself about the question,    “I do not know”. You may answer as you wish but I am still exploring the pleasures of polite uncertainty with a bewilderment made more telling by passing time. That decent quiet honest man who lives in penury and hides his qualities from himself while mocked by the shallow beaming opportunist: the man who scooped your savings up in some shabby scheme. What’s that about? I do not know

That girl:  that once in a lifetime, edgy, unique, independent vision, so beautiful, intelligent and with a curiously sceptical vulnerability, who you meet at some party you were invited to by mistake. A girl from some place spoken of as  being at the very edge of the possible. That girl you have always dreamed about but don’t yet know is a seriously flawed neurotic  because you’ve not spent any time with her. What would you say to her to engage her interest and walk with her towards a primitively sophisticated world of music, fine wine and physical exploration, before descending into quarrelling, shouting and leaving her life a more bewildered man than when you met her.  ” I don’t know”. That’s the only thing I understand so far and realising it has been a sobering experience.  I DON’T KNOW. Needless to say, the title of this post has nothing to do with its content. Why is that, you may well ask. I DON’T KNOOOOW

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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38 Responses to Navigating A Moral Universe

  1. In terms of morals and humanity, it is fine to celebrate the wonderful aspects, but in terms of the ugliness, I find it very disturbing that when you look at the present and the past, everything is “allowed”. By that I mean it all happened; there certainly is no real moral authority, at least in the civilization in which I live.


  2. renxkyoko says:

    There’s always a first time, countingducks…. This time, I didn’t get it. I reread 2x ….. I guess I need to exercise my brain.


    • Whether you get it or not, your comments always make me smile. It’s exploring uncertainty among other things so not ‘getting it’ is quite understandable. I probably don’t get it myself


  3. Ina says:

    Well I don’t know about the title ( that has nothing to do with the content ) .. Morals, other people’s morals that is, never impress me much to be honest; my own I have to live by. I suppose. I don’t know. Do I? What are my morals again? I don’t knooow 🙂


  4. As I get older I realise with more certainty how little I know about anything. Morals change. Sex was once linked strongly to morals but seemingly no longer. But within the chaos of life and world events, surely we recognise some types of behavoiur as despicable, ugly and totally unacceptable, especially when pain is being inflicted. Certain values will surely always remain to which most citizens will agree as desirable within civilization. Alas, civilizations will surely fall without some such conclusion.


  5. pfstare says:

    Yes I think morals do matter, and that is from a person who is far from perfect herself. I found this an intriguing post. Thank you for the follow and I will carry on reading.


  6. catterel says:

    All I know is, I have to live with me – I can escape everyone else, but I have to live with ME. It helps if I can like and respect myself, and I’m the only person responsible for making myself acceptable to myself. Is that what ‘moralss’ are based on? Being able to face yourself in the mirror?


  7. jadereyner says:

    I don’t know either – I read it twice and then realised that the title had nothing to do with the content and read it again. And then I think I got it! We all question, or at least we should. I am big on questions, more so than I perhaps should be, and I need to know everything. For me, I don’t know, is not good enough. Great post that made me think! 🙂


  8. I had to read it a few times myself, and I wrote it !. More seriously, there is, as we all know, a ‘maze’ like quality to life which baffles those like me bought up with a simpler view. We both ‘don’t know’ but I do really appreciate you commenting on my Blog


  9. Al says:

    How cruel to make me think this hard so early in the morning. I think I have a moral obligation to go back to bed now.


  10. I can only apologise and hope your second rest is good enough to refresh you after reading a post of such unnecessary obscurity.


  11. Alex Autin says:

    Hmmm…there is no limit to that which I don’t know, and this is a good thing. Morally I only have myself and those I choose to include to answer to. One thing I do know, however, is that your writing is brilliant.


