Thursday, September 18, 2014

What makes right?

Individuals may get caught up in their own ideas of right and wrong. But society, as a whole, will always change the idea of "right" when it needs to be changed to keep society functioning.

Look at Catholic divorce. Lots of Catholics continue to think its "wrong" or immoral or whatever but everyone knows society functions better when women and men aren't trapped in bad marriages. So society's idea of "right" in the case of divorce changed to accommodate that.

Or consider racial segregation. You would probably oppose the legalization of racial segregation, as would I, and we'd call you a hero. We'd laud your opposition. But if society really functioned better with legal racial segregation society would eventually make it "right" despite your objections.

Look at Thomas More. Heroic, noble, sainted Thomas More who gave himself up for execution because he thought what King Henry wanted to do was immoral, wrong, and sinful. We remember him as a hero, though today no one has any serious problem with what Henry wanted to do. (I mean the divorces and the rejection of Rome's authority, not the wife executions which old Thomas More also thought were OK) In the story, More is the hero, but in reality we acknowledge that Henry's idea was better.

Back to racial segregation. If it turns out that racial segregation is objectively good, with facts and outcomes which bare that out, one of two things will happen: You will die fighting it, or you will switch sides. Because if racial segregation turns out to be objectively good for society, society will find a way to make it "right."

Which, by the way, is exactly what's behind the change in attitude in the case of gay marriage Society has realized that society functions better when people, irrespective of gender, have more freedom and are able to form long term, monogamous, intimate relationships and the remaining opponents of homosexual marriage are going to die fighting it or they will recant their objections and switch sides.

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