How moral are you?
How righteous (if that’s the right word)? Do you do the right thing just because it is the right thing or because you fear cultural retribution? The law might be an ass but it cannot be denied that it keeps a good many of us on the straight and narrow. Without it do you ever wonder how many of us would be potential thugs? Potential murderers, even?
Without the thought of being someone’s bitch in the prison showers or snuggling up to Mr Big for a couple of quid’s worth of phone cards most of us, I suspect, would at sometime or other snap and bludgeon those around us to death with a Chubb fire extinguisher (or whatever heavy blunt instrument you happen to have at hand).
That might sound over the top but just think about it seriously for a moment.
When faced with an insanely infuriating work colleague or an overly unhelpful shop assistant or a belligerent neighbour who has yet again cut a mammoth sized limb from your precious Leylandii and dropped it onto your marijuana nursery don’t we all experience a Reggie Perrin moment or three and imagine taking a Black & Decker hedge trimmer to their jugular? Or pulping their face into bloody Papier-mâché with the mortar and pestle you bought on-line especially to grind up your Valium tablets for easier absorption?
Daily I have hacked, maimed, peppered and pulverized the people around me with a mental arsenal that, if it were real, would see me institutionalized for life. Reservoir Dogs style I have removed ears, noses, fingers (individually), various genitalia (some of them pre-cooked with an oxy acetylene welding torch), limbs and, when the devil inside has really taken me by the horns, internal organs which I then fantasize about sending to the local police inspector Jack The Ripper style accompanied by a note informing him that the bits I kept went down rather well sautéed in butter with a side order of fava beans.
And the weird thing is I don’t even know anyone named Clarisse.
If it were not for that metaphysical something deep inside that stops me every time I would be the desperately evasive fruit of a massive countrywide police hunt and, no doubt, the pin-up of every kitchensink chained chav this side of Watford.
But is it an inbred morality that stays my hand? An innate instinct toward decency?
Or is it just societal conditioning? Fear of the jug? An aversion to Big Vern’s personal, phallus-shaped soap-on-a-rope?
How can I call myself a decent morally-upstanding person when the only thing keeping me from eviscerating the pathetic organs of those around me is a desire to not be incarcerated for the rest of my born natural?
That isn’t morality! That isn’t righteousness!
It’s a weird kind of cowardice. It is self denial. At best it is a bizarre form of self-sacrifice for the good of the many.
And though in theory that is noble it is still not moral.
I leave you today with a thought from Voltaire: I have no morals - and yet I'm a very moral person.
It is so true.
But is it something to be proud of?