No better symbol can describe the human condition than the Yin and Yang. Two opposites that shape each other, one cannot be without the other. In an enlightened age, and time of so-called human morality, sometimes I wonder whether the light is one of the moon, or just a star, still considered light but how much darker it is from the sun. Morality under the light of a star, dim as it may be shines bright in contrast to darkness.
Morality is not an easy subject, regardless of the difficulty defining it in the first instance. Is it subjective, a gut feeling? an absolute, a subject of philosophy, reason? or may be science. No one can say what it is with conviction, but everyone knows it when they encounter it, or its absence to be more precise. So where do we start on such a profound subject. Descartes and his ultimate reduction of the only truth indisputable is that he can think, may be a good start.
Socrates paved the road by suggesting “The unexamined life is not worth living“. Such a deep insight. Everything we know is subjective to our experience, and to truly examine morality we need to first look inwards. To better the world we must first better ourselves. Who am I. Who am I really, that is the question. Beyond the self-deception there is darkness, this darkness manifests itself in guilt. Guilt is the beautiful gift we have been bestowed with, and our conscience is the tool we have to work with.
People may be right to say the suffering we inflict is based on the “Us versus Them mentality“, but at closer examination this can be reduced to the Me versus I dichotomy. The “Is versus the Ought“, that our conscience continuously struggles with. The desires that fulfill me versus the I that I long to be. The one that wants to do the right thing.