Here is a question I read in a philosophy handbook on morals:
Question: John is a moral philosophy student and he believes in moral relativism. His professor, who believes in moral absolutism didn’t like John so he failed him in an exams though John got good grades. Is John right to be angry or to protest the assessment of his paper?
Answer: All beliefs are personal convictions and personal convictions should not have a place in professional/academic relationships. John was supposed to be assessed based on the absolute merit (rightness or wrongness) of the answers he gave in the exams and not based on his personal beliefs.
I find this scenario very interesting because I think we all encounter it daily in human organisational systems. It’s like saying: Mr. A, believes he can live without breathing in oxygen. If Mr. B suffocates him and he faints, has Mr. B been immoral?
Beauty that comes from inside never wilts.
It is the beauty of mind, character, deeds etc.
This kind of beauty is in short supply these days.
It is not how you look that makes you beautiful.
It is how you carry yourself around.
Looks fade, eyes grow pale, skin wrinkles, butts shrink, voice slurs
And knees shake but the heart that is true to itself never fades.
Immanuel Kant as a moral philosopher? Please tell me this is a joke. What moral precepts did he contribute to the molding of the African personality, consciousness and existence? Would you label someone who called you an ox, who said you should be driven apart with thrashings a moral philosopher? Yet this is what Kant said of Black Africans.
Worst still, would you take someone seriously if he wrote voluminously about how married couples should relate to each other when in fact he himself never had the courage to marry? Kant may be a giant in European philosophy, fair enough why shouldn’t he be, but to teach one concept and live the other is unethical.
One enters the department of philosophy in a typical African university and they are teaching Kant, Hegel, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Descartes etc. The irony in all this epistemological blunders is that there are probably more sages in Africa than there are elsewhere. Why not primarily teach the aphorisms of African sages as African philosophy. Wouldn’t that be more plausible and logical and even meritorious to Africa?
It is a fact that different societies have different morals and value systems. This argument is further advanced by most amoralists and serves as a basis for a rejection of universal moral values. But even when we look at the great diversity in human nature, societies and their values and norms, it is by all means that whatever one does, one will be repaid in full. This is what justifies vengeance even if it is done in the name of one god or another god. The desire for justice is innate in every human. Morality itself is not based on reason, it has its basis in instinct. So a rational discussion on morality is futile – one would just be moving in circles. However, one thing that runs through all moral laws irrespective of geographic location, social group, race or nation is that there is reciprocity. There is something akin to a reward or payback (though sometimes difficult to perceive) based on an act that was perpetuated or neglected thereof. This reciprocity is not peculiar to only relationships within social groups, it is the fabric of all individual human interactions. Others call it karma. The problem however is that sometimes this reciprocal relationships are also subject to subjective interpretations and people with similar perspectives randomly self organize and create a morality of their own. They may even seek to punish someone who may have done something right for the majority. In a society as dysfunctional as mine, based on random self organization, criminals or the most unscrupulous are sometimes selected as the decision makers and adjudicators. When it happens that way the righteous is punished and everyone turns evil. There is reciprocity in there. Society has to be better than individuals so it is very important that people aspiring to leadership positions have high ethical principles and are people of highest moral standards. This ensures that the right values are emulated and promoted in the system. Sadly, as the reader may be aware this is often not so. We elect leaders based on their wealth and connections, then we turn around and complain when they attack us.