Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Secret Agents

Morality is an expression of the human will directed upon others. We fail to recognize it as such, in the first place, because we are unperturbed by moral imperatives that we follow of our own accord. And if these same imperatives confine people whom we fear or dislike, we are apt to see something divine or at least extra-human about them. Today, moreover, because our societies are so large, it is hard to think that individuals are responsible for the common morality. But when the moral code shifts, and you realize that others are being favored at your expense, the agents take shape if you look closely enough. You see people where previously you were certain you saw nature or God. ‘But human will dictates morality only insofar as it ceases to be God’s will.’ Oh yes, I know that argument well. To the extent that morality accommodates me, it is an expression of God’s will. I was once convinced of that myself.

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