Morality - Is it Anti-Sexual or Anti-Violence?
Gerald Moonen, New Zealand, 2006
is a standard which society has set for itself in which it distinguishes between
“right and wrong”. What then is right or wrong? Mostly it is anything that
does or does not seem to correspond with people’s belief systems, which have
been indoctrinated into us by religions over 2000 years or more.
Take away the belief systems and then
there is no right or wrong. Most actions are neutral, like eating, drinking,
sex, walking etc. These things are neither good nor bad. What about
intergenerational sex, isn’t that wrong? Well, here we have arrived again at
the word “wrong”. You see how easy it is to judge everything through the “right
and wrong” belief systems? But you might say to me; but if it is harmful
surely that must be wrong? I purposely have written the above sentences like
that to illustrate how trapped we are in judging with the ‘right and wrong’
paradigm. We have been brought up with this “right and wrong” thinking since
we were young.
I don’t use the “right and wrong” paradigm how then do I judge anything at
all? Good question! I think that the question of moral judgment needs to be
differently framed, instead of asking if it is “right or wrong” we have to
ask ourselves: “But is it harmful?” That, in my opinion, is the true moral
question. To come back to sex and intimacy, above I said, that this was totally
neutral like eating or drinking. How then do I morally judge, for surely some
sexual acts are not acceptable, like rape, non-consensuality etc? The question
to ask here, but is it harmful?
moral question one has to set oneself is to look for harm or possibility of
harm. For instance, when one is in a sexual situation, and one goes knowingly
only one fraction beyond where the other person is comfortable with then I see
this as an immoral act which is capable of - or does cause harm. If I would only
think of my own sexual satisfaction and ignore the wellbeing of the other, then
I am not in a situation where I am aware of the needs of the other. In such a
situation one can easily go beyond that what the other person is comfortable
with. Making love or being intimate is playing (like on a musical instrument)
with the other person’s wellbeing.
am sure that you will agree with me that non-consensual sex is not acceptable
and is a violation of the other person. This can be harmful psychological or
otherwise. If we look very carefully at that, we are not really talking about a
sex act, but about a violation of the other person i.e. an act of
violence. Sex is only the tool that has been used to violate another. Anything
can be used to violate someone else with. However we cannot make the tool itself
as the guilty aspect of such a situation. This is the mistake that is often made
with the “right and wrong” paradigm, for in religious thinking most sex act
are classified as “wrong”. An this is reflected in most laws as they are
mostly based on the old belief systems of right and wrong, and are therefore
mostly anti-sexual not anti-violence.
society has made a basic mistake a long time ago. The religions and the worldly
powers were very much involved in violence, and still are. They are still
finding excuses for their wars and unjust incarcerations. So they have put up
smokescreens and are pointing with their bloody fingers at the sex acts that do
not fit in their (im)moral paradigms or belief systems. They call them wrong and
sinful and with this attitude they whitewash their sins of violence with the
persecution of the innocents.
is nothing harmful with consensual sex and intimacy. Personally I see sex and
intimacy as a glorification of the Creator. But I can see a lot of harm being
done by our violent society. They still bend over backwards to justify their
disgusting violent behaviour.
next time you use the term “right or wrong”, or hear someone else use it, do
correct it and ask “is it harmful?” That is the true moral question and by
doing that it will change your moral perspective.