Here is a discussion about morality, ranging from concept to its practical aspects.
(26) Is morality subjective? How is it ethical to kill sentient animals & immoral to kill human beings?
I appreciate your way of contemplation. Yes morality is subjective. Every human is born with consciousness and has a criterion to judge between right and wrong. An act, if not an evil in nature, becomes ethical or immoral subject to the conditions or the intention with which it is performed.
Killing sentient animal for food may seem immoral but when you look from a right perspective it appears a justifiable act. See, this world has been created in a unique fashion, the living and nonliving beings are harmonized to be cooperative and receptive to fulfill there respective needs. The lizard eats ants and the snake eats lizard, an eagle hunts a snake.
This is how a cycle of survival runs; no one blames lizard, snake or eagle for their killing acts. Similar is an act of mutual killings of different vertebrates. So you have a clear specification of animals, herbivores that feed on plants and carnivores that feed on other animals.
Now look at the human structure. We have been created with a specific digestive system that supports our eating habits. God has created everything for us; we have every right to utilize the available resources with a strict ‘no’ to extravagance and unnecessary killing. This way killing sentient animals for eating purpose is a sheer ethical act same as killing even more sensitive plants is regarded as ethical.
Killing human beings is the height of ignorance and a greater sin. There is absolutely no justification except from the state if it happens to be a capital punishment for any heinous crime.
(27) Is thanking people a right attitude?
Human nature appreciates good manners. If you help someone without an intention of any reward or praise, when they say “thank you very much”, how do you feel? The happiness what you feel is simply unexplainable.
The human life is all about moments of such selfless attitudes that result in true happiness. A prosperous and happiest human life is a merger of pious inner selves and ultimate impacts of the selfless attitude.
Good manners constitute our moral and religious being. The greater the character, greater is our self. Thankful attitude provides the required boost to take initiative for the betterment of humanity. For instance, if a person is bestowed with wealth, and he is thankful to his God, for sure, his thankful attitude connects him to the humans and he helps and take care of them by all possible means. If someone is hungry, he will feed. If someone is ill, he ensures proper treatment. You can say humanity is but a reflection of thankful attitude.
A sense of gratitude reflects an inner self that a person is actually thankful to the Merciful God, Who has bestowed life and the bounties on him. If society is adorn with thankful people, you are sure to find a strong inter connection between humans. Else, carelessness prevails, and it will add nothing but sufferings and problems, this is what we are facing today.
The reality is that thanking people makes the society a place to live in. The greatest reality of our existence on earth is the same, that we should be thankful to our Creator:
وَٱللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّنۢ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَٰتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْـًۭٔا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْأَبْصَٰرَ وَٱلْأَفْـِٔدَةَ ۙ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Allah has brought you forth from your mothers’ wombs when you knew nothing, and then gave you hearing, and sight and thinking hearts so that you may give thanks. (Ch 16 – An Nahl: 78).
(28) Moral decrepitude and moral nihilism one and the same?
Moral means human behavior, manner and character. The human nature has been perfectly synchronized to portray the morals with precision. Now analyze your question.
Decrepitude is a state of deterioration due to old age or long use. Moral decrepitude means the deterioration of morals due to there long usage. Whereas “Nihilism” is a delusion that things or everything including the self, don’t exist; a sense that everything is unreal. Moral Nihilism means a sense that everything pertaining to morals is unreal; rather the human existence itself is nonexistence.
Moral decrepitude and moral nihilism are not one and the same rather the comparison itself is unrealistic. Morals will never deteriorate. Since the advent of first man on earth, the morals are being practiced and professed. The morals like truth, honesty, justice, smile, help, encouragement, and denouncement etc are still an obstinate part of human lives. So there is no question of moral losing its shine.
Yes, you may notice dearth of the morals, but in no way they vanish and require any substitute. Same as the water may get contaminated, but due to water’s time being impurity no one tries to search for its alternative, to quench thirst you need just water, nothing else.
Similar is the case of morals, they are an invariable part of human nature and exist as long as the human life exist on earth. The morals may get contaminated due to lack of there implementation, application and following, but that doesn’t mean decrepitude in anyway. It becomes obligatory on the part of society as a whole to revive the morals and ensure there adherence at all levels. This is what God exhorts:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ یَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَ الْإِحْسانِ وَ إیتاءِ ذِی الْقُرْبى وَ یَنْهى عَنِ الْفَحْشاءِ وَالْمُنْکَرِ وَ الْبَغْیِ یَعِظُکُمْ لَعَلَّکُمْ تَذَکَّرُونَ
Surely Allah enjoins justice, kindness and the doing of good, to kith and kin, and forbids all that is shameful, evil and oppressive. He exhorts you so that you may be mindful (Ch 16: An Nahl: 90).
© Muhammad Abdullah Javed – March 2016
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