What helps you to push yourself to expand your moral views/horizon and change your behaviour?
Moral behavior will always be that which is associated with the free choice of social forms of behavior. Spinoza writes that if a person runs away from something on the grounds that it is bad, he is acting like a slave. Only that person is free, in Spinoza’s view, who runs away from something because something else is better. With this as a ground rule, William James gives a perfectly rigorous technique for moral education, on the basis of the principle that one must always proceed not from evil, but from good. “See to it now, I beg you, that you make freemen of your pupils by habituating them to act, whenever possible, under the notion of a good. Get them habitually to tell the truth, not so much through showing them the wickedness of lying as by arousing their enthusiasm for honor and veracity ... And in the lessons which you may be legally obliged to conduct upon the bad effects of alcohol, lay less stress than the books do on the drunkard’s stomach, kidneys, nerves, and social miseries, and more on the blessings of having an organism kept in lifelong possession of its full youthful elasticity by a sweet, sound blood, to which stimulants and narcotics are unknown, and to which the morning sun and air and dew will daily come as sufficiently powerful intoxicants”.
In other words, we should not proceed in moral education the same way we proceed in thinking of laws in the criminal code, when we refrain from some deed simply because we fear the punishment that would ensue. Do not, in other words, turn morality into the internal policeman of the soul. To avoid something out of fear still does not mean you are performing a good deed. In this sense, Rousseau was profoundly in error when, wishing to keep his hero Emile away from dangerous and sordid affairs, placed him as a child in a clinic for venereal diseases in the hope that ulcers, stench, shame, and the abasement of the human body would frighten the youth. From the psychological point of view. chastity purchased at the price of fear sullies the soul worse than outright debauchery, inasmuch as it does not destroy all base wishes and desires in the child’s mind, but only creates in his mind a petty and mean struggle between these desires and the no less humiliating and no less servile feelings of fear. Only that chastity has any value which is procured by a positive attitude towards action and by an understanding of its true essence. Not to do something out of a fear of dire consequences is just as immoral as to do it. Every unfree attitude towards things, all fear and dependence, already denotes the absence of any moral sensibility. In its psychological sense, the moral is always free.
Thus, moral imperfection always derives from experience and always denotes not a defect in innate reactions and instincts, i.e., not a defect of the organism and of behavior, but a defect of conditional relations for adaptation to the conditions of the environment, i.e., a defect in education. It is, therefore, far more correct to speak not of the moral deficiency of a child, but of his social underdevelopment or neglect. Hence a general conclusion becomes perfectly clear, a conclusion which should serve as a starting point in all questions having to do with the education of such children. These children require no special pedagogics, no protective, corrective, or punitive measures whatsoever, only redoubled social attention and quadrupled educational influence from the direction of the environment. In every case of moral misdeeds in children, from the least significant on up to the most serious, we are dealing with a conflict between the child and the environment, and we have to recognize that every child is a congenital moral criminal simply by virtue of the fact that he is born with reactions that are notoriously maladjusted to the environment. Even in the utterly most well-educated families, no child is born with the ready ability to behave properly; on the contrary, in absolutely none of his normal actions and deeds does he obey the rules of good breeding and morality, and in this sense the whole task of education is only to help the child adapt to the conditions of his surroundings.
I'm known to be very flexible when it comes to my principles, I will budge and I'm hopelessly merciful.I'm known to be very rigid when it comes to my principles, I will not budge and I'm not particularly merciful.
I'm actively trying to change this, and be more compassionate with people (and myself) when they slip up. It's hard to do, but I can see potential benefit in it.
Bloody nines and their lack of spineI'm known to be very flexible when it comes to my principles, I will budge and I'm hopelessly merciful.
I'm actively trying to change this, and be less compassionate with people (and myself) when they slip up. It's hard to do, but I can see potential benefit in it.