Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Morality and Iranian Hostage Taking

I was thinking about the Iranians today. I don't have a good box to put them into. Seriously-- they do stuff that I thought was reserved for Jack Bauer. Recently, they kidnapped 15 British soldiers in Iraqi waters, held them for a few days, and released them. Right after that, they annouce that they have a full-fledged nuclear fuel industry. All the while, the British people are comparing Iranian morality to British morality and finding Iranian morality to be superior.

Here's an article on that subject. I found interesting.

While I agree that a culture with a moral anchor (i.e., Iran) will maintain its morality longer than a culture without an anchor (i.e., England), it does not follow that any morality is better than none at all. Amorality is, to my view, a huge problem facing the Western world, but it is not the only problem. There are moralities that are worse than amorality. The morality of kidnapping, for instance, is worse.

Morality is not good in and of itself. Only good morality is good (yes, I know that this argument is circular) and there are plenty of bad ones. Amorality is merely nothingness, but zero is higher than a negative number.

So let's be careful about praising morality for its own sake.

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