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.
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