Saturday, April 21, 2012

the most important thing to teach/learn

It came to me as I read an article on the Bahrain Grand Prix: the most important thing that should be taught to future generations is to take moral responsibility for their own decisions and actions. "Quite why people who drive cars for a living should fill the moral vacuum left by useless politicians I'm not sure" was the quote that made me think, first of all "Yeah right - it's not their job, they are just there to race." and I have heard F1 people saying "Well if the politicians had told us not to go..." as if this would have been what they needed to make that decision. But then I thought, as I always do, we all know where that argument leads: just obeying orders...

It is each and every person's own right and duty to themselves to do what they think is the right thing regardless of what anybody else tells them to do. I can't judge whether Jenson Button is right to go to Bahrain - only he can. He has morals, he has lines he won't cross. So by extension, no politician can tell him whether it's right to go either and he shouldn't be looking for them to provide his moral compass.

If handwringing politicians who bemoan the lack of morality in modern society really want to do something about it they should stop trying to teach what is and isn't moral (e.g. marriage is good, families should look this way...) and simply drum into kids that whatever faith they choose, whatever life choices they make they should do them because they believe them to be right. Sure, you can emphasize the importance of co-operation for a society to work (or law and order if you prefer) but it must come with the vital caveat that even if the law says you must do something or the powers that be say you must do something there are times that you must still make a moral decision not to do it if you really believe it is wrong.

If this is drilled into each generation instead of simply telling them they must obey rules whatever then we may avoid another Holocaust or avert genocides.

Also in the news is Anders Breivik who clearly thinks that what he did was right by his own twisted moral judgement. This may be unpalatable but people like him are much less dangerous than everybody simply doing what they are told. He killed 77 people which is shocking but millions die every year just because people delegate moral responsibility to some person or body that they see as in charge.

I couldn't decide whether to watch the Bahrain grand prix (should it go ahead) but I know that it won't feel right to watch it with what is going on around it even though that decision will affect nobody else but me. However, the strength of feeling that I can make moral decisions purely for my own peace of mind is one that hopefully will make me stronger should I ever have to face a really difficult decision in my life.


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