It may not be your fault. These days it is difficult to feel like a good person. In fact the harder you try, the more you may feel like a failure.
The calls on our moral attention are multiplying at an extraordinary rate. We are living through a perfect storm of social justice movements, activist NGOs, an unusually plausible pope, and a flood of academic moral philosophers trying to write for the public. Globalisation means that we have to take account of the furthest implications of our actions. The internet and social media spread the news of our ever increasing obligations and strike down those who sin without mercy.
Everywhere we turn there are people demanding that we take moral responsibility for ever more features of our lives. Almost everything we do turns out to be involve a moral choice, or more than one, in which the deepest principles are at stake. If you're an egalitarian, how come you help your kids with their homework? If you're against child-slavery, how come you still eat chocolate? If you're against racism, aren't you ashamed that you enjoy ‘white privileges' like not being afraid when the police pull you over? And so on. Want to put milk on your breakfast cereal? There's a moral philosopher out there who wants you to read about murdered baby cows first.
Enough! These demands would challenge the forbearance and commitment of a saint. Trying to satisfy them all would leave no room for living your own life.
But it gets worse. Although they are presented as moral challenges, as tests of your moral character, many of these demands are actually moral puzzles with no right answer. Flying to Ireland to visit your sick grandmother, perhaps for the last time, is absolutely the right thing to do. But it's also absolutely the wrong thing to do. Or don't you care about the environment and justice for future generations?
Being a good person isn't enough. You just can't win no matter how hard you try!
Our moral philosophy experts have analysed the problem. Here's what they say:
The increasing moralisation of mundane choices is strongly associated with the phenomenology of interminable inescapable guilt. The cognitive dissonance resulting from this has been shown in laboratory experiments on white middle-class American college students to reduce rather than increase levels of moral motivation and integrity (Etal et al. 2013; Reckless and Shrew 2014; Southpark series 19). It is suggested that this effect results from an overextension and personalisation of moral responsibility. Survivors of the experiments professed to believe for example that the well-being of children in Cote d'Ivoire, the biodiversity of rainforests thousands of miles away, and even the survival of future generations all somehow depended on their choices. Yet when questioned as to what that exactly meant they were unable to explain further than 'being aware'.
In plain English, If everything we do is wrong why bother even trying to do the right thing?
Fortunately the solution is at hand. Here at Moral Tranquillity plc we believe that good people should be able to live a life free from guilt. That is why we have developed a range of Moral Offsetting™ products that make meeting your moral responsibilities simple and affordable.
For the rest see via Reddit: http://www.philosophersbeard.org/2015/12/this-christmas-give-gift-of-blameless.html?m=1