Morality and Strategy

I’ve always loved ruminating about theories such as the essence of beauty or perfect harmony and I got to comment on an incident recently where there was a division between those who believe that morality should influence your actions but not determine them, and those who believed that morality was something we all possessed unless it was put to the test.

I know, for good and evil, over time, people have died for their faith, or turned away a commercial opportunity on a matter of principle, but these figures seem to be few and far between. The Vicar of Bray, who was first written about in the 18th century, was made famous because his abiding strategy was to hang onto his vicarage, and to this end he changed his political outlook from being a monarchist to republican and back again, and said whatever needed to be said in order to maintain his livelihood. Do we know anyone like that, are we anyone like that? Most of us hope not to find out or to be placed in a position where ‘survival’, as we understand it, depends on taking a fresh approach to our beliefs, or quietly ditching them, whichever causes the least embarrassment or pain.

I certainly am no better or worse than anyone else and quite possibly not as good as many but I did ask myself the question, “What principle or belief would  you sacrifice your well-being for, or are morals an influencer of actions but not a determinant.”  A little deep for me this morning, perhaps, but I haven’t had my mood – lightening glass of lemonade yet.

Answers below or to an address of your choice !

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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24 Responses to Morality and Strategy

  1. catterel says:

    Sometimes something happens and you just have to act – then you realise whether your principles/morals are genuine or not. Whatever you decide and do, you have to live with yourself afterwards. You can avoid everybody else, but not yourself. “Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all” … I think I need another coffee.


  2. Ina says:

    Sacrificing your well being for a principle, not sure I have principles like that, but for the benefit of those you love, I suppose I would ( die for my children, ) but maybe that is about it. Only when it comes to a point when I have to act, I shall know who I am – a coward perhaps. It depends on the moment. In principle I would defend any weaker person if attacked. (I only have 1 experience and that was when I was a child and defended a girl from a bully lol)


  3. I am hoping & praying that I would DIE for what I believe in.
    And this is how I want to live. every. single. day.
    LOVE from MN. for you, sweets. xx


  4. I’d like to believe that I try to live by my principles, but the truth is that until any specific event occurs none of us know exactly how we will respond. A real poser of a question.


  5. I have been tested a few times. I’ve drawn a few lines in the sand. I think that none of us can know how we will respond to any one circumstance until we are faced with it. Even then it depends on the person/place/thing involved. I think it is a very good thing to know yourself and to learn to understand what has value for you so that when you do find yourself at the moment of decision, you know what will matter to you after it’s over.


  6. Caroline says:

    I know my ex husband sacrificed his values and morals when he walked away from our marriage. He caused himself immense mental anguish by doing so. I know this because he admitted it and returned twice before finally deciding to go forever. He was lured by a woman whose morals/values were to get what she wanted regardless of the cost to others.

    Since leaving he hasn’t admitted her existence to anyone other than his immediate family. Even though he is about to marry her.

    I know, without a doubt, that my values would never allow me to do to someone else’s marriage what was done to mine – never mind how strongly I felt for the person.

    A very interesting post CD. One which has given me food for thought this morning.


  7. Oh boy. It is a bit deep for 9am. Like most parents, anything for my children… I don’t know that I’m deeply motivated to be a martyr for any other cause.


  8. I love this one. What I tell others to survive does not compromise who I am. Actions, on the other hand are more difficult to brush off. However, since good and evil are all matters of reference and point of view, it is possible that even actions are not a clear indicator of who we really are. Great post early or not!


  9. gotham girl says:

    Well…I’ve got to ponder this one…plus pour myself my first cup of coffee….


  10. Abby says:

    That is a bit deep, but I truly think it depends on the circumstance. I most certainly would never compromise my morals or my character as part of a strategy for materialistic gain in some way–fame, fortune, revenge, etc. I can’t say that I wouldn’t be forced to act in a way that is outside my moral realm if the circumstances were dire and desperate though, as you never know how you’ll react until it happens. With that said, I hope that that never happens.


  11. This is really interesting and I have no idea!! Can I have some of your lemonade please?! 😊


  12. babs50nfab says:

    I believe you have to stand up for what you believe in, and truly believe what you stand for.


  13. I’m not sure my morals and principles would bear up very well against the threat of, for instance, having my finger nails ripped off one by one (graphic image courtesy too many freedom-fighter-being-tortured-by-the-police type of movies watched as a child :P). I’m too much of a coward for that.

    I’d be fairly happy if I managed to live by my principles in less dramatic everyday circumstances-which itself is challenge enough.


  14. Jane says:

    I think we all have a line in the sand for some things and they can be easily moved or washed away by a strong enough current. Then there are those who put up a stone wall for a boundary and there is no crossing that. They stand strong no matter what. I am somewhere in between but honestly, more in the sand than I should be. I have been accused for taking on things that are not my battles. I take causes I participate in seriously to the point of being accused of being hard headed and stubborn. But to what degree would I defend something has never been totally tested for me. I know many who have faced death with a split decision to live and those who decided too late. George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, took his life with his own gun. It was his choice because he felt he was done with his life work and was facing a sentence of physical suffering. Was he a coward or resourceful?

    I hope there is no vodka in that lemonade, Ducky. But it is noon somewhere…


  15. Al says:

    I feel strongly both ways.


  16. renxkyoko says:

    I follow the Golden Rule. ” Do not fo unto others….” I often compromise to make peace, but it makes me feel guilty and unhappy. I don’t know. well, it’s 4:30 Am right now. …. need sleep.


  17. nelle says:

    Some of us face a test – and fail. There is life after it, providing the person wishes to reset their life, incorporate the lesson learn and dedicate to better. There are causes of particular importance to me, women’s rights and lgbtq rights, but in general, I’d die before my integrity took another hit.


  18. a few i guess… have been tested quite seriously, stayed with them. the damage is huge but…its nothing in comparison to giving up those values.


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