The Morally Indifferent

I suppose the people I am most concerned about in this world are those who we could call the morally indifferent. It may seem strange that I am not too concerned over the immoral people of the world. Yet, I know what kind of responses to expect from such people. The morally indifferent are those who believe themselves to be moral because they do not see themselves as immoral. And there lies the problem.

It is easy to claim one is “neutral” or “a middle of the road” type of person. It is easy to decide morally problematic situations are not one’s own problem. It is easy to find a form of escapism that keeps a person from making hard choices about the world. It is easy as Thoreau claimed to respect virtue and not be virtuous.

Personally I try to be both moral and ethical. I make mistakes in these areas. I try to consider what to do before taking action. “In the beginning was the word…” St John tells us meaning the word was considered and spoken before the act of separating heaven and earth.  I try to make amends when I make mistakes.

The morally indifferent do not care. An immoral person wants to see the devastation of their acts. Morally indifferent people do not think. They do not consider consequences of their acts. Desire to preserve self means they will reach for an identity rather than take a hard look to define self-worth. Dr. Johnson claimed “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” He was right in the sense that a morally neutral person will find the trappings of respectability to keep the good graces of others. Here is nothing but the desire for identity for self without having a true sense of self-worth. To be worthy is to be moral not to be thought of as moral.

Consider the great failures of the morally neutral who tried to be identified as truly competent as moral leaders. Senator Joseph McCarthy and President Clinton come to mind as well as religious leaders like Benedict XVI and Ted Haggard. It really does not matter if a person searching for an identity chooses to be one identity or another. Being morally indifferent it does not matter.

Collective failures of moral indifference are being seen in courtrooms especially juries since they are made of non-experts in legal matters often believe the worst plausible arguments because it is easier to allow murderers to go free than to take the responsibility of a decision for justice. The two examples from Florida regarding Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman are good examples of how perfectly respectable moral indifference is folly. Remember how Pontius Pilate knowingly allowed an innocent man to be executed?

It is easy to be misunderstood when speaking on such a broad topic. I respect different points of view. I also have high opinions of my own opinions. I take a stand while trying to understand my opponent. It can be difficult. Love and Freedom are among the moral values I hold. I would likely hold them even if I was not a Christian. Since I am a Christian I hold them all more because I can hold them as being independent of my own thinking while informing my actions.  I can then measure my own worthiness as a self while holding them and acting in ways that support those goals.

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