Tuesday 11 January 2011
This is something Meera Singh wrote to me during our conversations on morality. I must emphasize to the reader that this is not meant to be a proof of anything. I am posting it because I find it a beautiful and eloquent articulation, and it deserves to be shared.
"The origin of conscience or morality as either metaphysical or biological cannot be solved by debate. Never. It's like the consciousness problem itself. In a way, the naturalist is half-right in asserting that conscience is a product of biological evolution and hence must be talked of in relative terms. Because conscience is found only in humans. And yet again, it does not stop you and I from speculating that conscience may have deeper roots in the Absolute and hence must be talked of in absolute terms. But I wish to say that relativism or absolutism, morality is a human concept and only about humans. Even if we suppose it comes from God, by the time it threads its way to earth and comes here, its pristine robes are soiled and it becomes completely a humanized concept. And on its return journey back home, morality perhaps melts again into a perfect all- knowing Conscience. The difficulty is that there is no proof of such a transaction. This is where people like you and me are stuck. Did morality emanate from higher nature or not? Reason cannot know. And what is not within the pale of reason, it can only speculate and debate but never conclude. All we know is that morality coexists with our discordant, divisive and fluctuating human nature and hence morality and Ignorance are interdependent faithful friends. If we all turned into Gods right now, morality is not required. Hence, morality is of humans, by humans and for humans, no matter where it originates from."