On Asymmetry and Morality

Having been brought up in a conservative society,I have never suffered from a dearth of restrictions. I resisted many of them as usual-swore that I would never abide by them – and now having reached man’s estate so to speak, I eke out my livelihood exacting vengeance by imposing the very same restrictions on the younger generation!

What I am trying to say is that we all recognize the value of various injunctions that our parents have imposed on us as we grow up. Most of them have to do with the upholding of morality. Stealing is bad so “thou shalt not steal”. Taking a step back, we recognize that this morality is needed for preserving order in society. Without morality, the society would deteriorate to some version of chaos da da da bla bla bla.. So morality tells me what is good and what is bad. But who gets to decide on what is right and wrong? It is a good coincidence that for the most part, the world seems to be in concurrence with their views about what constitutes morality – notwithstanding the fact that morality is still geographical and governed by various demographic factors which accounts for most of the conflicts in the world.

But the interesting thing for me here is to observe the polarizing effect morality has on the world. It divides the whole world into the protagonists and the dissidents. Into the right and the wrong. Into good and bad people. Hence morality seems to become the bedrock on which all our notion of asymmetry of human beings rests. And if we go back to the fact that morality is very much based on perception, it is a relief that we all think alike for the most part! So agreement about what constitutes morality seems to be one place where commonality is good and uniqueness bad. Interesting huh?

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