Morality in principle is a necessary evil.  Specific moral rules are necessary evils too.




Valuing Principles

Believers in morality disagree on what to value in terms of principle:

Some say it is whatever has the most love in it - situation ethics.

Some say it is the consequences - some form of Utilitarianism.

Some say that principles have to be respected regardless of the good or bad results. For example, avarice is always a sin. This is moral absolutism.

Those all agree that morality is objective and is more than just opinion. The last option is the denial of objective morality.

Some say my morality is true for me and yours is true for you - this is relativism.

Every single point has a good and bad side. Each one implies that it is a necessary evil.

It is a necessary evil that we have to choose one for it is not clear which one is the best. You cannot really be sure which ones are unnecessarily evil or necessarily evil.

And if you have the right to choose, you cannot complain if somebody is a Utilitarian one minute and a relativist the next. This problem is intrinsic and is the reason why the choice can be abused by changing all the time. The next abuse is how somebody could pretend to be choosing a moral value such as absolutism and using his freedom to choose as an excuse for doing what he believes to be wrong. It dis-empowers others from challenging him.

Situation Ethics

Situation ethics teaches that there is no rule but love. If a tyrant rules the nation and you suspect he is going to enact genocide laws situation ethics say that you can ignore the command not to murder. It says it is love to kill him. It sees commandments such as "You shall not commit adultery" as tyrannical and holds that sometimes the most loving thing is to break them.

If situation ethics is a necessary evil, then the reasons are that it gives you too much freedom and gives the bad person the chance to use love as a cover for doing evil. And if you cannot love everybody what then? And what if if you hate and still end up doing as much good as you would if you loved? That can happen.


The notion that if you are judging some action as immoral you must look at the consequences. If they are bad then it is probably immoral.

Hitting somebody because you intend to give them huge compensation after is not wrong if consequentialism is true. This is hypothetical.  But it still shows that in principle most people have the principle in their hearts though they will not admit it.

Life is hard and unfair. God supposedly makes it up to you after death. The notion that you must get compensated in the afterlife is the ultimate reason why people believe in God. It is sick. But it is based on the idea that it is okay for God to torment you and let evil happen to you as long as he makes it up later. That is a form of consequentialism. Some will say, "But it is better to do good to the people and still give them the good things you would give them to compensate the evil they suffer." But if consequentialism is true, is the point they make really that important? If a god commands wars and genocide but not suicide bombings are the suicide bombers really that wrong? They are wrong but how wrong are they? A little perhaps. Besides all consequentialists agree with doing harm for a greater good so they cannot complain if God does the same thing. Most people most of the lean towards consequentialism no matter what they say. The way they think and act proves it. People then are guilty until proven innocent when they allege that they do not agree with a God hurting people to make it up to them afterwards. Perhaps there is a great Heaven waiting for you if you ruin your life here for God.

If the consequences are more important than the means however painful then surely we should assume that people who do bad things actually mean well and we must wait to see how it all plays out before deciding they have done right or wrong? Obviously the answer is yes if there is no God. And the answer is a bigger yes if there is a God who brings good out of evil. The morality is dangerous and God makes it worse.

Moral Absolutism/Virtue

Virtue is in being not doing. If you are a good being your actions will be good as a result. So what you are is really all that matters.

Thus virtue is a necessary evil. It is evil for it cares about what you are more than about those who suffer and who need help. It means that if evil is that which should not be allowed to exist then the person who is evil should be destroyed. The person who says they do not believe that anybody is evil is still saying that hypothetically if there are evil people they should be killed.

Virtue ethics is behind the assumption say that you must not have sex outside marriage even if you are doing it to earn money to save yourself from dying from cancer. It is the ground of absolutism.

Moral standards must serve a human need. If they do not then they are insisted upon for their own sake. It is just keeping rules for the sake of the rules. This would be arbitrary. Arbitrary rules and morals only lead to rebellion and resentment. Absolutism has a knack for making rules look un-arbitrary when they actually are. No sane or thinking person thinks you are better off refraining from the sex than enduring cancer. Absolutism gets its power and influence through people who don't think enough or who don't want to.

Absolutism that considers consequences is not absolutism at all. It would mean that the rule that adultery is always wrong can at least in theory be deliberately broken by a moral person if the results seem to be worth it.

Objective Morality

Objective morality means that morality is not just opinion. It is real. Stealing is not wrong because it is forbidden or does harm but it is just wrong.

Objective morality resides in persons and is about persons and not God. Those who say it is in God cannot say why it should be in God. They might suggest it is because of his almighty power or his perfect goodness or both. But objective morality is best grounded in somebody who is trying to be good with imperfect tools.

Religion tries to make out that objective morality means a value system that is validated or enforced by some entity such as God. When you are the one that has to judge if the value system from God really is from him clearly morality and values are ultimately grounded in you not God.

Those who say their morality is not their view but God's are passing the buck and lying. If morality is hard to establish as objective, we must realise that those who base faith in morality on lies are bigger enemies of morality than their rivals. They make their morality contradict itself. It is better to be fuzzy on why morality is objective than to resort to breaking that morality in order to further that morality. The first is trying to accept the morality and the second is not. The second offers hypocrisy dressed up as morality.

Moral Relativism

Religion is guilty of moral relativism. Hinduism teaches it explicitly but Christianity prefers to practice moral relativism while condemning it and pretending it refuses to have anything to do with it. Anybody who says it is right for a young boy to be killed by God and sent to Hell forever to be punished for thirty seconds of masturbation is a relativist of the worst kind.

A relativist religion or ideology can only be recognised by the results it has or if it admits what it is. Relativism is the reason a good religion can produce an alarming number of fanatics and terrorists. They are nourished and encouraged by the toxin of relativism which is so easily mistaken for a lovely soft drink.

Relativism might say that morality is just opinion. If that is all morality is then it is a necessary evil. And it will still cause much pain. Relativism promises a tolerant society but never delivers. The relativist has opened the door to calling somebody who opposes infanticide a bigot and intolerant.

Relativism is the biggest religious view in the world. Somehow it argues that if you think or believe something to be right or wrong then it really becomes right or wrong. That is as bizarre as what the Catholic Church says about the bread and wine at Mass that they become Jesus without physically changing. Relativism contradicts itself for if something is made right or wrong by your opinion then what happens when you change your mind?
God rubs it in!

Voluntarism is the view that you get your moral standards from how God behaves. For example, if he helps the poor that means you should do the same. It talks about what God does not what he is.

Essentialism is the view that you get your standards and moral values from the KIND of being God is. If God is love you have to be love as well.

People say you have free will to see if you will obey God's will or disobey. If you have to do one or the other, is it really about value? Your intention is to do something not to value.

Moral believers hold that you should suffer and pay if you break the rules. A morality with no price is not a morality. Moral believers agree with you being hurt in order to stop you hurting God. If they don't, they don't understand that they should.

It is a short step then to moral terrorism. If the terrorism does not happen, then that is down to other variables. It is not down to your faith.


Morality is not a heart-warming set of guidelines but a threatening mixture of rules and principle with a necessarily evil side. Morality can be dark and scary. Do not put the stamp of glory on it by celebrating it. It is to be followed but not divinised or adored. And no matter how lovely it looks your embrace of it is an invitation to evil in its hypothetical form into your heart. If you want to change the world, you have to challenge bad or flawed morality with candour and compassion. When people try to fuse God, the supreme authority, and morality together they are trying to give morality a reinforcing it does not need. Given that morality necessarily has a nasty side, we see they are going out of their way to reinforce it too.

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