Question #9

If given the choice, would you rather (a) only abide by the rules and morals of society that you personally agree with, or (b) have the power to slightly adjust the rules and morals that currently exist (but these adjustment would then apply to you and everyone else, all the time)?

(b) sounds bad. (b) sounds like a lesser version of a dictatorship and, really, I don’t want that power. If the world suddenly goes to hell, I don’t want the blame. I feel guilt for stupid, little things; imagine the guilt I’d feel then. Plus (let’s get deep here), do I really want proof that my version of right and wrong isn’t right? I mean, I guess I do, but I’d rather learn that by trial and error (or long discussions in religion and philosophy classes?), the way I have the rest of my life. It’s worked out pretty well so far.

(a) sounds like a solid idea, as long as it’s “abide by the rules of moral society that you personally agree with at that time in your life.” Your definitions of “fair” and “moral” absolutely change as you grow up, so as long as you can adjust what you’re abiding by as your thought process matures, that’s probably a decent idea.

Except if, once I choose this option, it applies to the rest of the world — i.e., everyone else in the world also follows only the rules they agree with. That could get messy and would probably end in complete and total chaos and anarchy (“I believe I have the right to an abortion, so I’m going to get one” “Well, I believe you don’t, so I’m going to stand outside of Planned Parenthood and harass you”…oh…wait…nevermind, that already happens. Anyhow, you get the point).

So if I was allowed to follow only the rules I agreed with, while everyone else had to follow all the rules, that would work. It’s not really fair, but if I have the option, I guess I may as well take it. I promise to use it for good instead of evil — and, once again, I invoke the argument of “Do I really seem like someone who would plot mass destruction?” I think not.

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