In contrast to some of my own observations about "objectivity," I found myself posting this on a Buddhist bulletin board this morning ... a sort-of response to a question about "objective morality:"
Sometimes I think objectivity is just the intellect's means of positing
god without getting all squishy about it... a resting place, a nesting
place, a place of credible and creditable certainty... an imaginative
place in which to reap the benefits without doing the work. Another
The struggles involved in something like "objective morality" are
endless and probably represent misspent energy. Why waste the time when
you could waste the time more productively?
The practice -- that's practice, not theorizing -- of Buddhism walks
its students through the matter of morality. It's not a matter of
"shazzam!" or "just turn to page 367 for the answer." Practice puts meat
on the bone of encouragements like "don't kill, steal, lie, etc." No
longer are such encouragements simply ethical, make-nice baubles. With
practice, they are simply what makes best sense in terms of a happy or
peaceful life ... NOT because anyone else says so and NOT because
Buddhism says so but ... just because.
As Shunryu Suzuki once observed more or less, there are things to-do
and there are things not-to-do. That's all. Practice makes sense of
what others might call "holy" or "wise" or "moral." There's nothing
especially elevated about all this ... it's just a matter of getting
your own ducks in a row.