Saturday, November 11, 2017

Political Morality. What is it?

Human beings live with two moralities: personal and social. The personal morality functions within the family: how we treat our family members. The other one is external: how we act with other people. External morality developed because human beings are social creatures and had to learn how to function in a group. Group compatibility offered protection that extended safety beyond the family unit. Group morality is an aggregate of the individuals in the group based on a consensus between them. To remain part of the group an individual has to follow those rules. This social morality was simple and worked well when man lived in small groups.

When agriculture began, man gave up his nomadic ways to live in one place and human group size grew enormously. Villages, towns, and cities developed. These human social structures required governments and laws. Social morality was now very complicated and inflexible. We experience the collision between our personal and social morality every day. For example, we know that abortion has been legalized, so if we are against abortion, we have to accept the law even though we disagree. We can also try to change the law, or move to a place that doesn’t have that law.

Our political morality is the result of our personal morality being mapped against the morality of society. Our party affiliation reflects the direction we’d like government to take to bring society’s morality into better alignment with our own.

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