What should one do when one's own moral sense tells him an act is wrong; yet, he believes in levels of moral and spiritual wisdom, and someone he's considered to be at higher levels of moral and spiritual wisdom than himself is the person who committed the act and insists that what he did stemmed from his higher wisdom and was right? Does one abandon one's own moral sense in this instance and accept what the other person says as true and what the other person did as right? Or does one trust one's own moral sense in this instance and reject what the other person says as false and what he did as wrong?
If one does the former, concluding that his own moral sense in this instance is wrong, when can he ever trust his own moral sense to be right? And if he can't trust his own moral sense, can he trust his sense of what's true in other respects, including his sense that someone else is wiser than he is and offers a "map" of reality that is worth studying in depth and detail? On the other hand, if one does the latter, concluding that the other person's moral sense in this instance is wrong even though he continues to insist that it's right, when can one ever trust the other person's moral sense to be right when it disagrees with one's own? And, once again, when can one ever trust anything else that person says to be true?
Anyone who's been reading this blog lately knows what and who I'm alluding to, but I don't want to mention any particular incidents or names, because I'm talking now about more, much more than just one particular incident or person. I'm talking about general issues of morality and truth. How do we know what is right and wrong? How do we know what is true and false? I've always been inclined to say that we need to listen closely to our "inner voice" that tells us when something is or is likely to be right or true on the one hand or wrong or false on the other. But what is this inner voice, and how reliable is it, especially if there really ARE different lines and levels of cognitive, interpersonal, moral, and spiritual development, and the inner voice of people at higher levels or of those we believe to be at higher levels than ourselves disagree with what our own inner voice says?
I used to ask these kinds of questions all the time and systematically try to reason my way to definitive answers. But I pretty much gave up when I came to the provisional conclusion that no definitive answers were forthcoming. Since then, I've managed to become pretty comfortable with uncertainty while continuing to place considerable trust in my intuition or inner voice to steer me right most of the time. But times like these give me pause and have me wondering, at least for the time being, how much I can trust my own inner voice or anyone else's and how to proceed in the absence of trust.
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