Wednesday, December 30, 2015

comfort breeds morality?

Skittering around like some excited but under-informed teenager in my mind....

No hungry man ever concerned himself much with morality. Moral trappings may be tacked onto his cause, but the bottom line remains the porridge in the breakfast bowl.

It is only the well-victualed who may cast their eyes on a moral way of life and even this is not assured. After all, if you have enough to eat, there is no imperative to take up a moral suasion. For this reason, morality may be taken up not just as something serious but also as an adjunct or hobby or new-age addendum -- the fins on the car -- where the stomach does not growl. Some rich and well-fed people can only think of becoming richer.

Still, it is an odds-on bet that the well-fed are the likely arbiters of a moral lifestyle, even as they limit their calories and pour ashes on their heads. Jesus, Mohammad, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, monsastics of various stripes, the denizens of humanism, TED-talk adepts and perhaps the bathroom mirror -- each and every one bears a mark or more of comfort and stability that comes with a porridge bowl that is not empty. Religion, in both the narrow and broader sense, seeks out a conforming and stable political environment and links its voice to that choir.

If morality be roughly defined as an effort to bring happiness and peace into a life, then I wonder if a sustaining food source is not a requirement. Of course you'd be dead without it, but aside from that, does the feeding of body and mind amount to much the same thing? Imagination requires food but food is no guarantor of imagination.

Oh well. The teenager slips and slides ....

The sky is grey
No need to fret.
Just stir your stumps
And break a sweat.

1 comment:

  1. I think the explanation for expanding wealth is the inevitable consequence of social Darwinism.