  12. Gosh you have got me thinking! All I know is life can be hard and full of perplexing questions. The older I get the less certain I am of the answers. Some morals such as not to kill or not to steal at first seem undeniable, but sometimes I am less certain as it can very much depend on circumstances , e.g. either kill or be killed or steal or starve. It is perhaps only in a peaceful and fair society that we can afford the luxury of morals. Some parts of our planet do not have this luxury. Apologies if this sounds a little negative. 🙂


  13. Mmm, intriguing 🙂

    Whatever all this means I reckon “I don’t know” is a very good place to start. Start what? I don’t know!!! 🙂


  14. Right . I’m a lover of these little faces, and count then as being among my dearest friends, but I’m not sure what this one is saying. He looks charming anyway, and is always welcome on my Blog


  15. kate4samh says:

    It is all shades of grey. I love the comments on this piece almost as much as the post 🙂 x


  16. I’ve edited your comment for you, if that matters but more to the point, your comment is as reflective and considered as I would expect from you, and that is what matters to me.


  17. Peter, I think I do understand how the title and content mesh. Many people feel morality can be crisply defined–one knows it when one sees it, thus it is easily defined. But does everyone see things the same way? I think not.

    Saying ‘I do not know” is rare in a world where both firm knowledge and beliefs define the quality of one’s authority. Not knowing is seen as weak. But not knowing is really were we all metaphorically live. So declaring it outright is an act of both accuracy and courage. Not too many people know that they don’t know… 😉


  18. Barbara says:

    Peter, you could fill a book with what ‘I don’t know’, but where would you start? I don’t knowww!


  19. nelle says:

    I do not know is the standard human condition, although we try to project its opposite. I’ll take it over a bull doo doo answer any day.

    On morals, they matter. Having abandoned mine in the need to cope with dichotomous gender only to reclaim them after damage, I’ll die before ever relinquishing my integrity again. Whether or not it matters to the universe or others in it, how I conduct myself matters to me.


  20. Do “Morals” Matter?
    I Do Know.
    Yes. Yes. Yes. They do.
    …but first, we must define “MORALS.”
    To me, this means a person with great character, a person who does the right thing, a person who cares deeply, a person who clings to social justice, a person who loves unconditionally, and a person who loves cats. Had to add this…I was getting a bit to serious.


    xxx Kisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss


  21. araneus1 says:

    “exploring the pleasures of polite uncertainty”
    love it.
    One of the interesting things about getting older is the number of things I’m no longer sure about. Bewildering and interesting all at the same time.
    Good post, thank you.


  22. Caroline says:

    Find out what you values are and which ones matter most! And then live by them.

    And as a certain person said to me once “What other people think of me is none of my business”

    So true when you really think about it! And very liberating

    Great post



  23. Borednicole says:

    As a self proclaimed, seriously flawed neurotic woman I will let you into my world. Here are a few things that a man could do to engage my interest if I found myself invited to a party by mistake:
    1) juggle 2) save someone’s life, like if they were choking do the Heimlich maneuver or perform CPR on an unconscious party-goer 3) spontaneous poetry 4) Irish step dancing 5) a genuine, warm smile.


  24. Thumbelina81 says:

    Wow ..if only I could write like that..


  25. AnElephantCant answer your question
    He really does not have a clue
    But he wants to stop by
    And say a quick hi
    Because he kinda empathises with you


  26. erickeys says:

    Great piece! I think the title of the post and the content are actually very closely related. I struggle a lot with trying to find moral guidance – especially since I’ve left the evangelical mindset behind ( read about that here if you want: ) and I’m working through a lot of the same issues indirectly in my fiction – especially this series: but probably in some sense in all of my fiction.

    I think it’s pretty Socratic to start with an understanding of one’s ignorance. But that’s just a starting point, right? Or maybe it’s the best we can hope for. Who can say? I don’t know…


  27. I know the answer…but morals are not a “what” as in a list of HUMAN invention…morals are a WHO. Find the Who and you’ll know 🙂


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