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A blog by Leon Oudejans

Whenever other arguments fail, morality is being abused

Late January 2022, the Financial Times featured this article: ‘Latvia slams Germany’s ‘immoral’ relationship with Russia and China’. This FT article is an example of my thesis that whenever other arguments fail, morality is being abused. Morality is the last resort of all arguments because morality sticks.

Why is morality so important to us? In simple terms, morality is about good vs bad and/or right vs wrong. Nothing else matters. Those are the battle lines and you must choose sides.

Things can only be considered as simple when you take a macro view on any subject. Any micro view often displays (detailed) complexities. Also see my blogs om complexity vs simplicity and micro vs macro.

The Wikipedia definition of morality appears simple: “Morality (from Latinmoralitaslit.‘manner, character, proper behavior’) is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper (right) and those that are improper (wrong).”

The differentiation between good vs bad deeds, words & intentions is a key concept in the much olderstate religion of the ancient Iranian empires” (c.600 BCE – c.654 CE) which is known as Zoroastrianism (eg, my 2016 blog: Also sprach Zarathustra and my other blogs on Zoroastrianism).

Deeds, words and intentions belong to individual human beings and not to organisations, nations, states or governments. Applying morality to a country like Germany is confusing because Germany has 83,222,442 inhabitants as per 30 September 2021. It’s impossible that these people think, act and speak alike.

To paraphrase the Alex Morritt quote below: “When your opponent resorts to the morality card, it’s a sure sign of moral bankruptcy: there’s no decent argument left in the armoury.” Indeed, arguing that such an argument is “invalid”, “not true”, or “wrong” feels like a pathetic counter-argument. A superlative is just missing.

I commented on that FT article by stating: “Interesting: whenever other arguments fail, morality is being abused as an argument”. It earned 17 likes.

Some relevant quotes:

  • “When a political opponent resorts to the racist card, it’s a sure sign of moral bankruptcy: there’s no decent argument left in the armoury.” A quote by Alex Morritt from his 2014 book Impromptu Scribe
  • “Insults are the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to feel confident.” Rick Warren
  • “The last resort of kings, the cannonball. The last resort of the people, the paving stone.” Victor Hugo
  • “Court, in our society, is often the last resort of stubbornness.” Erica Jong

The Last Resort (1976) by the Eagles
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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