Morality

What's a goon to a goblin? - Lil Wayne

Let's face it: Life can be pretty unfair. After all, to be a supermodel you must have inherited an above average height, a particular bone structure, a low appetite, natural beauty and so much more. And you have to start young. Does that mean we should ban all supermodels? While the Dove self-esteem campaign celebrates all shapes and sizes of attractiveness, and minimum BMIs have been introduced at many fashion shows, the female tall, thin ideal continues to push many young women and girls towards eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

Along these lines, morality is of interest to many social scientists, including psychologists. One of the most famous discussions on the topic involves Lawrence Kohlberg, and the subsequent feminist-leaning reaction by Carol Gilligan. Kohlberg argued that morality spans several stages, and used the sick wife paradigm to gauge one's stage of moral development.

Does the end justify the means? The sick wife paradigm:

A man's wife is dying of a disease that can only be cured with medication neither of them can afford. Deeply in love, the man breaks into a pharmacy and steals the drug to save the life of his loved one. Stealing is wrong, but his intentions were pure. Should he have done it… at all? Should he go to jail alongside the opioids addict who broke in to get money for their next fix?

Is morality weak? Some people try to dominate others, and not the type of consensual domination seen in BDSM, but outright bullying. Of course to dominate, one preys on the other's weaknesses, be it insulting the person's crooked teeth, or stepping on their arthritic foot. But sometimes, the perpetrator may simply use your strengths against you - your goodness of heart, your compassion, the fact that you are a good, caring, sensitive person… I am of the Judeo-Christian tradition and believe most people are positive, but when the manipulative aggressors come out, I stand by the question: If the roles were reversed, how would they treat me?

 Morality

A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true (Socrates). Illustration: Megan Jorgensen

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