In a society like ours where depravity is the order of the day, our moral judgment for the most part is linked to livelihood survival issues. After all you cannot really put morality on a plate and eat. What is interesting is that we all feel good that we are a society with some homogeneity, buy in actual fact we are better identified as individual persons. Just see how proud you feel for having your particular names. We all do not experience the world in the same way. There are always deviations from the mean.
Some months ago when two female students of a reputable Senior School were caught kissing passionately and publicly, the issue was blown out of proportion by people who perhaps have their cupboards bursting with infamous skeletons. Thank God it simmered down and the girls continued school. Now listen! King David started to have an affair with the wife of one of his servants. What did he do? He sent the servant, a strong warrior, to the most dangerous part of the war front. When the servant was killed, King David married the servant’s wife. Hmmmmm! Some of the greatest, one way or the other indulge in some immoral act or the other.
You see it is very unfortunate, but it is a fact that the more modern and technologically developed our world becomes, the less we care about spiritualism and morality. This is a world where the internet can make you see whatever you want to see on screen, moral or immoral. This is just it; there is no need to pretend that the world is not going insane.My question here is, if two young girls caught kissing in public are expelled, what will be their punishment for them if caught naked, kissing and fumbling with each other. This is the point I am taking up, not so much the right or wrong of it. It is like the capital punishment which is the death penalty. If those who commit treason are killed and those who kill their fellow man are charged with manslaughter and given decades of years in prison, what are we really talking about? A group of soldiers decide to remove a dictatorship if they fail, they are charged for treason, if they succeed and save their people from doom, they rule! Do you see where I am going?
So you see those girls kissing openly are the new breed of Sierra Leoneans revolutionizing the social landscape. Revolutionaries normally move far ahead of their time. Just check them out. If these girls are teenagers, we all know the characteristics of teenagers, but we continue to pretend that ours should be different. If those girls take their school to court for the harsh punishment, believe me people will volunteers to pay for the best lawyers to defend them.Thank god I understand the expulsion stance has been rescinded. Good second thought. Their act is symptomic of the general societal moral malaise.
Nobody fights on the side of immorality, but the openness with which our society has reached makes it so difficult to look at everything from the moral lenses. Just like the vexed question of whether pregnant school girls should take their national exams raised controversies, so has this one.
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the word morality is from the Latin word Moralitas which is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with “goodness” or “rightness.” Like it happened in the girls’ case, different reactions were expressed.
There is always the need to consider the merit of actions themselves. Most times it is linked to the golden rule which states that: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”Immorality is the active opposition to morality, while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles. If our girls fall under the school of amorality, then the whole question of the society and the individual, comes in. When looking at morality there are considerations of: the personal and cultural, codes of conduct or social mores. It hardly means objective claims of right and wrong. I think it is in one of Chinua Achebe’s Novel that he says we go to school to become strangers in our own lands. Foreign ethical dictates invading us leave our young people confused and thus involve in some kind of adventurism. Not that other girls have not been kissing and fumbling intimately, but because the two girls did theirs in the open, brought about all the hue and cry.
In modern moral psychology, morality is considered to change through personal development. Even though we have a sense of responsibility to pursue moral purposes, we still, at least occasionally, engage in immoral behavior. Such behaviors jeopardize our moral self-image; however, when we engage in immoral behaviors we still feel as though we are moral individuals. Moral self-licensing attempts to explain this phenomenon and proposes that self-image security increases our likelihood to engage in immoral behavior. When our moral self-image is threatened, we can gain confidence from our past moral behavior. The more confident we are, the less we will worry about our future behavior which actually increases the likelihood that we will engage in immoral behaviors.
There was a case in one of the Nigerian papers some years back when a Nigerian politician helped to rig the elections. His party won and he was made Minister of Education. In his first year in office there were rampant examination malpractices. Three particular cases were brought to him as minister. His reaction to authorities was that he stole 300 votes in order to win the elections. So he said if the students stole 30 marks to pass their exams, he was not in any moral position to decide their fate. He was honest enough to confess but one may ask, why did he help in the first place to rig the election? Individuals are often aware of what is moral or immoral but they still go ahead and indulge in immoral acts. That’s just the way of the world? Nothing in the whole world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscious stupidity.
By Ben Cambayma
Thursday October 12, 2017.