Angela Chioma Ozue, Opinion: Moral Absolutism







I have been wanting to write on MORAL ABSOLUTISM OR ABSOLUTIST MENTALITY and this particular incident presented me with the perfect opportunity to do so.


Moral absolutism: Actions are inherently moral(right) or immoral(Wrong) regardless of the beliefs and goals of the individual or groups that engages in the actions. IT’S EITHER BLACK OR WHITE. THERE’RE NO IN-BETWEENS OR SECOND GUESSING IT. 

I sat opposite this really cute guy in the cosy lounge of Palm beach hotel. Sweet instrumental music played in the background. I looked at his face. A shade of sorrow beamed on his pretty face.
“What’s wrong? There’s something bothering you…”, I asked. I know I might be disturbing but there’s this look on his face that tore at my heart. He just smile but ignored the question.
I wanted to leave that place and space but my legs couldn’t seems to move. I shaa forced myself to stand, before I could leave, he round the table kissed me on both chick and hugged me a little longer than usual and said:
“I really don’t know you but thank you and please don’t leave because of me”. Ok now I’m really confused, he seems not to appreciate my concerns initially, now he’s being all touchy and asking me to stay. Like who the hell are you. “Oga  I was just concerned that’s all” as I turned to leave.

“I know, I know. Please wait, this might probably be last time we see each other, I just need to talk. Just talk”.  Now, that really got me, I was a little too brash. I mean I knew immediately I saw the face that something was seriously not right with him. 

“I did something really bad, not illegal I must add but morally it’s bad anyways. So much double standard, I criticized something now and two minutes later I’m doing the same thing. I seriously hurt a loved one and my anger is that I didn’t think twice before doing it and I’m still not feeling bad about it and I might do it again if opportunity presented itself. I’m more concerned about being judged than anything else. What typa man, am I?. He said.

“I really don’t know what you did but I don’t think it’s always that black and white. No human like being judged, so I can understand where you’re coming. Sometimes we make some difficult decisions or not so difficult decision. But in my book, there’s always an in-between, nothing is absolutely wrong or right. I mean who gets to choose what’s really the wrong right ?. You should live happily and move on with your life because from the look on face it wasn’t an easy decision no matter how you try deny that”

I suddenly realized that he was crying on seeing his shirt wet with his tears. I handed him a tissue paper and walked away without saying another word.

When I got home, I was a little bit disturbed. I’m not really sure what I said to this man was really the right thing to say to him. I should have persuaded him to download the full gist before telling him that nothing is totally wrong or right. That thing are not always that black and white. What if he slept with her brother’s or bestie’s wife/gf , sure that’s not illegal but morally wrong to some or all. What if he eloped with a friend’s money, ok that’s illegal. 

So many “What ifs” but the funny thing is that I always find an in-between in them. Maybe he fell in love with the dude’s wife and acted on the spur of emotions. He might even go as far as marrying the girl if situations presented itself. That’s mean but love happens.

The challenge with moral absolutism, however, is that there will always be strong disagreements about which moral principles are correct and which are incorrect.

I still amazed at how far I’ve come. I was this morally rigid person and a judgmental one at that.  Being able to unlearn some certain things for me was my ultimate win.

Back to the ish at hand. Is morality really absolute?

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