Published on May 22, 2007 By Dan Kaschel In Philosophy
Right. Wrong. The words that taught me that I'm an idealist at heart. I am a poet, well-associated with shades of gray; but even so, I find that moral assessments force me to place every action into one of those two categories: Right. Wrong. Around midnight I was struck with that frantic energy that I have decided is a symptom of hug deficiency. I got up and filled a cup with ice, and faced a very simply decision. Water. Orange soda.

I'm twenty years old--this should not be an issue. But I thought to myself: if there is a question between the two, and I feel that they would bring me more or less equal pleasure, shouldn't I drink the one that will hydrate me and cleanse me of toxins and doesn't contain hundreds of calories? The semantics of moral consideration: Should. Should not. In my mind it was as clear as day that water was the right choice. Sunkist Orange Soda was the wrong choice. And so I filled the cup with water, even so I wondered to myself how much of life's texture I have leveled with my stubborn insistence on moral absolutes.

Absolute moralists are all about the black and white. Relative moralists are all about the shades of gray. But what kind of moralist sees in color?


on May 22, 2007

Interestingly, black and white are opposite (and hence why they are used in moral choices), but the same as well.  Black, in the light spectrum, is the absense of colored light waves, white the presence of all color light waves.  However, in color, black is the presence of all colors, and white the absense of all colors.  So they do have the same absolutes in common, just not in the same medium.

Gray is used as it is a combination of the 2 colors in the color spectrum.  But one could just as easily use any other color in the light spectrum - or the color palette - to indicate the lack of an absolute.  Since a single color would mean that neither absolute is met.

on May 22, 2007
Just add food coloring to your water.
on May 22, 2007
" Just add food coloring to your water."

Now why didn't I think of that.

on May 25, 2007
I really expected a comment from shades of gray.

on May 26, 2007
What kind of moralist sees color---

-perhaps an idealist, who has perceived black and white as opposite and sought to live as if , until experiences with real people, real life circumstances, with no clear answers, where the "if" doesn't necessarily equal the "then and those who "know better" actually don't, find themselves, over and over again where "right" and "wrong" become must become relative ti the frailty of humanity and softened by the colors of compassion., humility and forgiveness.....................................................

Big Hug Dan